Community Councils Together on Trams: Joint statement

Joint statement by Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) – a coalition of the four community councils that cover the areas most impacted by the route of the tram extension [which includes Leith Links Community Council].

In advance of Edinburgh Council’s imminent final decision to go ahead with the tram extension to Newhaven, which represents a major intervention in the areas covered by the four Community Councils along the route, CCTT has reviewed the information gathered from documents in the public domain and provided in monthly meetings with the Tram Project Team.

While we continue to support the broad principle and ambitious aims of the tram extension, a number of our concerns have yet to be fully addressed.

We recognise that a strong feeling exists among many people in our communities that this project is being pushed through with undue and unnecessary haste.

We remain sceptical about the absence of sufficiently robust progress or commitment over the following measures which are essential if the tram is to achieve its steep environmental mode-shifting targets and if the collateral damage of the inevitably disruptive construction period is to be reduced.

CCTT seeks firm commitment from Edinburgh Council, Transport Scotland and Transport for Edinburgh for the following project-critical measures:

  1. Fully Integrated Ticketing System (FITS): this is key to achieving a material modal shift from car to public transport (as opposed to the 87% modal shift from bus to tram, as projected in the tram business case)
  2. Staged construction sites, ie avoiding simultaneous closure of (a) Leith Walk, (b) Constitution Street to Bernard Street and (c) Melrose/Ocean Drive to Ocean Way; in parallel, CCTT seek bus priority route deviations with quality temporary bus stops: these two measures are key to minimising disruption to the daily lives of 75,000 residents and 1500 businesses
  3. Controlled Parking Zones along the tram corridor: this is key to preventing the tram corridor from turning into Edinburgh’s largest park and ride area.
  4. Constitution Street: construction of strengthened pavements and the introduction of a streamlined dual permit system for scaffolding, as well as further serious engagement with residents and businesses about the detail of the design for the street.
  5. Early and maximum clarity on the logistics intended to serve local businesses during construction to allow traders (along the tram corridor and – if necessary – along the diversion routes) to plan ahead and make appropriate arrangements that will allow them to survive the inevitable disruption during the construction period.

CCTT has been a valued partner of the Tram Project Team during the months leading up to this point in the process, contributing local knowledge and providing a critical sounding board.

If real progress can be achieved in relation to our key concerns and the above measures, we will stay involved and work constructively with the Tram Project Team during the Early Contractor Involvement and construction periods.

 

 

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