CCTT – JOINT STATEMENT on TRAMS

Community Councils Together on Trams

Leith Links Community Council is one member of a group of four community councils who have issued a joint statement urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

Read the joint statement here from the Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) –(i.e. Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, and New Town & Broughton, through whose wards the extended tram will run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).  These bodies approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle,  but urge caution and highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC. The joint Community Councils are seeking improved communications/consultation, as a matter of urgency.

Read the joint statement here

COMMUNITY COUNCILS TOGETHER ON TRAMS – PRESS RELEASE

Community Councils Together on Trams

29 June 2018

Leith Links Community Council is one of a group of community organisations who are urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

A joint statement urging caution and seeking improved communications as a matter of urgency has been issued by a coalition of the four community councils through whose wards the extended tram would run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).

The statement released by Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) – which includes the community councils of Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour and Newhaven, and New Town and Broughton – says that while all four groups approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle, if it is to be done well, they highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC.

The statement says: “The communities that we represent are understandably extremely eager that the mistakes of the previous tram construction works should not be repeated. We think all sides can agree on that. Consequently the community is seeking a high standard of solid evidence that this time the work will be better planned and implemented.”

While the document says that the community council coalition views the proposed extension as “an important opportunity for the broader social and economic development of the Leith area and beyond”, it adds the caveat that there is “an unavoidable impression that issues are being rushed or key information is not being shared”.

It continues: “The result is that, as of the present time, the four CCs which are party to this submission do not have the level of confidence and standard of evidence that our communities seek.”

Their key areas of concern focus on the design philosophy of the extension and the route, the consequences for the local economy, the desire for a realistic appraisal of the environmental benefits of the extension, and the entire readiness of this enormous project to get the go-ahead at this time.

The Outline Business Case for the tram extension was approved by CEC last September, and the city council is scheduled to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the project, or not, towards the end of this year. If approved, preparatory works could begin next spring.

In the meantime, as the consultation process continues and the project leaders await the bids from the four joint ventures vying to win the contract to build the extension, details of which are due at the end of July, the findings of the Hardie Inquiry into the original trams fiasco are yet to be presented, although they are due to emerge in the autumn.

Sally Millar, Secretary of Leith Links Community Council, said: “Leith has seen an enormous amount of development in recent years and with more to come; we need to be increasingly mindful of all the design considerations relating to the tram extension and how these impact on the local community. And we are determined to do that.”

Carol Nimmo, Chair of New Town and Broughton Community Council, added: “The design of the tram extension should be aligned with the city’s over-arching transport and design priorities of environmental improvement, reduction of traffic, and people-led ‘place-making’.”

Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Leith Central Community Council, noted: “The proposed tram extension passes through a unique eco-system of distinct communities, businesses, cultural spaces, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and spontaneous meeting places. It is vital that a realistic compensation scheme is agreed well in advance of the tram extension project being approved by the council.”

Rob Levick, Chair of Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council, added: “Inevitably there will be disruption to community life during the construction phase. Everyone understands that, but in order to keep that to the minimum we’re looking for evidence that the key milestones have been identified and each will be achieved before proceeding to the next stage, that the community are not left with open construction work that unnecessarily impacts them any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

      

Trams to Newhaven: Notification of First Round of Public Consultation

Beginning 19 March, the City of Edinburgh Council will undertake six weeks of public consultation and engagement on taking Edinburgh Trams to Newhaven. This will provide the public, local business and stakeholders with general information on the project, specific details around traffic management during construction and the proposed permanent design. We will also outline our current proposals on how we aim to support local business during the construction period. 

During consultation your views will be sought on traffic management and phasing. This includes proposals for the closure of Leith Walk to all northbound traffic, with a single city-bound lane remaining open and the phased closure and reopening of Constitution Street. Work in these areas is expected to last for up to 18 months.

These and wider plans for traffic management during construction have been drawn up following in-depth traffic modelling and discussions with key partners and stakeholders.

We also intend to communicate our plans to help support local businesses who will be most affected by the works. This includes provision for parking and loading between work sites, an open for business campaign, on-street customer service staff, logistics hubs and financial support. 
Your opinions will also be sought on the plans for the permanent design of the street along the route. This includes a dedicated public transport-only lane on Leith Walk for tram and bus during the morning and evening rush hour. During off peak time the outside lanes will close to traffic and provide essential parking and loading areas for local business.

This is the first stage in a consultation process that is scheduled to continue through to the end of 2018.

Consultation 1 Begins: 19 March 2018 

  • 28,000 letters delivered to residential addresses in the area surrounding the planned tram route
  • 4 public information events:
    • Thursday 22 March: Leith Theatre, 11am – 6pm
    • Tuesday 3 April: McDonald Road Library, 10am – 4pm
    • Thursday 12 April: Leith Community Education Centre, 3pm – 9pm
    • Saturday 21 April: Ocean Terminal, 12 noon – 5pm
      • 4 local business forums
      • 4 community council briefings 
      • Online feedback via Consultation Hub from 19 March
      • A dedicated Trams to Newhaven website to keep you up-to-date

      Consultation 1 Ends: 29 April 2018
      As part of our consultation the project team commissioned an independent survey to understand local behaviours and attitudes towards Trams to Newhaven. The research was carried out by Progressive Partnership – an Edinburgh-based market research company. This involved a ten-minute on-street interview carried out with representative sample of 368 individuals at three locations along the proposed route.

      Below are some of the key findings:

      • 59% agreed that the line would benefit Leith with 58% saying it would be easier to get around and 42% saying it would be good for local business
      • 91% were satisfied with current transport provision on Leith Walk 
      • When asked what would improve public transport provision in Leith Walk, the most popular response at 38% was ‘introduce a tram service’ NB most respondents currently used buses or walking to get to and around Leith
      • 56% said they were likely to use the new line
      • Among those who did not think Leith would benefit, concerns focused chiefly on disruption, delays and congestion resulting from construction works 

      If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

      Trams to Newhaven Project Team