Community Councils Together on Trams: Minutes of meeting held on Thursday 30 April 2020

Leith Links Community Council is a member of ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’ alongside Leith Central Community CouncilLeith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council and New Town & Broughton Community Council. CCTT is the coalition of Community Councils who meet regularly to discuss, scrutinise and influence the intended continuation of the Edinburgh Tram system to Newhaven.

Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 30 April 2020 are copied below for our communities information.

Actions and decisions are in italic.


BAFO = best and final offer LLCC = Leith Links Community Council
CCTT = Community Councils Together on Trams LW = Leith Walk
CEC = City of Edinburgh Council NTBCC = New Town & Broughton Community Council
CPZ = controlled parking zone OBC = outline business case
CS = Constitution St SPC = swept-path contract
ECI = early contractor involvement TAPOG = CEC’s tram all-party oversight group
EIA = environmental impact assessment TfE = Transport for Edinburgh
FBC = full business case TP = tram project
ISC = infrastructure and systems contract TRO = traffic regulation order
LCCC = Leith Central Community Council TT = trams team
LHNCC = Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council

TAPOG is CEC’s leader and vice-leader, CEC’s transport convenor and vice-convenor, and transport spokespersons from each party

1 Attendance

Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Rob Leech TT project Andrew Mackenzie CCTT/LLCC
Angus Hardie CCTT/LL CC Mike Birch CCTT/NTBCC Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC
Steve Jackson TT/TN project Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC
Chris Wilson TT project

2 Apologies

B Ryan (minutes secretary)

3 Welcome, introductions

No items

4 Update from TT: current issues on the ground

Rob Leech gave an update: the entire project closed down on 25 March 2020 for 8 weeks, ending 22 May – according to Scottish Government guidance. TT continue to work on all aspects and particularly the design of the project, working harder than usual. A number of site-based employees have been furloughed by contractors; however, their staff can be brought back quickly. We are working on

5 Arrangements for remobilisation, including snagging and two-way cycle lanes on Leith Walk

Remobilisation plan depends on new rules – social distancing etc. Most important aspect for TT is how to look after people, staff, contractors and members of the public. TT are not sure how quickly they can remobilise the supply chain, get people back on site but will communicate any progress/information. TT will make every effort to fully explain/communicate this to the wider community, CCTT, CC’s etc, all parties. The site continues to be serviced by the traffic management company. There are people on the ground so any incidents will be noted and can be reported via the web site and helpline.

5.a Q&A

Q1 Harald Tobermann: Why close down for that precise time?

  • RL: It was a judgement call, TT knew it would be well into May before anything would start up again, it gives TT time to plan properly, furlough people where necessary; a sensible thing to do, the contract obliges TT to explain the consequences for closing down fully.

Q2 HT: Many larger sites are still open, using social distancing etc., could we do the same here?

  • RL: Infrastructure projects larger than TP have opted to close and are now preparing to come back.
  • SJ: Adhering to the new rules is a complex process: need for PPE, how to protect the public, boundary fencing, line painting, one-way directions for pedestrians, temperature tests, etc, ec. TT takes guidance from larger projects in England.

Q3 Charlotte Encombe: Any truth to the rumours that TP is closing down?

  • RL: No, it is business as usual.

Q4 Andrew Mackenzie: What are you planning to do on Constitution Street?

  • SJ: considering replacing the Heras fencing with something more robust, considering impact on visibility, providing social distancing.
  • RL: Design is progressing and we are finalising the TRO schedule. The committee responsible for TRO decisions is on emergency footing and will meet at the end of May. The TRO will be processed under the Tram Act but that still obliges the Council to advertise the TRO in line with other TROs. The difference under the Tram Act is that any issues raised through the process can be referred to the Council for resolution rather than Scottish Government

Q5 HT: Issues with one-way system in Constitution St?

  • SJ: there are no problems but enforcing pedestrians to take the correct route is not feasible.

Q6 Mike Birch asked about Lothian Buses and diversions for Leith Walk.

  • SJ: discussions ongoing how diversions will take place. It will be another 4-6 weeks before LW will be closed down as per existing arrangements.

Q7.1 HT: snagging

  • RL: Just complete site clearance, works will start removing trees, cycle lanes, doing excavation

Q7.2 HT: cycle lanes

  • RL: cycle lanes will be ready one month later (after re-opening of the works?) There will be continuous cycle provision but current ones are taking up too much space on the pavement. HT not happy with width (3m) of proposed interim cycleway and (2m) footpath.
  • JS: a wider distance may be necessary.
  • RL: it does fit on the plan.

Q7.3 HT: Trees have to be moved.

  • No further comment

Q7.4 HT: Shuttle bus service

  • RL: LB are reluctant to provide shuttle buses, an alternative is perhaps Dial-a-Ride. Decision will be taken by 1st of June

Q8 Angus Hardie: Is the project still on time? At what time will the 8 week delay become problematic?

  • RL: As it came early into the process, TP is hoping to claw back some time. It is also dependent on physical distancing, which has an effect on productivity. It’s too early for conclusions. There is a £31m contingency in the budget for unforeseen events. At the moment TP is still on time and on budget.
  • With regards to Leith Walk, the intention is to proceed as planned, but we may need to change things around.

Q8 Jennifer Marlborough: Are contractors and their staff currently in Edinburgh or abroad?

  • RL: a little bit of both. Getting them back to work is all part of the re-mobilisation plan.

Q9 HT: Any Covid19 sufferers?

  • On the whole everyone is well.

6 Design Progress

  • RL: Quality of workmanship: we will be reporting on non-conformance and rectifications will be carried out. In terms of environmental metrics, compliance with hours of work, noise, anticipated construction activities, incidents etc., all will be reported back to CCTT.

6.a Timeline

RL: TT is working towards a reopening of the works on 22 May,

6.b Contractors

It is all dependent on the Scottish Government and, depending on what they say, it will have a big effect on productivity. We need to look at how feasibly working will be with good productivity and safety levels. It will be a Board decision – a thorough process.

Q10 HT: Elm row Police Box design issues?

  • To be discussed when the TROs are ready.

Q11 HT: When will Darren’s successor start?

  • RL: His name is Mike Trotter and he starts on 1 June. He is v experienced and has done a lot of work for CEC in the past.

Q12 JM: Are the self-employed crews affected by Covid19? Any contractor issues with self-employment?

  • RL: No there are no issues.

7 Next Meeting

Next CCTT/TT meeting will be on 28 May 17:30