Community views sought on temporary closure of Links Gardens

On 29 April 2020 we let you know about the partial closure of Links Gardens as part of the City of Edinburgh Council response to the current Covid-19 national health crisis.

In the comments below please tell us what your views are on this specific road closure.

Think about:

  • Telling us whether you support the closure, object to the closure, are neutral or have no opinion on the closure. And why.
  • Telling us how you and / or the wider community benefit from the closure, or you feel you and / or the wider community are negatively impacted by the closure.

Leith Links Community Council will consider the feedback at our next meeting, due to be held on Monday 25 May 2020 at 18:30 on Zoom. Further details will be published on our website.

In the meantime we will make sure that our local Councillors know that they may visit our website to see some of our communities views.

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27 Comments

  • Iain Lamb

    Supportive, as it will allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists. It will also concentrate vehicles on other streets, thus helping to slow down traffic speeds on those streets. Finally, closing roads like this should show that, even when traffic levels return to close to normal, traffic armageddon is avoided which should hopefully provide comfort to elected members when considering closing roads in the future.

  • Jamie A Hamilton

    Not supportive. I exercise on the Links every day and there is no shortage of room. More traffic chaos and unnecesary diversions creating longer journeys. There’s more than enough road closures in Leith at the moment. There is not a problem so why create yet more inconvenience?

  • Dirk Nols

    Extremely supportive! I’m through the Links most days (before lockdown would have been several times a day) with two toddlers – and there are way too many cars (often driving above speed limit!) around the edges. With the increase in users these days, we need more space and I actually would like to see more road space re-allocated to allow for wider pavements surrounding the park and in adjoining streets.

  • Fiona Burrows

    Great idea as now people exercising can move safely between the 2 green spaces.
    Given that there’s hardly any traffic at the moment anyway I can’t see it making much difference.
    I considered whether people (E.g with children or mobility issues) in the Elbe
    Street area would be too cut off but it’s quiet enough that they can use salamander street easily.
    Thanks!

  • Gordon Carmichael

    Really supportive – the existing paths in Leith Links are under pressure as a result of the increased number of people using them and the rules around social distancing which hopefully this measure will improve. Links Gardens cuts through the middle of the main green space in the local area and closing it will improve the amenity of the park, reduce air pollution and provide a safe new route connecting with the existing cycle paths. Hopefully this change will be the first of many in and around Leith – lots of pinch points on local streets such as Restalrig Road, Lochend Road, Duke Street and Great Junction St that need addressed.

  • Grant Mason

    Very supportive. This is a very dangerous stretch to cycle on – cut-throughs on the build-outs are usually parked on, forcing cyclists into the narrow main lane where impatient drivers try & force their way through, with centimetres to spare. Closing this small stretch to traffic makes it so much safer for cyclists & pedestrians, especially since the road cuts the Links in two, but now there’s no worry crossing between each part.

    In an area previously busy with children, and now even busier with everyone trying to stay far enough apart to comply with social distancing rules, this is a fantastic step forward. Hopefully positive change like this is just the start, and hopefully permanent.

  • Danny Carden

    Very supportive.

  • Lindsay Grant

    If driving/cycling down Lochend Road and I want to turn right where would I go now? Normally I would head along Duke Street then loop round via Duncan Place then back through Links Gardens. Wouldn’t be able to do this now with these plans. The alternative would be the creation of a rat run for cars/cycles along Burns Street that their was so much concern about initially. Not a huge issue perhaps but worth pointing out and maybe needs consideration.

  • F Murray

    Against the closure. Unlike a lot of people who support it, I live on Links Gardens. The traffic is not bad at all (especially compared to pre-lockdown) and this won’t alleviate people using the path past St Mary’s Primary School and the allotments at all that’s where the issue is. I agree pavements should be widened, separate cycle lane created, and perhaps a zebra crossing installed, but closing the road won’t solve anything. We’ve already been cut off from public transport due to Constitution Street closing, now our vehicle access is reduced even more – with those having mobility issues being left behind. As above, if we’re coming down Lochend Road and forced to turn left (due to the removal of roundabout) we’re forced to go on a mad diversion, putting more pressure on residential streets nearby. A consultation with residents is the least we deserved. Also, will Mike English be allowed to trade? It’s so frustrating that people who have lived and worked here for years using the links every day are being pushed aside so people ‘passing through’ can be placated.

    • Joan Marinello

      I agree with this post. This does not make any sense to me. More congestion on front of Links all the way along to Easter Road

  • Jamie

    Strongly disagree with the closure. Mirroring previous comments, as someone that actually lives on Links Gardens, closing the road increases the already restricted access we have to our street caused by the mess that Constitution Street has become. Furthermore, the road here is not particularly busy and closing this does not help solve the problem of overcrowded paths in the park. To give people more safe space to exercise maybe the area at the tennis courts and bowling greens could be cleaned up and made suitable for people to use. As a resident, it is increasingly frustrating to have our wants and needs pushed to the side in favour of those who use our area as a thoroughfare. Especially when there is under-utilised space left in disrepair and really much of the increased use of the park is from people who should be staying at home.

  • Barbara Kerr

    totally supportive the links is so bust right now and the pavements around the park are far too narrow for social distamcing – fine whenthe weathers been as good as it is and people can move on to the grass. no good at all for mobility impaired/wheelchair usets/buggies. when lockdown ends if it is opened to traffic at all we should put in a bus gate and only allow buses through. this is a rat run of a road through a completely pedestrian park near 2 primary schools and a high school. in normal times at school drop off times it is far busier than it should be given the number of families and children.

  • Jim Scanlon

    Against. There is a massive park for people to socially distance and a cycle path. Will the closure be considered when lockdown ends? Possibly but consultation with local residents will be required who have already lost two bus services on the North side of the Links(12 and 1). Someone mentioned bus gates in a previous post but you would need a bus to use it.

  • D.Crichton

    Against.

    I don’t believe the council will take one jot of notice to any dissenting voices. There is an agenda being pursued here which has absolutely nothing to do with protecting the public against the Coronavirus threat and everything to do with restricting motorised travel.

    Using the pandemic to force through the “Living Streets” agenda is disingenuous at best and reprehensible at worst.
    Making space to allow for more exercise, when we are meant to be staying at home, is a nonsensical argument.

    This is just the thin end of a very thick wedge.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/council/shambolic-and-rushed-through-edinburgh-tories-blast-councils-handling-emergency-road-closures-walkers-and-cyclists-2613579

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/edinburgh-tories-claim-they-were-intentionally-misled-over-active-travel-road-closures-2846512

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/council/major-edinburgh-roads-set-be-shut-have-pavements-widened-or-bus-lanes-added-improve-active-travel-council-announce-2847270

    http://www.leithlinkscc.org.uk/great-junction-street-easter-road-and-shore-being-considered-as-locations-for-temporary-pavement-widening-by-city-of-edinburgh-council-due-to-covid-19/

  • Lorna Polland

    No Very Un-Supportive. As a public transport user who lives on East Hermitage Place. We already have too many road restrictions in Leith Links with the roundabout removal at the end of Duke Street and Easter Road. Which stops right turns form Lochend Road to Vanburgh Place. There are issues with the huge pavement outside of the old Leith Academy (now flats) being so deep and the road so narrow at that junction. Busses turning left from Duke Street to Vanburgh Place find it very difficult to get round the corner without being in the wrong side of the road this should be addressed, perhaps consult with Lothian Busses, I am sure they will confirm this issue. With Constitution Street closed we should not be closing any more streets on Leith Links and limiting people access further to public transport. The works in Constitution Street should be completed as quickly as possible, or consideration given to moving back the fencing to allow pavements to be widened it is not possible to social distance on any part of this street if walking or cycling. As for Links Gardens it should be reopened fully. The traffic calming should also be removed it has never worked and is dangerous (most of the reflective warning bollards have been removed and ended up on the Links a long time ago!) so it’s hard to see the pavement protruding at night if you are driving or cycling again these cause problems for the busses as the bus stop on Links Gardens is a rest stop for drivers (consult with Lothian Busses!). The use of Links Gardens as a free caravan park should be stopped no one wants dozens of hardly used camper vans parked all along the street stopping people park near their homes or walk or cycle past or the cycle/footpath. We are turning Leith Leith into a car free zone except for East Hermitage Place the traffic increase both in volume and speed on this road is very visible even in Lochdown the traffic use has increased dramatically. It is turning a residential street into a trunk road/carpark it is frequently so backed up between Duke Street and Restalrig road that the junction at Restalrig Road becomes blocked – if all the traffic using Links Gardens now also have to turn left or right I think the knock on impact to the already very narrow Restalrig Road which has both the 21 and 25 bus route would cause major issues for residents. Please, Please do not close another road without considering the impact on residents we are being more and more isolated from bus routes, and whilst I would love to see less cars on the road, many users of the links drive here in their cars!!! And park then on East Hermitage Place and Links Gardens so removing more parking will make it impossible for people who live here to actually park near their homes. We frequently used to park on Links Gardens when we had a car as it’s impossible to find a space on East Hermitage Place when it is sunny as the Links becomes BBQ base camp.

  • D.Crichton

    Opposition councillors in the City Chambers have accused the council of using the ongoing pandemic as an excuse to fast-track changes to streets without the appropriate scrutiny.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/politics/council/covid-19-used-convenient-smokescreen-push-through-edinburgh-active-travel-plans-councillors-claim-2848237

  • I am neutral on the closure PROVIDED THAT it only lasts for a few weeks while ‘lockdown’ is at its tightest. Clearly while there are few cars on the road and lots of people using the Links for exercise, having a bit more freedom and space is fine. Although the actual ‘pinch point’ is not in fact along that stretch of road, but further back, at the John Rattray statue entrance to the Links, where pedestrians and cyclists both try to enter and leave the Links. Having said that, I am deeply concerned that the Council made this decision without any consultation or notification of residents.They could at least have spoken to the Community Council, who have a good online presence and could at least have engaged with the local community and let people know what was happening.
    I am very UNsupportive of the closure of this road in the longer term. It would have a hugely negative impact on all the surrounding streets once there are more cars back on the roads. There are too many roads already closed around this part of Leith, plus a problematical junction at Easter Road/Duke Street. Traffic backs up all the way along Hermitage Place / Claremont Park. Restalrig Road is already congested. People coming down Lochend Road have no way of turning right along the Links and now no way of looping round via Duncan Place/Links Gardens – so they have to use the Burns Street as a rat run, which the Council promised would not happen. Parents dropping off kids at school would clog up Links Gardens doing three point turns etc. if there was no through road. There could be no recovery of a bus route. The population around here is increasing massively due to the large Ropeworks development. There need to be throughways. Any longer term proposed closure would need to involve very thorough due diligence, modelling, and thinking through of unintended consequences, and full consultation with the local community.

  • I am in support. People are dying of Covid-19, sacrificing a small section of roadway for a brief period does not feel like a disproportionate sacrifice.

    Given current traffic levels, there is only a very limited increase in the amount of time taken to travel around the diversion. And there are no homes on the stretch of affected roadway.

    I think its important to consider this small temporary closure against a bigger picture of being inconvenienced for a few minutes.

  • D.Crichton

    The attitude of this council towards personal motorised transport makes it highly unlikely that measures implemented now, on a “temporary basis” will actually remain temporary.
    I don’t trust this council to roll back any changes made in traffic management to mitigate the Covid situation, and believe once introduced they will remain in place permanently.
    I sincerely hope I’m incorrect, but I doubt it.

    • D.Crichton

      The above notice expired at midnight on the 21st May yet Links Gardens is still closed to motor vehicles. Has an new notice been issued or does the road remain closed without one?

  • D.Crichton

    Existing Traffic Order expires at midnight tonight 21/05/2020. Is there any word on a new Traffic Order extending the closure or will the road remain closed without one?

    • Jim Scanlon

      On Friday I received the following reply from Cllr McVey that the Links Gardens road closure will continue.

      t was down for 3 weeks initially but it’ll run for the period of the measures. You’ll appreciate we’ve not set an end point for this as it’s entirely dependent on the changing public health situation.

      • D.Crichton

        The original notice did have an end point, the 21st May. To extend this indefinitely (the “period of the measures” is not good enough) without going through due process is sadly not unexpected from this administration.
        If road closures are to be extended beyond their original dates then fair enough, but at least it should be done following correct procedure by issuing new notices.

  • Cliff McLeod

    Cliff.mcleod
    its terrible this road being closed for
    More space how much more do we give to cycling they pay not a jot towards any roads or paths made for them and when they do get them they decide to cycle on
    Pavement the pedestrians cant win.
    Also who designed that stupid traffic set
    If lights at foot Easter road shocking.

  • Mark

    Not at all supportive, links gardens was closed a few years ago to widen footpaths and add a cycle lane, there’s no need to widen anymore footpaths and cyclists should stop complaining and actually use the lane’s provided for them.

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