Junction redesign: Easter Road / Duke Street / Lochend Road / Vanburgh Place

City of Edinburgh Council intend to make some changes to the road layout at the Duke Street / Easter Road / Lochend Road / Vanburgh Place roundabout which will provide for:

  • An increase in the number of pedestrian crossings;
  • Footway widening and new street furniture to make the area feel more pedestrian friendly:
  • Traffic signals to assist in managing the anticipated increase in traffic flows during the upcoming tram works;
  • Improved parking and loading facilities on Duke Street;
  • Removal of the eastbound bus stop on Vanburgh Place: &
  • Full carriageway resurfacing and street lighting renewal

They have provided the following information slides to let our community know what is planned.

To submit feedback, or questions you can contact Council officers directly, or you can complete our simple webform.  Our webform will send your questions or feedback directly to Council Officers but will automatically copy circulate it the Community Council and Councillors Booth, McVey and Munro.

City of Edinburgh Council have confirmed that information on the proposals will be made available to the public through local notice boards, community councils and a letter drop to local traders and residents to allow the public to provide comment and feedback.

 

 


Submit your views & questions

You can use this webform to send your questions & views to City of Edinburgh Council (Place Department), with your questions & views automatically copied for information to City of Edinburgh Council (Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro) and Leith Links Community Council.

Proposed changes to Duke Street roundabout
You are now ready to submit this webform. *

 

Update as of 11am on Sunday 19 May 2019

Since we published these proposals a number of members of the community have taken the opportunity to ask questions or provide their views via our webform. Our webform sends peoples views & questions directly to Council Officers, with us and local ward Councillors (Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro) copied in.

Here is a list of the questions asked & views shared as of 11am this morning:

Please use this space to ask any questions and / or give your views on the proposed changes.
 

“The existing junction makes it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate”

No data has been posted to back up the claims that the roundabout is difficult for pedestrians or cyclists.
Nor has there been any data suggesting that the existing roundabout is dangerous.

There’s plenty of data suggesting the opposite, however – leading me to believe that this isn’t a primary or even secondary concern.

Please post the results of any consultations and investigations before using public funds to save having to do an FOI request.

Thanks.
[One letter redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

 

Changes to the layout of this area are most welcome, especially if they facilitate active travel.

Re. the proposals above:

– Is there any provision for cycle boxes at the new traffic lights?

– What other cycle infrastructure will there be in place to aid safe cycling both on and off the road?

– Will the railings be removed?

Many thanks,

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

I think this looks great as it is a very confusing junction for some. There is always confusion when approaching fron duke street about what lane you should be in to go over the roundabout and up lochend road. However i think the no right turn from lochend road in to Vanburgh Place will be problematic. As it stands people take a risky right turn, or go left and turn at the roundabout, but at least that is an option. I imagine this will increase traffic through the rat run of Burns Street and the colonies which are very narrow and crammed with parked cars, or people going up easte road and doing a u-turn at the tesco carpark entrance. I think this issue should be addressed.

 

 

There are two car parks that serve the old Lochend Primary School (now 24 flats) which will need access / exit accounted for during and as a result of these works.

This may mean new road markings at each entry / exit to allow turning in and out of these car parks as safe as possible.

I would also ask you to consider double yellow lines and the other side of the road.  At the moment there have been instances where cars parked there cannot get around the island in the middle of the road, due to cars being parked “inconsiderately”, and indeed pulling out onto the road is difficult if cars are packed next to this car park.

If the island is being moved further up the road, then please consider this.

As a resident of Burns Street I am worried that the proposed forced left turn at the bottom of lochend road is going to send northbound traffic from lochend road via burns street in order to access vanburgh place eastbound.  It is already a very tight and narrow exit from somerset place onto vanburgh place, so it is wholly unsuitable for the volume of traffic which currently turns right at the bottom of lochend road. This afternoon well before the evening rush hour, around one vehicle a minute either turned directly right at the bottom of lochend road or turned left and used the roundabout as a switchback.

Please respond.

Regards,

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

Will traffic be allowed to make a right turn at the bottom of Lochend Road onto Vanburgh Place. If not I would be concerned about pressure on nearby narrow streets like Burns Street and Restalrig Terrace.

At the moment it is possible to go around the roundabout and along if travelling in that direction.

 

I think I like the look of everything that has been added and appreciate the change being made.

However one area I’d like to ask for more information about is the crossing of Easter Road  near Academy Park. There is a busy pedestrian route from Lochend Road through the shortcut across the current Leith Academy, down Academy Park and across Easter Road. To and from both Tesco and Gordon Street.

This is currently served by a predestrian refuge south of academy park and the current crossing by Tesco.

The current refuge is not ideal as it is often blocked by buses at the bus stops.

I think in the design the current crossing by Tesco  is removed.

I imagine that the new Easter Road crossing is unlikely to be close enough for many people to walk to it when using this route to/from Academy Park. This may include lots of school pupils.

Will there be something in that area of Easter road to help pedestrians across? What thoughts have you had about this?

 

[location of persons home redacted by MT of LLCC]

This new junction will likely cause signifficant tailbacks on Lochend Road restricting access to out building car parks.

We also feel that the extra street space would be wasted at the old Leith Academy and would be better saved on the otherside of the street where the bars, shops and cafes are. I think that makes more sense and may increase the likelyhood of some more of the closed units being utilised going forward. It would also allow for a bit more space for loading and tempory parking, which is much needed at this end of duke street.

I would like to ask where this design came from? Sure when designing such a radical change to the area, you would follow a human centered design process starting with the people who stay there?

I propose you stop with this development and cunsult the residents first, even if it means delaying the project for a few months.

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

Can you please make it cycle friendly

 

It does not appear possible to turn right out of Lochend Road and into Vanburgh Place. This is not a good design, I need to do this every day. I appreciate better junctions for cyclists and pedestrians, I also walk and cycle but do not find the current layout problematic.

 

While I applaud the Council for thinking about pedestrians for a change, must traffic lights be the answer? I think it all seems drastic, particularly the loss of a bus stop (135m is a long distance for those with disabilities or young children.

I think (and this goes for other terrible pedestrian road crossings in Edinburgh as a whole) that the answer might lie in installing more footbridges. Obviously I realise that there are costs to consider, e.g. https://www.bridgesforsale.co.uk/bridge-for-sale/26820m-x-2m-pedestrian-bridge, but it would mean that they would offer a more intuitive (timing wise) way to cross a road and local neighbours would have to suffer the hurry-up beeps that don’t give enough time to cross a road before cars try to run you down anyway.

 

A complete mess not thought out properly by the council..yet again!!complete grid lock at the roundabout at the foot of Easter Road. I’ve just come home from a traffic jam.

When is Edinburgh /leith going to get better!!!!

And…in the confimation…the word scrutiny is spelled incorrectly!

I’d also really love to know who wants the trams after the fiasco and the millions mis-spent in the last round of trams.

 

I welcome any changes that make it easier for pedestrians.

But what about cycles?  What features will you build that will make it safe for bicycles to navigate the junction?  Any special cycle lanes that are separated from traffic?  (As there are on leith walk).  Anything at all to help cyclists keep away from motorists, especially when traffic is stationary?  Please please make it safer for cyclists – motorists are reckless in Edinburgh!

Thanks

[name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

What is the reasoning for restricting the turn from Lochend Road to left turn only?  Traffic will divert via Restalrig Terrace.

I question the timing of this development which will decrease the traffic flow rate at a time when the area will experience more traffic pressure due to other roadworks for the trams.

 

As a resident of [address & location of persons home redacted by MT of LLCC]I would like to receive detailed consultation on the proposed changes. This should cover the specifics of the changes and why there is no option to turn right in the new plans (which is the direction the vast majority of my trips from the car park currently takes).

I would also like to receive details on timescales – both regarding the application process and the proposed works.

Many thanks,

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

 

As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian who uses this junction regularly on all 3 modes of travel I think the argument for removing the roundabout using the rationale of it being difficult to negotiate by cyclists and pedestrians is thin at best.

The current set up does encourage pedestrians to walk up Easter Rd near the Persevere or into Vanbrugh place but other than a few seconds of inconvenience, I’ve never thought it an issue.

The roundabout encourages free flow. The proposed traffic light set up can only result in regular traffic queues with cluttered junctions where cars are held at the lights to turn into Lochend Rd.

Temp lights are currently in place at Duke St and on Friday evening at 8pm, I witnessed traffic queues as a result. At rush hour, the same temp lights had queues as far back as Hermitage Pk junction on Lochend Rd.

Can’t see this option being popular at all and will result in carnage at rush hour.

 

Proposal will only increase pollution with build up of traffic at this junction.

Has adequate traffic lights etc.

No need for street furniture here as Leith links is so close.  More furniture needed here for locals to enjoy.

(Please note the person themselves has submitted their feedback twice on the same form, so it is reproduced here as submitted – MT of LLCC.)

I have lived in Leith all my life and the roundabout has never caused any problems for me as a pedestrian.

2. If the Vanburgh Place bus stop is removed, that means I have to get off the bus half way along Leith Links, late at night, to then walk back to Lochend Road. As a woman, I’d hate that. This is so obvious that I can only assume these changes have been designed by men or by women who don’t live in Leith, or by women who love walking along Leith Links late at night. Show me one of them.

3. There are already 4 crossings.

4. The pavements are already wide.

5. The crossing at Vanburgh Place has already been moved. These plans are not a proposal, they’re a dead cert.

6. The railings were never replaced when the pavement outside the church on Easter Road years ago. Again, this has been a long time in the pipeline.

7. The roundabout is really nice.

8. Having a roundabout keeps the traffic flowing. I’d hate to live around there when there will be cars stopping at all the different traffic lights.

9. There has never been any congestion at the roundabout.

10. It’s quite worrying that the trams are expected to cause so much chaos in Leith. This is a permanent change, not a temporary change whilst tram works are going on.

11. Why will you not inform Leith residents at the planning stage, rather than after the plans are complete?

12. There are very few shops on Duke Street. Most have closed down and are now houses. Why won’t you invest in more shops as you seem to think the few shops on the corner are already suffering

1. I have lived in Leith all my life and the roundabout has never caused any problems for me as a pedestrian.

2. If the Vanburgh Place bus stop is removed, that means I have to get off the bus half way along Leith Links, late at night, to then walk back to Lochend Road. As a woman, I’d hate that. This is so obvious that I can only assume these changes have been designed by men or by women who don’t live in Leith, or by women who love walking along Leith Links late at night. Show me one of them.

3. There are already four crossings.

4. The pavements are already wide.

5. The crossing at Vanburgh Place has already been moved. These plans are not a proposal, they’re a dead cert.

6. The railings were never replaced when the pavement outside the church on Easter Road years ago. Again, this has been a long time in the pipeline.

7. The roundabout is really nice.

8. Having a roundabout keeps the traffic flowing. I’d hate to live around there when there will be cars stopping at all the different traffic lights.

9. There has never been any congestion at the roundabout.

10. It’s quite worrying that the trams are expected to cause so much chaos in Leith. This is a permanent change, not a temporary change whilst tram works are going on.

11. Why will you not inform Leith residents at the planning stage, rather than after the plans are complete?

12. There are very few shops on Duke Street. Most have closed down and are now houses. Why won’t you invest in more shops as you seem to think the few shops on the corner are already suffering somehow? Then there would be a reason to pedestrianise the area.

13. The area doesn’t need to be pedestrianised. There’s nothing there! There are four crossings and wide pavements already.

14. Please reconsider the removal of the bus stop at Vanburgh Place. I don’t want my kids having to walk from the pub area of Duke Street or half way along Leith Links, to get to Lochend Road.

 

 

I live in Dukes place & for the last three years have had to deal the poblems of parking etc out side my own house. yest again this year duke place resedences are having to deal with reduaced parking & access.

How are these preposals going to futher effect the resedents of duke place

 

Thank you for this proposition! The roundabout is a nightmare to cross, especially with children and elderly, this is a much needed change given the low volumes of traffic there and increasing number of pedestrians wanting to reach the new businesses on Duke Street.

 

With respect to the cobbled access into Leith Academy, as a resident using that car park, I’d like some more information as to how this is proposed to work in practice. From the diagram, it would appear that we would not be able to turn in left from Duke Street given the modified pavement thrusts out as well as the apparent angle of the access mitigating against that. Turning right into the access from Vanburgh Place would also be hindered when traffic on the opposite side of the road is sitting at lights, effectively blocking path into cobbled access. I have raised my concerns with neighbours and we will be reverting in due course but, in the meantime, I look forward to your response.

[Name and address redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

It’s not clear on the plan but there doesn’t seem a way for cars to turn right at the bottom of Lochend Road, can you please explain how cars will be able to do this? If there is no right turn then there will be a risk of drivers using Primrose St as a rat run through the narrow streets.

 

Why remove the roundabout? It is planted with very established plants viz, cordyline australis (known as cabbage trees) and phormium (flax). An oasis of New Zealand flora of which I’m extremely proud of as a kiwi. Unless people are dieing at this intersection please leave a perfectly fine solution alone!

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

 

Hi there

I’m writing with regards to the proposed junction redesign at Easter Road / Duke Street / Lochend Road / Vanburgh Place.

As someone who uses the junction every day either walking or on a bike, I think the designs look like a huge improvement – particularly for pedestrians.

With regards to cycling – replacing the roundabout with traffic lights is a really important safety improvement as the existing junction creates a dangerous obstacle on a bike. However, the plans don’t appear to include any cycle-friendly features such as advanced stop lines or filter lanes. There’s also no mention of cycle-only green lights as implemented on the McDonald Road / Leith Walk junction which I believe are now an option for any junction upgrade. Are these details still being fleshed out and, if not, can they be introduced?

Also, with the junction’s proximity to the existing off-road path network and the segregated infrastructure planned for Leith Walk, this redesign would seem like a great opportunity to introduce segregated cycling features to connect these up. Has this been considered?

Finally, the new public space created at the junction would be a prime location for the recently removed cycle hire point on Leith Links – can this could be considered as part of the plans?

I look forward to your response.

Kind regards, [Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

 

RE: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why remove the roundabout when it doesn’t cause any delays for traffic?

A: The existing layout makes it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate the junction safely.

Comment: I don’t believe that this is the case.

For pedestrians there are already three light controlled pedestrian crossings in the area, one on Easter Road, one on Duke Street and one on Vanburgh Place. In addition there is a light controlled pedestrian crossing on Lochend Road just above Primrose Street. Moving this crossing down Lochend Road to where there is already an existing traffic island, and which is closer to the junction, would provide light controlled pedestrian crossings across all the roads at this junction.

I have yet to hear of any cyclist having an accident at this junction. There are no tram tracks for them to skid on or get a wheel trapped in, and from experience I know many of them already use the pedestrian crossings when navigating the junction. The Just Eat cycle station has also been removed from the vicinity of the old Leith Academy area thereby reducing the volume of cycle traffic in the area.

Q: Why are the works being carried out now?

A: It is anticipated that additional traffic may pass through the junction during the upcoming tram works on Leith Walk. As such there is a desire to upgrade the junction before these works start to accommodate any additional traffic.

Comment: “It is anticipated certain that additional traffic may will pass through the junction during the upcoming tram works on Leith Walk.” (FTFY). “As such there is a desire to upgrade the junction before these works start to accommodate any additional traffic.”

Is the real reason why the roundabout is being replaced with traffic lights and not really for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists but for the tram completion?

Why has it not been stated that with the closure of Constitution Street to all traffic when the tram works are complete, elevated levels of traffic at this junction will continue thereafter?

Q: Why is the bus stop on Vanburgh Place being removed?

A: the existing carriageway isn’t wide enough to accommodate all required traffic lanes and a bus stop. In addition the next nearest bust stop east is only 165m away (Hermitage Place).

Comment: The road is no wider at Hermitage Place than it is at Vanburgh Place yet the Hermitage Place bus stop remains but the Vanburgh Place stop has to be removed altogether? Surely the Vanburgh Place bus stop can be moved east and a little further from the junction, and if needs be the Hermitage Place stop moved a little east as well? 165m may be an only to the junction designers/planners but to somebody who is elderly or infirm it’s a fair hike.

Q: How will traffic exit from the car park within the former Leith Academy south-east playground area?

A: The existing gate will be retained and access to the road network will be via a short driveway which will exit on Vanburgh Place. For safety reasons, the exit may need to be a left turn only (no access to Easter Road or Duke St).

Comment: If the existing gate is retained it doesn’t really exit on Vanburgh Place, more where Duke Street/Vanburgh Place meet and where the current roundabout is located. Will this exit also be light controlled?

Is this exit the reason for the removal of the Vanburgh Place bus stop?

If this exit is left turn only will there be direct access from it to Lochend Road?

Q: When will the works take place?

A: works are expected to take place in June 2019 and will last approximately 8 weeks. The existing operation of the junction will be retained as long as possible however temporary traffic lights will be required at times.

Comment: Exactly when in June are the works expected to start?

Further comments:

1: The drawing TDD/637015/100/01 (I think – the map is of extremely low resolution and unclear) annotations states 5 new controlled pedestrian crossings as well as Uncontrolled crossing islands on Duke Street, Easter Road and Lochend Road. If there are controlled pedestrian crossings working in conjunction with the traffic light sequencing why is there a need for uncontrolled crossing islands as well? Eight pedestrian crossings when four would be more than adequate smacks of the creation of artificial congestion.

2: Annotations also state Footway widening outside St.Andrews Church, Duke Street shops and former Leith Academy yet Improved parking and loading facilities on Duke Street is also mentioned.

Widening of the footway on the Lochend Road/Easter Road corner has already taken place and the old railings were removed at that time. Where else will this footway be widened?

Widening the footway in Duke Street, and in doing so narrowing the road, but to also improve parking and loading facilities seem diametrically opposed to each other. Duke Street is not wide enough to increase the footway width, provide parking and also allow for two way traffic. Unless the planners know something which nobody else does? How to get two pints into a pint pot perhaps?

3: As I’m sure you are aware the No 1 bus currently terminates at the foot of Easter Road. It then uses the Easter Road roundabout to turn back up Easter Road to start it’s next journey.

How will this be achieved when the new light controlled junction is in operation?

 

 

This is a welcome improvement, particularly for the safety of pedestrians crossing what is a busy and often confusing junction in terms of judging traffic intentions on approach.

The justification for the roundabout removal references difficulties for pedestrians and cyclists, yet the provided drawing seems not to specify any cycle-related infrastructure such as cycle lanes, ASLs, cycle-only advance green lights at junctions, pedestrian/cycle green lights at crossings (Lochend Road/Vanburgh Place would provide a link to the Links itself, as would Easter Road/Duke Street.)

Is there a more detailed specification available?

Many thanks

Ian

 

Hello. I’m all for this proposal.  The bottom of Lochend Road is uncomfortable to navigate by car and bike.

Will the pedestrian crossing on Lochend Road across from the school be retained? Crossing islands aren’t suitable at this location due to the volume of children.

Will there be a dropped kerb for cyclists turning into the Links?

I would appreciate knowing if there are plans to increase the width of the pavement down Lochend Road. They have accommodated parking and two lanes of traffic but at the expense of pedestrian comfort.  On bin days sections of the footpath can be almost entirely blocked. A buggy or wheelchair cannot get through. The pavement is too narrow to accommodate passing pedestrians forcing people onto the road. A one way system here would be worth considering. Segregated bike lanes and wider pavements might nudge parents towards letting kids ride/walk to school. Reducing traffic and making it easier for buses to get through.

 

 

If ever there was a an opportunity to state the quote “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” it’s this. What a complete waste of tax payers money. What is the actual need for the change, I’ve read the FAQ’s and I’m sorry but the pedestrian cycle safety party line is a load of old nonsense.

 

This is currently a dangerous roundabout to cycle through and it’s positive that it’s being addressed, but the design should include provision of segregated cycling routes – the traffic lanes are so narrow that this new design actually makes the junction more dangerous – please reconsider the designs as there is plenty of space on the pavements with the reconfigured layout to allow for safe segreggated cycle lanes which will encourage more people to cycle through the area. I cycle and drive through this junction often as I have an allotment plot nearby.

 

 

1)      there’s no provision for cyclists. Ideally the Leith Walk cycle lane should come round along Duke Street to feed into the junction.

2) need to at the very least have advance cycle boxes

3) please make sure the railings go!

4) please create direct crossings from end of Easter Road (corner with Lochend Road) to the Links.

 

 

I don’t feel that the proposed changes adequately account for the safety of cyclists. As a frequent cyclist in Edinburgh, I believe that dedicated segregated cycle lanes at busy junctions are the only way to achieve this.

 

I am very glad to see these changes proposed. The current roundabout is awful and I am very surprised there have not been more serious accidents here, particularly with speeding cars coming from Leith Links up Easter Road.

However, I am disappointed that, yet again, the Council are massively prioritising motor vehicles in terms of space allocation. If the Council is going to meet its target for CO2 reduction, this cannot continue. We must prioritise sustainable transport in all new road layouts. The junction should be reduced to one traffic lane in each direction, with road space given to cycling and pedestrians. The end of Duke Street and Easter Road are both so wide, this seems like a missed opportunity.

 

 

These expensive works are out of a 1950 design manual and are actively dangerous to cyclists. The worst feature is the one on Easter Road – the left filter lane that makes me believe the plan is to have overlapping cycles whereby Duke St and Easter Rd left run together.

A left filter is one of the worst features you can possibly add to a road for cyclists. It forces cyclists who naturally want to be next to the kerb to swing out to the middle lane to simply go straight on. There is a large risk of being overtaken and then left hooked.

There is not even advance stop lines, a favoured feature of the 80s and 90s and now discredited in favour of proper segregation through a junction.

These works should be taken back to the drawing board and the designer’s manager taken off task until they have completed urgent retraining to modern standards. I don’t say this lightly – it is awful work. This junction is a huge space that has plenty of room to properly consider the needs of all road users. Instead under the guise of the tram work – remember the tram has killed someone – it is being proposed to double the traffic lanes on approach from all directions with no consideration, at all, for those on two wheels.

Every bit of road work must embrace correct standards for real change to happen, otherwise this city will continue to be seen as one whose civil servants in the roads department actively work against agreed civic policy at every turn.

 

I’ve used this area as a pedestrian, driver and mostly as a cyclist for over 15 years. It’s very disappointing that yet again polluting, climate breakdown modes of transport have been given priority. Please build segregated cycle infrastructure here, this could link up to the existing cycle paths at the foot of Easter Road and Leith Links between Portobello and Resalrig. Even better continue the protected cycle route all the up Easter Road which is one of Edinburgh’s most pilloried roads. People live here and there’s too much tax payer subsidised parking. I have had many driver nearly hit my with their vehicle, sometimes deliberately! You need to make it safe if you are serious about getting people out their cars.

 

See previous question box. Why doesn’t walking and cycling have priority if you want people to walk and cycle?

 

Hello,

What provision will be included in the changes to make cycling more pleasant?

I don’t like the idea of cycling uphill to Easter Rd when the lights change to green and I have impatient drivers immediately behind me. The current roundabout isn’t great but at least I don’t lose momentum when I go round it.

Best wishes,

[Name redacted by MT of LLCC]

 

About time this junction was sorted. From a pedestrian’s point of view it is very difficult to get across, and from a motorist’s or public transport point if view the surface is shockingly bad, This has to be a huge improvement.

Why not take the opportunity to install segregated cycle lanes here?

 

 

This junction does not require traffic lights as the volume of traffic is not high enough to justify them. Installing traffic lights would be a step backwards and increase travel times in the vast majority of cases.

Segregated cycle lanes would be an improvement to the infrastructure in this area, and  in Edinburgh more broadly.

 

The FAQs address the difficulties for cyclists at the existing junction. I am concerned to see no provision for cyclists on the new plans.

This would be an ideal opportunity to introduce cycle lanes and advanced stop positions, at the minimum. Please consider improving the current plans in this manner.

 

Excellent – the existing layout encourages excessive traffic speed and the pedestrian crossings are not well located. The new design looks efficient – but, please, you do need to ensure that pedestrian crossings allow more than six seconds of green to allow full road width crossings on a single stage crossing.

The Duncan Place raised surface is also a positive step. Maybe consider a no right turn from Duke Street, though?

 

I’m concerned that cycling seems to have not been taken into account in these plans. A huge missed opportunity

 

Given the council’s very own transport hierarchy which apparently prioritises active transport, I’m hugely disappointed to see no mention of segregated cycling infrastructure included in these plans.

It’s time for the council to walk the talk & actually follow their own guidelines here.

Given the climate emergency & the need to encourage as many people as possible to get out of their cars, we need safe, segregated cycling infra included as part of the redesign so that everyone from toddlers to pensioners can cycle in safety in the area – especially given that it’s a route to a park & two large supermarkets!

Please rethink & redesign these plans ASAP.

Thank you.

 

I welcome that the Council is thinking about redesigning this difficult junction. However, I am concerned about the lack of dedicated cycling facilities – we need segregated cycle paths and a traffic light system that prioritises cyclists. Especially cyclists who are turning right at the junction need to be taken into account.

 

Whilst I support the improvements made for pedestrians (more crossings, wider footways), I ma extremely concerned by the lack of cycling provision in these designs. As a bare minimum, the redesign should include Advanced Stop Lines and mandatory cyclepaths – but this really is the minimum. Paint is not protection. Cycling should be prioritised in all road designs if the council is serious about it’s plans to become a net-zero carbon city. This means introducing a wide network of segregated cycleways. Every raod redevelopment should include this as standard. The current designs for this junction make it unsafe to cycle here, and as such car usage will only continue to be encouraged.

 

One of the two stated aims of this junction is to improve cyclist safety. Why therefore is there no cycling provision in the new design? Not even an outdated ASL. No mention advanced cycling lights. No segregated safety. Nothing!

 

 

where are the cycle provisions ?

Just checking this is 2019 and not 1970.

You are correct the existing design does make it difficult for cyclists, but how does this make it any better ??

It’s kinda of like those 25, white +55 yr old men all voting to effectively ban abortions in Alabama. No women were consulted or voted for it. Same here – no cyclist would vote for this and it looks remarkably like none have been consulted.

so depressing, but at least you are consistent.

 

Good to see more space for pedestrians, BUT the proposals require segregated cycle infrastructure urgently both at the junction and the surrounding streets. We really need to see how junction ties into wider strategic plans for walking cycling and wheeling in the Leith/Lochend and Easter Road area to make sense of this. Are there strategic plans somewhere?

This is already a busy junction  and a focal point on the route to school and work for many (Leith academy, Leith Primary, St Mary’s and Bun sgoil Taobh na Pairce pupils all access this junction as do many cyclists accessing the new cycle infrastructure on Leith Walk or travelling on Easter Road.

The surrounding pavements are inmpossible to navigate with school age children on bikes, and cycling on Duke St, Lochend Road, Restalrig is dangerous; daily speeding, road rage, parked cars etc), so the increased traffic will make it more so. Therefore the following segregated routes/ connections are needed:

-Improved safe cycle routes to schools across this junction including cycle crossings,  and segregated infrastructure in the surrounding streets to access Leith Primary, Leith Academy, Gaelic School, st Marys and Hermitage Park esp. from Easter Road, Lochend and Duke st/ Laurie St Duncan Place  areas. Currently there is no provision and footpaths leading onwards from the junction are extremely narrow for families, wheelchairs etc as well.

Connection for cyclists from /to Easter Road (close to the end of the cycle path from Lochend Park and Portobello next to Thorntreeside)

Segregated cycle provision  from Lochend Road and foot of Easter Road along Duke Street to the foot of Leith Walk to connect with the new cycle paths on the Walk

If it is not possible to safely connect segregated cycle route across Duke Street, two alternative connections are required:-

– Segregated route via Gordon Street / Manderston St (off carriageway)

-Segregated route on Leith Links to rear of former Leith academy, new segregated route on Laurie Street (removal of parking to accommodate) and segregated connection from here to Kirkgate and Foot of the Walk.

 

How have you sought in these proposals to improve cycling through this area? Can you please put in dedicated cycle paths?

What are controlled pedestrian crossing locations? I think you should put in zebra crossings.

Surely in this day and age we should be encouraging walking and cycling.

You expect that this design is to accommodate increased traffic flows. How much is the traffic expected to increase? How much extra pollution is this traffic going to generate, and what will be the health effects on local residents in the short, medium and long terms?

Independent studies have proven that roundabouts are cheaper, safer and increase traffic flow. Drivers slow down on approach to a Roadhouse instead of trying to beat the red of a traffic light. This is safer. Traffic moves 20% more efficiently on a roundabout. Surely all of these points need to be considered before installing traffic lights which will remove all of these listed benefits?

In terms of pedestrians usage, there are already pedestrians crossings on three of the four roads involved in this junction, which are controlled by pedestrian operated traffic lights.

What evidence does the council have to prove that the removal of the roundabout and installation of further traffic lights (not controlled by pedestrians) improves things for the pedestrian and does not reduce traffic flow?

I believe the council plans to resurface the roundabout in July/August. Is this due to happen before this planned removal of the roundabout? Would that not be a massive waste of council money?

 

 

The roundabout has been in place for many years and works very well.  Please do not remove it.  There is no traffic congestion in this area and, even with some increased usage anticipated due to tram-works, it is clear to see that the roundabout enables traffic to flow continuously rather than creating delays with traffic lights.  Please do not install them. They will inevitably holding up traffic flow due to the number of roads feeding into the crossing with each having to wait for a turn.  This will certainly not ease congestion – it will add to it.  It will bring traffic to a standstill, with long tailbacks and untold frustration.

This area does not currently have heavy pedestrian or cycle usage and there is no need to introduce cycle lanes or extra wide pavements.  The bank of bicycles that was recently installed on the corner of Leith Links has already been removed.   This clearly illustrates that there is little demand for cycle use in this area.  So there is no need to press on with trying to integrate bicycles with traffic.  It is far better to direct bicycles as much as possible onto separate off-road cycle routes such as the extensive railway paths in the area.  Perhaps a cycle path opposite the railway path that ends further up Easter Road to provide a direct cycle lane after crossing Easter Road (possibly via Gordon Street or Lorne Street, where traffic is much lighter) connecting with Leith Walk cycle paths and also with those in Pilrig Park –  would be safer, speedier and more direct for cyclists.

Neither are there are issues with pedestrians having difficulty crossing roads in the area.  The existing crossings are more than adequate. The pavements are already wide enough to accommodate current pedestrian usage.  The pavement beside Leith St Andrews church was recently replaced, is still in good condition and is wide enough.  There is no need to change it.  The volume of pedestrians and cyclists that you anticipate using such facilities simply does not exist.  While some other pavements may need repair, why waste money and resources on unnecessary widening?

On the other hand, it is clearly apparent that the condition of the roads is appalling.   All the streets in the area certainly need to be resurfaced.  The works should concentrate on renewing the road surfaces and filling in potholes.  This is where resources need to be focussed to smooth traffic flow and avoid claims for damage to vehicle suspension.  Road repairs and some repairs to existing pavements should be the focus.

 

given the city’s commitment to being carbon neutral I am deeply concerned about the lack of cycling infrastructure here. We need to do every thing possible to encourage bikes as a safe and attractive alternative to cars. This junction is not safe for cyclists.

 

Why are there no cycle lanes, segregated or otherwise in the plans?

 

 

Good that pedestrian facilities are being improved but there should be new cycle facilities too. Why do we keep having to point this out every time there are proposals for street layout changes? It’s longstanding council policy. It would improve the area, the city and help toward the climate crisis.


Update as Monday 20 May 2019

 

Council Officers have been reviewing the feedback submitted and the questions asked, they have released a plan of the work site.

Click on the picture to access a higher quality pdf file.

Council Officers have also provided the following responses to the questions posed & views submitted, which are detailed below.

REASON FOR THE WORKS

While noted on the information previously provided be City of Edinburgh Council, its perhaps not clear to people that the main driver for this work is to accommodate additional traffic during the works on Leith Walk to extend the tram line.

During the tram works, drivers will still be able to drive up Leith Walk from Leith to the City Centre, but it will not be possible to drive all the way down Leith Walk due to the space required for the construction. Instead there will be a diversion available for driver on the east of Leith Walk and also a diversion for drivers on the West of Leith Walk.

As such, during the 3-year construction of the tram line, there will be a significant increase in traffic using Easter Road as it will form part of an official signed diversion route. Traffic modelling of this diversion route has shown considerable delays and congestion at the junction of Easter Road and Duke Street if the existing roundabout is retained.

While the existing roundabout currently has fairly even traffic flows and is therefore fairly efficient at moving traffic, traffic modelling has shown that the existing roundabout will not be able to cope with the demand on Easter Rd once the diversion is in place. Traffic queues as far back as Albion Road were noted at peak times on the model.

As a result, traffic signals are proposed at the junction to assist by ensuring Easter Road traffic gets the appropriate ‘green-time’ to help clear the diverted traffic.

PEDESTRIANS

With regards pedestrian movements, currently the crossing points are way off the desire line for anyone wishing to walk through the junction. Specifically, anyone at Twelve Triangles on Duke Street wishing to go to Vanburgh Place would have to walk round to Easter Road, up to the crossing at the Tesco car-park, cross to the middle of the road, then cross over the second half of the road, then walk back down to the junction and round to Lochend Road then walk up Lochend Road until you pass the barrier and cross using the island in the middle of the road and back down Lochend Road again and round to Vanburgh Place.

This is obviously a very convoluted route and does nothing to encourage people to walk to the shops, especially during wet or cold weather. On the other hand, at present drivers on a wet day are obviously protected from the elements and also get all the advantage of not having to stop at the junction or even slow-down in some cases.

Aside from the requirement to handle all the additional traffic during the tram work on Leith Walk, the improvements also seek to redress the balance of road users.

CYCLING

With regards cycling, there are already ideas for cycle infrastructure within the design, however a blank road layout was initially issued to ensure it was clear enough for people to understand the change from the roundabout to the new layout. The blank layout was also an invitation for people to provide suggestions on what to do with the area and in a number of instances we have had some suggestions which we will consider going forward. However, given the number of comments regarding the lack of cycling infrastructure, I will happily share the technical drawing which shows the suggested cycling infrastructure to date and discussions are ongoing with a number of interested parties regarding further improvements. To date the junction will include;

Advisory / mandatory cycle lanes on approach to the junction (where possible)
Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists
Shared space and toucan crossings at various locations to facilitate access to and from Leith Links

Advanced cycle traffic signals are not currently proposed to help minimise delays

It should be pointed out that fully segregated cycling facilities are not currently a feature of the new junction layout, solely because the junction needs to cope with the additional traffic demand during the tram works, however the Councils Active Travel team (who had been considering redesigning this junction themselves) are considering revisiting this junction following completion of the tram works, to assess if there are any further improvements that could be made to encourage active travel.

BANNED TURNS

With regards the banned right turn from Lochend Rd into Vanburgh Place, this is proposed to help reduce delays by running a left filter out of Duke St at the same time as Lochend Rd traffic is green. Unfortunately, we need to run these 2 stages together and it’s not safe to permit drivers to turn right out of Lochend Rd in case they collide with vehicles which have turned left out of Duke St and are traveling along Vanburgh place or into Lochend Rd.

The recent traffic count showed that between 6:30am and 8pm only 161 vehicles make this manoeuvre. This equates to 2 cars every 10 minutes. If there is a concern about these vehicles using local residential streets, we can look at whether any traffic calming measures would be appropriate.

With regards exiting from the car park at the former Leith Academy, for safety reason it may not be possible to turn right, mainly because drivers will not be able to see the traffic signals. We are looking to see if there are any other solutions which would not restrict movement but as the car park wall is a listed structure, it’s not currently possible to make an alternative car park exit further away from the junction.

Access into the car park will not be restricted.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The Lothian 1 service currently terminates at the foot of Easter Rd and uses the roundabout to turn and starts its return journey. Lothian are currently looking at extending the route slightly and using alternative streets to loop the bus back to Easter Rd before heading south again.

Initially it had been considered that a lay-by could be created for the eastbound bus stop on Vanburgh Place, moving the pathway for the Links onto the otherwise of the mature trees. However, having discussed the proposal with Lothian Bus and the Councils Public Transport Team, there is an ongoing assessment of closely located bus stops with the view to removing stops where feasible to improve bus journey times. National guidance suggests bus stops should be between 300 and 400m apart; the 2 eastbound stops on Vanburgh Place and East Hermitage Place are only 165m apart

OTHER WORKS

Other works to compliment the new junction include new D islands to assist people crossing out-with the junction On Duke Street at Duncan Place, Lochend Rd (relocate the existing D island) and Easter Rd at Academy Park, renewal of the street lighting and some changes to parking restrictions at the junction to minimise any delay in journey times.

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