Leith Links Community Council is a member of ‘Community Councils Together on Trams’ alongside Leith Central Community Council, Leith 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.
Actions and decisions are in italic.
|BAFO = best and final offer
|CCTT = Community Councils Together on Trams
||NTBCC = New Town & Broughton Community Council
|CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
||OBC = outline business case
|CPZ = controlled parking zone
||POLHA = Port of Leith Housing Association
|CS = Constitution St
||SRWR = Scottish Roadworks Register
|ECI = early contractor involvement
||SPC = swept-path contract
|EIA = environmental impact assessment
||TAPOG = CEC’s tram all-party oversight group
|FBC = full business case
||TEC = CEC’s transport and environment committee
|ISC = infrastructure and systems contract
||TfE = Transport for Edinburgh
|LB = Lothian Buses
||TM = Traffic management
|LCCC = Leith Central Community Council
||TMRP = traffic management review panel
|LHNCC = Leith Harbour & Newhaven Community Council
||TN = Trams to Newhaven project
|LLCC = Leith Links Community Council
||TRO = traffic regulation order
|LW = Leith Walk
||TT = trams team
TAPOG is CEC’s leader and vice-leader, CEC’s transport convenor and vice-convenor, and transport spokespersons from each party
1 Welcome, introductions
||CCTT minutes secretary
2 General update by TT team
This follows, as much as possible, the headings on TT’s slides, rather than the agenda published by CCTT.
D Wraight reported as follows:
2.a ECI period is now concluding
- Work is on schedule as it nears the end of the ECI period:
- ECI has been very successful.
- The contractor had 13 key deliverables for the ECI period. These deliverables will provide more certainty on cost and programme.
- The contractors ECI submissions are on programme
- The next stage of ECI is to go through the governance system, i.e. reporting to Boards in week beginning 30 September.
- TT is carrying out due diligence on information supplied by the contractor.
- For example, the [construction] programme is not yet locked down.
- If all goes to plan, which is expected, CEC will notify the contractor to proceed on 4 or 5 October.
2.b Traffic management plans for construction commencement finalised
- TM is a key ECI deliverable.
- TM for the construction phases commencing first has been prioritised .
2.c TM for other sections continues to be developed.
- This differs from the original ECI deliverable. It was agreed by the TMRP that as some phases will not commence for up to 2 years, that it would be more appropriate to sign off closer to construction to allow an informed decision to be made.
- It was agreed that TM must be approved by TMRP 12 weeks before the start of any piece of construction.
- 12 weeks gives time for notification to LB (so they can notify and register changes to routes) and to SRWR.
- There is no consultation on TM with communities. However, TT will ensure CCTT is informed, and that there is overall a ‘stringent’ communications policy providing full detail.
- CCTT stated that there had been no notification about the works on the roundabout at the end of Easter Rd.
- TT responded that this work was not part of the TN project.
- TM was part of the initial consultation; relevant information has been in the public domain for 18 months.
- LB does not have to reregister everything. It depends on the size of change. (TT did not have details of thresholds.)
- SRWR requires a maximum of 12 weeks’ notice for registrations.
- The public will get a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice before construction starts anywhere.
- If public notification is possible earlier, TT will do so.
- LB is yet to confirm proposed notification timelines.
- TT meets with LB fortnightly. LB experience is that if people are notified too far in advance, this causes confusion. The optimum time for strong public notification is 2 weeks.
- CCTT strongly contested this, noting that train timetables are published 12 weeks or more in advance.
- Action: TT to ask LB to send a representative to one of these meetings to talk about notification processes.
- This does not mean that TT can’t do other communications prior to 4 weeks before construction starts.
- CCTT called for information that would affect people’s regular schedules (commuting etc) to be published much sooner.
- TT responded that the communications plan is an ECI deliverables, and has yet to be approved by the board.
- The TMRP will continue to convene throughout the course of the project to monitor TM and approve any additional measures..
2.d TRO proposed to commence end of November
This is the permanent legal order that manages movement on the ground.
- TT anticipates this starting in November.
- A statutory process must be followed, including
- consulting with CCTT/community councils, emergency services, taxis
- 28-day public advertising period. Within this, TT will hold at least 2 drop-in sessions covering the whole route.
- Under the tram Act, no objections covering matters within the ‘limit of deviation’ (~20m along each side-street) need go to the reporter. That is, TEC can decide on all such matters.
- Other matters outwith the limit of deviation will be done as necessary, but using other appropriate processes.
- TT has been in discussion with the CEC parking team, to ensure suitable information-exchange.
- CCTT expressed concern that the public would complain about facets of the TRO.
- TT responded that the Restrictions in the TRO have been in the public domain for quite some time. However, the TRO process gives people opportunities to formally object.
- Objections will be given appropriate consideration, following due processes.
- There was discussion of when, where and how many drop-ins are needed to ensure effective communication.
- CCTT asked whether there is guidance on what are material objections for TRO matters.
- TT is open to hearing, and acting on, practical objections. These are likely to be based on detailed local knowledge.
- Action: TT to check into relevant guidance.
2.e Foot of the Walk to Ocean Terminal cycle link
- It will not be possible to cycle on Constitution St.
- The Active Travel community first raised this issue during the initial consultations.
- Initially TT applied for Sustrans funding, and has been going through options appraisals.
- The stakeholder group (including reps from community councils) had not met for several months, but TT convened it to consider the top three proposed routes.
- These will be made public in due course and so are not minuted here.
- However, a preferred route was chosen by the stakeholder group.
- AECOM now needs to create more detailed design, probably covering 2 variants.
- These will then go out to consultation. Consultation will allow other proposals to be made.
- TT’s aim is for Leith to gain an asset, rather than design solely for cyclists.
- CCTT very much supported the idea of a local asset.
- The focus is on the spinal route, but local connections (including pedestrian use) that feed in will not be ignored.
- CEC’s Active Travel team will be involved in this, and a phased approach will be used.
- That is, TT will deliver part of a Leith masterplan, and AT will deliver other parts over time, using other budgets.
3 TM Discussions
TT showed a draft, indicative high-level drawing of the construction phasing.
3.a General points
- Once notice to proceed has been issued, TT will publish the construction phasing plan – including dates.
- The completion date is still expected to be Q1 2023. This is when trams would start taking passengers.
- Enabling works from London Rd to Manderson St will be to enable TM, e.g. creating a city-bound running lane for buses.
- Some of this work will change footpaths, move associated lighting, phone boxes etc. Other parts include more digs to explore how utilities can be diverted.
- But there will be traffic flowing in both directions along LW at all times. All signalised crossings will remain.
- Final drawings are due soon. They can then be discussed with CCTT.
- Dates will be provided once notice to proceed has been issued.
- TM on LW for enabling works will be continuous. However, it will be organised in 4 parts.
- Only 2 non-contiguous parts (i.e. 1 and 3, 1 and 4, 2 and 4) can be worked on simultaneously.
- TT needs to consider what will happen between the end of enabling works and the start of construction works.
- TT can only finalise and publish this once all such plans have been finalised.
- However, the intention is that parts will be opened as soon as their enabling works are finished.
3.b Constitution St TM
- This is being considered in several sections:
- Foot of the Walk to Laurie St, to enable access to Kirkgate House at all times.
- Laurie St to Coatfield Lane
- Coatfield Lane to Queen Charlotte St (This is in phase 2, to enable access to Coatfield Lane at all times.)
- Queen Charlotte St to Constitution Place, with subsections:
- Queen Charlotte St to Baltic St
- Baltic St to Constitution Place.
- All relevant TM will start around 15 November, but junctions will not be blocked.
- Drawings are being checked by TT, SFM, the emergency services, LB and other CEC functions before they go to TMRP.
- CCTT is welcome to examine hard copy of the drawings once notice to proceed has been issued.
3.b.i Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane
Timeline: This work will occur from November 2019 to April 2021.
- This section will be closed except to construction traffic and emergency services.
- Access to Kirkgate House will be maintained.
- There are no marked disabled parking spaces in this section.
- A footpath must be closed due to work on South Leith Parish Church’s wall.
- Hence there will be suitable crossing points that comply with needs of disabled people etc.
- Access to the church will be maintained by various means/routes.
- Bus routes 16 and 12 will be diverted. (Details will be provided asap.)
- TT aims not to divert the main flow of traffic along side-streets.
- There will be relevant signage and communications via the website etc.
- CCTT asked whether TT could supply diversion details to GoogleMaps and satellite-navigation suppliers.
- TT responded that there is a relevant process.
- Action: TT to look into this
- Coatfield Lane will be controlled using traffic-lights.
- Work will also cross many private accesses.
- SFN has been offering owners alternative parking provision, by getting use of other nearby land.
- The Council as Roads Authority has powers to close all accesses however there is a contract obligation on the contractor to provide alternatives
- One of the communication tasks is to deter parking in ways that would block diversions or otherwise cause problems.
- This will include using variable signage out with the area, so cars are less likely to be in the area.
- Domestic waste bins will be either moved to the end of the works, or side streets.
- Bins will be placed in a location where refuse lorries can collect. If required these will be moved by the operatives..
- Traffic flow into Great Junction St at the Foot of the Walk will not be impeded.
- Detailed traffic modelling is in progress to understand how this will be achieved through further phases
3.b.ii Queen Charlotte St to Constitution Place
Timeline: This work will occur from November 2019 to October 2020.
- This is to enable access to Coatfield Lane at all times.
- Traffic management will go on this area around 15 November.
- In this section, CS will be fully closed to traffic, but the footpath will remain open.
- Bernard St/Baltic St junction will have two running lanes and pedestrian crossings at all times.
- The enabling works will include moving Rabbie Burns (who will get cleaned), and moving the running lanes (and associated TM) as needed to complete utility-work and tram-work north and south of the centre of the junction.
3.b.iii Queen Charlotte St to Maritime Lane
- This subsection of CS will also have full closure, but Maritime Lane will be kept in operation throughout.
- A series of drawings of bin-locations will be published, along with a pamphlet and on-street signage (also about loading, logistics etc).
- There will be a logistics hub on Mitchell St.
3.b.iv Baltic St to Constitution Place
- As at other junctions, running lanes will move north and south as needed to enable work north and south of the centre of the junction. There will be a signal at Constitution Place.
- Parking may be changed if it causes problems with deliveries or for residents.
- Training of construction workers will include them being eyes and ears to understand and report what is not working.
- Construction workers are contractually forbidden from parking in side-streets.
- There will be a large yard (including parking spaces for construction workers) within the area.
- CCTT asked whether construction works could be bussed into work, thus reducing problems with parking.
- TT replied that this is used frequently by constructors on other projects. However, there is no legal sanction preventing construction workers from parking where it is legal to do so. While contractors can use disciplinary procedures to deter unwelcome parking by their staff, it is better to make such parking unattractive.
- Also, TT will react quickly to unwelcome parking, and is aware that such problems will arise occasionally.
- CCTT suggested that people like helpful diagrams.
- The phasing plan will show how construction areas will overlap.
- CCTT asked for publication of progress GANTT charts to enable (public) understanding of planned progress, especially when work-phases are due to overlap.
4 Other construction discussions
TT showed a draft pictorial cross-section of how LW work will appear. A similar drawing is being prepared for CS.
- CCTT asked for these to be published.
TT has a very detailed communications plan. Communications methods will include
- face to face/logistics hubs/on street
- ‘meet the team’ events
- tram information points
- direct mail
- contact centre (handling phone and social media conversations)
- email newsletter
- hoardings and advertisements
- press/media handling
There will be messaging about mitigations during enabling works on CS, and (probably) LW. This should start around 7-8 October, including both generic messaging and specific messaging about CS, e.g. about buses, bins.
- Messaging will be targeted to relevant people and businesses.
- Residents can tell logistics hubs ‘I have a delivery from X on date/time Y/Z’’ and logistics staff will facilitate it.
- TT is keen to be digital-first. All relevant information will be on the website, which will be monitored to keep it useful.
- There are ~1500 residents and 400 businesses signed up for mailing.
- TT may be able to section the emailing list by area, so residents and businesses receive only relevant info.
- There will be sections of the website with information for different areas.
- TT will advise CCTT about details of the the comms plan once notice to proceed has been issued.
6 Other discussions
- Final design: there has been little change in terms of public look and feel. However, there are engineering changes:
- For example, track-slab depth and drainage levels are changing from indicative versions to actualities.
- Hence detailed design is not yet finished.
- The TICZ is complete, so Morrisons can do their work.
- There are three stages to the design process: outline, developed, detailed.
- The latter includes presence/absence and types of gullies.
- CCTT advised that TT not only communicates work in progress, diversions etc, but also the asset that Leith/Edinburgh will gain, so that people have some hope.
- There was discussion of the types of drawings that are ready and are in progress.
- For example, some TM drawings are not yet at TMRP-approved detailed stage.
6.a Material changes to project timeline, if any
Constitution Street: detailed overview
- FOTW to Coatfield Nov 19 to April 2021
- Queen Charlotte St to Constitution Place Nov 2019 to Oct to 2020
- This is to allow access to Coatfield at all times
- TM goes on around 15 Nov
7 Future meetings (post ECI): dates, topics and attendance
- CCTT recommended not meeting in October, because CCs will be going through elections.
- Hence some CCTT members may no longer be CC members, and some CCs may cease to exist.
- Also, ECI ends 15 October 15.
- TT responded that it wants to widen these meetings to become a community engagement forum.
- However TT’s gut feeling is that these meetings work well, so it wants to keep them going as-is until Christmas.
- It doesn’t want to separate them into meetings for individual CCs, because there will be common issues and (hopefully) positive aspects that should be used throughout.
- Hence it would prefer to meet in October, given that go-live will be around 2 weeks before the October meeting.
- This would enable CCTT to give timely feedback on comms etc.
- An interim meeting on or around 15 October was suggested.
- This (or the end-of-October meeting) could also examine effectiveness of comms about enabling works
- CCTT acknowledged the advantages of CCs working together. It favoured monthly meetings, as happen now.
- TT acknowledged the trust that now existed between TT and current CCTT members.
- TT wants to keep being open and honest with CCTT via these ‘useful’ meetings.
- TT thanked CCTT members for their helpful input.
- Action: CCTT members to discuss how it will work after the CC elections.