Leith Central Community Council: response to tram extension consultation

(download the original PDF here: LCCC response to tram extension consultation)

LEITH WALK
the most densely populated area in Scotland
a place for people, not a transport corridor

photo of 'First day of operation for through electric trams between Leith and Edinburgh'

(photo © Lothian Buses plc [Photographer: probably Edwin O Catford])

Leith Central Community Council’s response to City of Edinburgh’s consultation on the Tram Extension to Newhaven

(Unless otherwise noted all comments below refer to Leith Walk only, from London Road north.)

Summary

Leith Central Community Council (LCCC) has serious concerns about the design philosophy and the readiness of the tram extension project. However, we are – in principle – not against an extension from York Place to Newhaven, and, indeed, to other key destinations (the universities, hospitals, city-edge park-and-ride interchanges), with two provisos: (i) that there is evidence that lessons have been learned and will be acted on, especially the lesson that very careful and detailed advance planning is crucial, and (ii) that Leith Walk’s existing essential qualities are not compromised by a a single-minded focus on transport requirements.

Having failed Leith Walk so spectacularly during the 2007-2010 effort to build a tram route and the subsequent painfully slow remediation efforts, we insist that any further attempt to insert major infrastructure into one of Edinburgh’s premiere streets is focussed on the highest possible quality of planning, execution and final outcome. We acknowledge that CEC has secured impressive engineering and project management competence, but there is no room for complacency so long as other, equally, or arguably more important, aspects of this project remain uncertain or unresolved. For example, it is not clear that the current design will really work for all current and future operators of important services, and not just the tram operator, let alone create a living, breathing place. Equally, traffic management and logistic solutions must maintain an acceptable minimum of Leith Walk’s current livability during a construction period that is as short as possible and – crucially – without surprises.

We appreciate that not all answers can be available at this stage. But it is very unfortunate that the focus on an efficient engineering-driven solution has left so little time to consider properly the project’s impact on the lives of residents and the viability of businesses of the most densely populated area in Scotland. Given that ‘we have been here before’ and suffered for it, this is – in Oscar Wilde’s famous phrase – careless.

The very tight timeline that has been laid down for this project has already had a number of negative impacts:

  • Drawings which were described to us as tender documents contained errors and omissions; liaison with Lothian Buses, CEC Waste services and major developments along the route is still to come; as is traffic-modelling and estimated changes to noise and air pollution during and after the works.
  • The consultation design and TRO drawings for Leith Walk seem to have been solely focussed on delivering a tram-line extension rather than a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. There seems to have been no time for a design statement showing awareness of Leith Walk’s extraordinary existing vitality and livability (still recovering from 10 years of on-off roadworks and disruption), nor evidence that the current proposals are embedded in wider public realm, transport and environmental strategies (‘what are we trying to achieve beyond the construction of a tram line?’).
  • Despite the tram team’s best efforts to attend meetings of the four community councils along the route, there was clearly insufficient time to do so: at least two scheduled meetings were cancelled at short notice; LCCC’s admittedly extensive questions catalogue was answered only days before the consultation deadline; and a request by the community councils to extend the consultation deadline was answered with the response that ‘the project team are working to incredibly tight timescales and any delay to producing the amended designs would put the timeline for the workshop process at risk which would in turn have an impact on the timescales for the rest of the project.’ (Councillor Lesley Macinnes).

We are very concerned – with the tender documents already issued to shortlisted bidders (before the end of the consultation!) – that important design decisions have effectively been made and room for manoeuvre on the big issues is inevitably limited.

A large number of unanswered questions (at least 24 of the 39 questions in LCCC’s catalogue put to the tram team – see appendix – received replies of ‘this will be sorted out later’, or words to that effect). It will take time to come up with answers that work for the project and local residents; it will also take time to address the many unresolved issues, we detail below and inevitable errors and omissions. It may be standard engineering project practice to say ‘we will resolve all this by the time the contractor goes on site’, but after the fiasco of the original tram works on Leith Walk and 10 years of subsequent on-off remedial works (which in turn require their own remediation), this is not good enough: we were badly burnt the last time round – this time the mantra must be nothing is resolved until (almost) everything is resolved.

We therefore call on the tram team, the project board and all City of Edinburgh Councillors to make time. We want every single one of our points considered and addressed by the tram team and then translated into actionable design without undue time pressure. The tram team have to deliver the most ambitious infrastructure project in Edinburgh since, well, the last tram project. Given that the Tram Act allows for commencement of works as late as May 2021, we cannot see any reason for rushing into construction before the vital questions raised by our submission have been reasonably fully answered.

A future borne from disregarding the past, or the present, has consequences – and those who ignore the warnings bear responsibility for the future to come.

The list of issues we raise below is non-exhaustive; given the time limits of the consultation we present – under each of the three headings – merely a representative sample of the many issues that we have identified. 

Design philosophy and concept

The facts on the ground that will be created by a tram line down Leith Walk and associated TROs will have long term consequences. If the finally agreed design concept gets it wrong, people who live and work in the Leith Walk area will pay a very high price for a long time to come.
For people who live and work here, Leith Walk is not a transport corridor, but an essential part of daily life. The present proposal – which fails to articulate its own explicit design philosophy – is in serious danger of undermining an ecosystem made up of a rich mix of communities, businesses, cultural spaces, cafes, pubs and restaurants together with plenty of spontaneous meeting spaces supporting a very densely packed population that is by any measure a highly successful and sustainable example of 21st century city living. We are particularly concerned about the following unresolved issues:

  1. Noise/pollution assessment
    
We understand that the tram team is ‘in dialogue with the Council’s scientific services team in regards to appropriate monitoring’. This is surprising, as we would expect reductions of noise and air pollution to be major outputs of this project. What if the ‘green gain’ from the trams is low or even negative for Leith Walk, as was suggested at the Tram Inquiry by the former head of Transport Scotland?
    Clearly, an up-to-date Environmental Impact Assessment with realistic baseline figures is urgently needed. Ownership of this should be at the heart of the project, not subcontracted to CEC’s underfunded and overstretched scientific service.
  2. Raised central reservation housing OLE and lighting with ‘pedestrian deterrent’ paving
    
We strongly oppose this divisive design. While we appreciate the elegance of such an approach from an traffic engineering point of view (bundling a number of services and functions), it falls short of our vision for a pedestrian friendly place:

    1. A central reservation is dead space.
    2. A raised reservation hinders easy transverse circulation, especially for 
mobility-restricted citizens and small retailers’ delivery logistics for the ‘last 100 
yards’. (We note that this works in Shandwick Place and Maitland Street.)
    3. The proposed ‘pedestrian deterrent’ paving is wholly unacceptable.

Kerb-line lighting columns could easily double as carrier of the tram’s OLE and signalling equipment (not unlike the original trams).

  1. Insufficient and ‘illegible’ crossing points
    As D Wraight has acknowledged, there are many ‘permeability’ issues with the current plans. We advocate many more crossing opportunities – signalled, formal and informal – than currently envisaged.
    To maximise connectivity, these should be where people expect them: at junctions and near tram and bus stops (with the location of the latter two matched to crossing points, not the other way around) and should follow an easy to understand design and location pattern:

    1. signalled: at all major junctions – Annandale, McDonald, Pilrig, Foot of the Walk
    2. formal: at all intermediate side streets – Albert, Dalmeny, Balfour, Lorne, Stead’s Place, Jane/Manderston
    3. formal: just behind all (most) bus stops (build-outs are insufficient) and at both ends of tram platforms
    4. informal: anywhere, by eliminating the central reservation.
  2. Parking/loading solutions
    If, as has been claimed, there is insufficient space on Leith Walk – one of Edinburgh’s widest streets and one of the few that is truly a boulevard – we advocate replication of the the proposed layout at Dalmeny Street (set-side loading bay and/or short term parking bays for Leith Walk retailers and their customers in all other side-streets, wherever possible (Annandale/Montgomery, McDonald/Brunswick, Arthur Street, Pilrig/Iona, Dalmeny/Balfour, Lorne, Stead’s/Smith’s Place, Manderston, Crown/Casselbank). This would free space for a continuous cycle route and make for a consistent design along the lengths of Leith Walk.
graph showing how the width of Leith Walk varies from Elm Row to Kirk St

(graphic: Andy Arthur)

  1. Communal waste bins, litter bins; commercial bins
    The placing of the former two and the logistics of access for users and waste operatives for emptying and servicing/cleaning have not been considered in the current design.

    1. We advocate placing litter bins near junctions and at all tram and bus stops.
    2. We advocate locating communal bins consistently, eg near junctions and on the street – not on the pavement and not in the way of the cycle path. In addition, consideration should be given to mandating bin collection at certain times only (as in Westminster City Council area).
    3. We wish to see written confirmation from Edinburgh’s major waste operators that proposed locations and access methods are workable.
  2. Bus stop design
    1. Replicating the current mix-and–match approach would not be good enough: bus stops must be optimised for dimension, shape, queuing buses and location to minimise bus-dwelling time.
    2. For the same reason, we advocate tapered approaches to and exits from bus stops.
    3. Bus shelters should maximise passenger comfort and completely fulfill passengers’ information requirements. At the moment, bus shelter and bus tracker services have been separately outsourced – there is an urgent need to get the relevant parties involved.
    4. Locations for bus and tram stops should be near transverse pedestrian desire-lines (i.e. near junctions – see above) and at regular intervals commensurate with the population density of the area. Other locational considerations should be secondary.
    5. We would like to see evidence of planning work (traffic modelling and provisional timetables) that quantifies the public transport gain for Leith Walk residents from the introduction of trams and, separately, from optimised bus stops.
    6. Intermodal travel should be assisted by providing cycle racks near all bus/tram stops (c. 10m away) and shared tram-platform use (see below).

Consideration should be given to the following overall design concepts for Leith Walk which depart from the current concept:

  1. Two lanes each way: one in each direction shared by trams and buses 24/7
    Expanding on the current proposal, and to prioritise public transport while minimising space needs for bus stops, the two central lanes should be used 24/7 by both buses and trams.

    1. Buses should use tram stops on Leith Walk – this means Lothian Buses will need to introduce buses with doors on both sides; this could be done gradually over a number of years, as the fleet is updated.
    2. Access to remaining intermediate kerbside bus stops should be protected by cross-hatching and enhanced peak-time enforcement scheduled for a period after completion (partly paid for by bus operators).
  2. Asymmetric street layout
    It is our understanding that the ‘swept path’ is at least 11m wide, while the requirement for two tram tracks, even with central reservation, is 7·4m. This would allow for a radical asymmetric layout: slightly offset tram tracks and motor traffic (possibly including loading/parking) and pavement on one side; green separation space, two-directional cycle path and pavement on the other.
    We would love to hear that there is time to explore and consult on such a people-friendly layout.
  3. Innovative TROs and bylaws
    The opportunity should be used to pursue the following. Where necessary, parliamentary support should be obtained in time for the completion of the tram line.

    1. Complete ban on articulated lorries; restriction on the the size and emissions of all delivery vehicles.
    2. Mandate lane rental for future road and utility works.

Traffic management, logistics and compensation during construction

photo of cable-car trial run on Leith Walk

Tram construction is – by its nature – disruptive to the daily lives of the people who live and work in the area. (photo © Lothian Buses plc)

While we see merit in the ‘one dig’ approach which probably necessitates the 18 months closure of all but one southbound lane – to benefit a tight project timetable and as a way to keep disruption as brief as possible – we remain concerned that many traffic management, logistics and compensation questions have not been addressed yet and have in effect been laid off to other council budgets and third parties. Will these relevant council departments and third parties step up to the plate?

To be clear: even in the most optimistic scenario where construction completes as timetabled and faultless logistics and compensatory measures are in place, the people and businesses of Leith Walk will pay a second time within 10 years for a tram line by once again enduring 18 months of disruption, noise and delays. This is why most, if not all, traffic management, logistics and compensation issues must be ironed out in advance: the risk of prolonging the construction period through insufficient preparation or poorly thought-through traffic diversion measures, inadequate logistics or compensation measures would be unacceptable. We are particularly concerned about the following unresolved issues:

  1. We understand that to date there has been no input from CEC’s waste services on the logistics of emptying communal bins during the construction phase. This is a vital service that needs to be maintained at the same, if not higher, service level as at the moment and we seek urgent information on the proposed logistics and cost implications.
  2. We understand that to date there has been little or no input from Lothian Buses on the timetabling and routing including bus stops during construction or the maintenance of existing bus stops on the southbound leg. This is a vital service for this area (lowest car ownership per household in Edinburgh) that needs to be maintained at the same, if not higher service level as at the moment and we seek urgent information on the options under consideration and cost implications.
  3. We seek urgent clarification on how increased pollution and noise on northbound diversion routes (and side streets) will be monitored and ameliorated, eg Easter Road, Broughton/Bonnington Road.
  4. From which budget will enabling works on the diversionary routes be paid for?
  5. To minimise the construction period, we would want the contractors – especially the Swept Path contractor – committed to a full 5 day working week for 50 weeks pa; working times should be restricted to 8-6pm; Saturday and Sunday working only in clearly defined exceptional or emergency circumstances.
  6. We are very disappointed that the current plans contain no information on post-contract tidying and defects remediation. Leith Walk residents will pay for any problems arising from these with extended or repeated disruption, even if the financial costs are contained in the tender price. We have had recent poor experiences in this department and are not prepared to countenance ad hoc management of these issues just after an 18 months construction period that has disrupted our lives.
  7. photo of sign blocking cycle-path on Leith Walk in 2018

    (photo © Harald Tobermann)

    We want to see the contractors fully committed to a code of practice on street works. Throughout the construction period the answer to the question ‘Will someone using the road or footway from any direction understand exactly what is happening and what is expected of them?’ must be in the affirmative; signage should be minimal, clear, uniform, uptodate and authoritative and well maintained. It must not create additional barriers.

  8. Since rates rebates will not reach smaller shops, we seek urgent clarification on plans for compensation schemes for smaller, independent businesses. Has a list of (small) retailers and other businesses been compiled?
  9. Where access from side streets during construction is curtailed (or even blocked), we seek clarification how the will the traffic thus displaced, forced to queue or take a longer route be managed and monitored. For example, given that we have been told that the Cambridges will not egress onto Pilrig Street, how can you be sure that traffic from/to Balfour Street exiting onto Leith Walk will not lead to congestion and increased noise and air pollution?
  10. We want to be sure that the logistics hubs – a concept we support in principle – are adequately located and staffed planned. They should not lead to additional congestion. How have the hubs in the current proposals been chosen, sized and located? We are not sure that every retailer been allocated to a hub (eg Scotmid at Pilrig Street – as per written answers provided by tram team).

Governance and legal issues

photo of Dundas St roadworks in 1800s

Once a project is underway, arguments about who is in charge and the risk of litigation becomes very costly. (photo © Lothian Buses plc)

We have been told that ‘lessons have been learned’ from the previous tram project. It seems to us that such a statement may well be premature prior to Lord Hardie’s final report and recommendations. While we are aware of the substantial transformation process that CEC is going through, we are not convinced that all the objectives of this transformation have been achieved yet.

Why is this important? Should the project get delayed or even fail catastrophically mid-construction (as experienced last time) because of weak governance, or because contractual and legal problems have not been nailed down prior to project start, or because of gaps in the interface to services provided outside the contract – i.e. pre-contract enabling works, waste removal, street cleaning and lighting issues during construction, post-contract performance-monitoring and remedial works – Leith Walk residents and businesses would pay – for the second time – a very price.

Having been briefed by the tram team about current governance and contractual arrangements, we remain concerned about the following issues and are anxious to see them resolved at the earliest opportunity by publishing the relevant information:

  1. The project governance organogram as outlined to us discloses a plethora of relationships, without revealing the nature of the relationships, nor the remit and powers of the various groups. We understand that the Project Board with its heterogenous membership will be the key decision making group once the project is underway, we would be particularly keen to understand whether it will operate by consensus or majority decision.
  2. Risk management
    1. What contingencies exist for unexpected changes to the membership of the various groups involved in the project governance, especially the Project Board and and the Project Team.
    2. We note that the Independent Advisor is a member of the Project Board. Please confirm that he is merely an observer to the Board and his advisory responsibility is solely to the All Party Oversight Group.
    3. What would happen if substantial problems that have not been factored into the project are unearthed e.g. the large concrete slab in Leith Walk (discussed by D Wraight)?
  3. Clear and fair conflict-resolution and compensation regimes (for example for damage to properties caused by the project) must be designed ahead of starting work so that the project is not held up by drawn out disputes.
  4. The tram enquiry will almost certainly recommend the involvement of Transport Scotland to drawing on their institutional skills and experience with infrastructure projects of this scale. Have they been asked to join the Project Board?
  5. Lack of enforcement of loading bays currently causes problems to local business and has knock-on effects on bus punctuality, traffic flow and cycle safety. It is vital that an efficient, enforceable and adequately resource enforcement regime is in place during construction.

Appendix

The following question catalogue was submitted by LCCC and answered in writing by the tram team on 24 April 2018 (NB: a number of questions were answered differently when asked during the LCCC meeting on 16 April 2018).

LCCC Tram Questions for written response by CEC tram team

Sections

  1. LCCC Section 1: London Rd/Gayfield Sq – McDonald Road
  2. LCCC Section 2: McDonald Road – Middlefield & Middlefield – Pilrig St
  3. LCCC Section 3: Pilrig St – Steads Place
  4. LCCC Section 4: Steads Place – Foot o’ The Walk/Constitution Street
  5. General: governance/design philosophy

LCCC Section 1: London Rd/Gayfield Sq – McDonald Road

Questions about construction phase

Phase_1___Albert_Street___Elm_Row

  1. How will the present bus interchange at Elm Row be replicated during construction?
    The bus interchange will remain in place with some interchange stops on London Road. Ongoing discussions will be required with Lothian Buses in regards to their operational requirements.
  2. How many communal bins are in this section at the moment? How many bins, and where, will there be during construction?
    There will no reduction in waste services during construction. The precise locations of bins during construction will be communicated well ahead of work taking place.

Questions about final layout plans

Landscape Proposals: Landscape_Proposals_13_McDonald_Rd_to_Gayfield_Sq and Landscape_Proposals_14_Gayfield_Sq_to_Picardy_Pl

Traffic regulation order proposals: 13._McDonald_Road___Gayfield_Square and 14._Gayfield_Square___Picardy_Place

  1. With the majority of Elm Row shops (north of Montgomery) on the east side, why are the parking and loading bays on the west side (Haddington Place), forcing shoppers and suppliers to cross the central reservation?
    The loading and parking has not been put on the citybound side of Leith Walk to facilitate a right hand turn from Leith Walk into Annandale Street.
  2. Cycle lanes are drawn at sharp and inconsistent angles around bins, some bus stops and at Montgomery Street. Is this deliberate or was this overlooked when preparing tender drawings?
    This is an error in the drafting of the drawings. The cycle lanes will be designed in a similar vein to those installed between McDonald Road and Pilrig Street,
  3. Why are the existing trees on Elm Row to be cut down and replaced?
    It’s necessary because their current position does not fit with the proposed new public realm. They will be replaced like for like. The size and proportion of tree pits will stay the same.
  • Is the wide and long central reservation necessary? Can it be removed to allow for parking and loading on east side? Can the pavement width be reduced on either side to allow for parking on east side?
    The central reserve at this location acts as a taper approaching the tram stop. The width of this is dictated by the width of the tram stop. The central reserve in this location also sites the central OLE poles.
  • The area where the proposed clock sculpture is to go (where the pigeons used to be) is marked as a shared space for bikes and pedestrians as far as I can see. This may be an issue for short sighted pedestrians or blind people. What detail are they proposing here for all users considering this will be a very busy crossing point for all traffic?
    The detail of material finishes will be dealt with through the contractors detailed design stage.
  • The cycle lanes look to me, as if they will become loading bays during loading bay times. I feel that cyclists will be in and out of parked vans/cars.
    Within this section, there is a dedicated segregated cycleway which is not impacted by parking and loading.
  • Is there another option for cyclists at all? This will be a very busy route (could the cyclists not have lanes either side of the trams – in the middle of the road?) – a thought?
    See above.
  • Also could the planners clarify traffic direction at the end of Montgomery street? It looks like the road is to be narrowed a great deal so what is going to happen here for car users?
    The junction of Montgomery Street/Leith Walk becomes one way in an easterly direction (towards Easter Road).

LCCC Section 2: McDonald Road – Middlefield & Middlefield – Pilrig St

Questions about construction phase

Phase_1___Albert_Street___Elm_Row and Phase_1___Steads_Place___Albert_Street

  1. Where are the loading bays for the three supermarkets during construction? How will smaller grocers who require daily restocking be served?
    Deliveries will be facilitated through the use of our proposed logistics hubs shown on the traffic management drawings.
  2. Will the Shrub Place site contractor, whose site is shown as vacant on your plans, be required access from Leith Walk during tram construction? How exactly will this be managed? Who will be responsible for any delays that may arise from potential conflicts between tram and site contractor’s priorities?
    We have been in dialogue with the developers and the works at Shrub Place on the frontage of Leith Walk are due to be complete by Summer 2018. This means no impact on our construction sequencing.

Questions about final layout plans

Landscape Proposals: Landscape_Proposals_12_Middlefield_to_McDonald_Rd and Landscape_Proposals_11_Pilrig_St_to_Middlefield

Traffic regulation order proposals: 12._Middlefield___McDonald_Road and 11._Pilrig_Street___Middlefield

  1. There are no pedestrian crossings at Albert St and Middlefield? Can this be described as pedestrian friendly? How will bicycles travelling west from Easter Rd along Albert Street get into Pilrig Street?
    The issue of pedestrian movements across Leith Walk is a key theme coming out the consultation and will be looked at following consultation closing at the end of April.
  2. The advanced bike stop line at McDonald Rd is shown across tram tracks? Is this deliberate or was this overlooked when preparing tender drawings?
    This lane operates as a general traffic lane for turning right into McDonald Road and as such the ASL has been put in place (assumed for more confident cyclists). It should be noted that the current two-stage turn will also be retained.
  3. Where are the communal bins at Scotmid and Middlefield? How will Scotmid logistics be managed?
    Scotmid will have to utilise the loading bays allocated on the plans for post construction logistics.
  • There is insufficient pavement widths around some communal bins – is this pedestrian friendly design?
    The current proposal considers a number of constraints resulting in some localised pinch points.
  • Bicycle turns across tracks at < 60 degrees? (sheet 11, 12); why not trial corner islands at junctions (prevents left hooks, slows down turning traffic and bikes, improves visibility)? (sheet 11, 12); 90 degree cycle tracks bends around parking bays and communal bins? (sheet 11, 12)
    The two locations in this section where cyclists cross the tracks have been designed with infrastructure to allow cyclists to cross the track safely namely the 2 stage right turn at McDonald Road and the Toucan crossing at Pilrig Street.
  • Why bike lane instead of bike track across T junction? (sheet 11)
    To facilitate the ability for cyclists to join the Leith Walk cycle route from adjoining streets.
  • Parking bay and loading bays and bus stops on bike lane? (sheet 11, 12)
    The issue of the cycle route North of Pilrig Street is a key theme from consultation and is currently being reviewed.
  • Why are cycle-paths intermittent? How is cycle traffic to negotiate parking, loading bays and bus stops in this section?
    As abov.
  • Will Iona Street be open to (two-way) cycle traffic?
    Yes.

LCCC Section 3: Pilrig St – Steads Place

Questions about construction phase

Phase_1___Steads_Place___Albert_Street

  1. How will traffic from/to Balfour and Arthur Street exiting onto Pilrig Street be managed? What measures will be taken to minimise noise and air pollution arising from queuing traffic?
    Access to Balfour/Arthur Street will be maintained during the works onto Leith Walk. There is no envisaged additional traffic load expected as a result of this however ongoing monitoring will be put in place.
  2. What are the loading arrangements for Scotmid?
    As above.

Questions about final layout plans

Landscape Proposals: Landscape_Proposals_10_Steads_Place_to_Pilrig_St

Traffic regulation order proposals: 10._Steads_Place___Pilrig_Street

  1. Why will be the trees on Balfour Street and north of Smith Place be removed?
    No trees are assumed to be removed at these locations.
  2. Why is the pedestrian crossing at Smith Place being removed? Where will be the nearest crossing point?
    The issue of pedestrian movements across Leith Walk is a key theme coming out the consultation and will be looked at following consultation closing at the end of April.
  3. Whose priority will it be on the pavement at the exit between Springfield Street and Steads Place? Whose priority will it be on the pavement at Orchardfield Lane?
    These will be continuous footways.
  4. Why are the loading and parking bays in Dalmeny Street (serving Leith Walk) not systematically replicated in all side streets?
    Parking and loading can be looked at in this regard.
  5. There are 4 communal bins between Iona and Dalmeny Street – is this deemed to be over-provision, as in other comparable sections there are fewer?
    Waste services provision has been calculated with the waste services team based on demand in specific areas.
  6. Parking bay and loading bays and bus stop on bike lane? (sheet 10)
    The issue of the cycle route North of Pilrig Street is a key theme from consultation and is currently being reviewed.
  7. Why are cycle-paths intermittent?
    As above.

LCCC Section 4: Steads Place – Foot o’ The Walk/Constitution Street

Questions about construction phase

Phase_1___Constitution_Street___Steads_Place

  1. During phase 1, the area between Crown Place and the entrance Constitution Street appears to be managed differently from the rest of Leith Walk. Please explain how construction will be managed here?
    This is a result of the phasing of the works to allow traffic flow during the 1st phase. The section between Crown Place and FoW will be carried out in a following phase.

Questions about final layout plans

Landscape proposals: Landscape_Proposals_9_Foot_of_Walk_to_Steads_Pl

Traffic Regulation Order Proposals: 9._Foot_of_the_Walk___Steads_Place

  1. I calculate the distance between stops at Balfour St and Constitution St to be 1km. Why are there only pedestrian crossings at the Foot of the Wlak junction and nothing in between?
    The issue of pedestrian movements across Leith Walk is a key theme coming out the consultation and will be looked at following consultation closing at the end of April.
  2. How will cyclists be prevented from entering Constitution St from Leith Walk? What is the alternative route for cyclist?
    There will be no preventative measures put in place other than signage.
  3. With most of the route having a central ‘barrier’, will this not promote two-way cycling on both lanes, for which there isn’t room?
    There will be no preventative measures put in place other than signage.
  4. The position of the track ‘crossover’ at Manderston invites cyclists (and others?) to cross dangerously; can it be moved?
    The location of the crossover will be reviewed dependant on consultation feedback.
  5. Cyclists should have a safe way of turning right out of east side streets that gets them onto the west side of Leith Walk safely. How can this be achieved?
    Under current proposals and safety guidance no right turns will be permitted out of non-signalised junctions.
  6. Will there be surface markings (better still, a clearly marked lane) guiding cyclists turning right from Gt Junction St to Leith Walk, and for cyclists carrying on from Gt Junction St into Duke St?
    This can be considered and developed through the contractors detailed design process.
  7. Will there be clearly marked cycle filter-lanes both for turning right from Leith Walk into Duke St (currently planned), and for turning left from Leith Walk into Gt Junction St (not currently planned)?
    Advanced cycle lanes at this junction are currently shown on the proposed plans

General: governance/design philosophy

Questions about construction phase

  • How many bus stops are there currently on Leith Walk (Duke St to London Rd)? How many will there be during construction south bound?
    Bus provision on Leith Walk is currently being developed through discussions with Lothian buses
  • How will north bound buses be routed? Where will the stops be? Will existing bus stops be upgraded to cope with the increased traffic?
    As above
  • How will increased pollution and noise on north bound diversion routes (and side streets) be ameliorated?
    We are in dialogue with the Council’s scientific services team in regards to appropriate monitoring
  • All plans (landscape, TRO and TM) can be downloaded from the Trams to Newhaven website. Not all plans are on the Consultation Hub site and this is related to restrictions on file sizes that can be uploaded. A link is provided at the start of the online consultation to encourage people to visit the site to find out more information than can be found on Consultation Hub.

Questions about final layout plans

  1. What is the average distance between on-street tram stops (Haymarket to Bernard Street)? What is the distance between Picardy, McDonald, Balfour, Constitution Street stops? How does this compare to existing bus stop distances?
    The average distance between stops is between 500m and 750m. Bus Stop average distances are 250m.
  2. Given the damage done to conventional gully grates by buses and other heavy vehicles and the poor drainage around down-hill build-outs, will kerb drains be used on Leith Walk?
    This will be considered during the contractors detailed design stage.
  3. How is design quality monitored: are the tram stops situated at the densest population points? Are there schedules showing populations within 100/200/500m from each bus and tram stop? Are there schedules showing distances between pedestrian crossings and predicted use?
    The stop locations have been considered based on a number of factors including population density.
  4. Does the business case assume the trams traveling at 20mph?
    Yes.
  5. What are the pollution and noise levels now? What are the predicted outcomes after completion? How was this modelled?
    We are in dialogue with the Council’s scientific services team in regards to appropriate monitoring.
  6. In Oxford Street, London, loading bays are part of the pavement. They were clearly labelled as such and have a different surface (cobbles) and function as pavement when not used as loading bays. Where could this be used on Leith Walk?
    This could be considered following consultation.
  7. Will the contracts and quality control schedules be published so citizens can see that quality is monitored and enforced? How (long) will post-contract quality be enforced?
    There is a level of commercial sensitivity around live contracts and the level of information to be published will have to be considered in this regard. It is, however, our policy is to make public all information related to the project where we are able to do so.
  8. Has consideration been given to alternate entry and exit only on side streets (New York style) to achieve a simpler, easier to read and use design?
    This could be considered following consultation.
  9. Given that there is a an 11m wide corridor for the ‘swept path’, has consideration been given to an asymmetric street layout, eg trams and a bi-directional cycle lane on one side, motor traffic on the other side?
    No, this is mainly due to the utility diversions carried out to date.
  10. The tram enquiry will almost certainly recommend the involvement of Transport Scotland’s skills in infrastructure projects of this scale. Have they been asked to join the Project Board?
    No, any outputs from the Public Inquiry will be considered by the project.
  11. Has consideration been given to a ‘down-hill’ cycle-lane (west side of road) on the carriageway (so cyclists will not speed into pedestrians), while the ‘up-hill’ (east) cycle-lane is on-pavement, so motor vehicles will not be ‘inconvenienced’ by cyclists?
    This could be considered following consultation.
  12. Will there be proper Integrated and ‘through’ ticketing?
    Ticketing is expected to be as per the current operations.
  13. Nature of the trees. In the ground? In pots? It seems like many current trees (in the ground) will be removed and replaced by trees in planters – that is not acceptable.
    Trees along the route will be dealt with in various ways including ground planting and within planters
  14. Bus stops. Difficult to see unless using a big screen. Currently marked in yellow, would like to see them clearer on the plans.
    We will endeavour to make bus stops more easily identifiable when we devise the updated plans.
  15. Pedestrian deterrent paving – unacceptable. 3 years ago Leith Walk was supposed to become a boulevard. A road that is easy to cross is good for local businesses.
    The issue of pedestrian movements across Leith Walk is a key theme coming out the consultation and will be looked at following consultation closing at the end of April.
  16. Pedestrian deterrent paving – Impact on disabled.
    The issue of pedestrian movements across Leith Walk is a key theme coming out the consultation and will be looked at following consultation closing at the end of April.
  17. (both items even more important as several pedestrian crossing have been removed)
  18. Will Greenways Parking continue? (allow 1 hour free parking)
    It is expected that a similar approach will be taken on Leith Walk as you see today.
  19. Why are they only inviting comments on the individual stops?
    We are inviting comments on all aspects of the project. See point above about the choice of landscape plans to display on Consultation Hub. Additionally, much feedback on all other parts of the route have been gathered at public and business information events.
  20. Cycle-lanes should be compulsory when on road (indicated with solid lines), not advisory (indicated with dashed lines)
    This could be considered following consultation.
  21. Due to lack of enforcement business currently have problems with using loading bays, will there be enough enforcement to make the new design work?
    Enforcement will be discussed with the parking enforcement team.
  22. The design has been developed with through movement as the priority not in developing a street that is a destination – was there any input from the Leith Walk area in this decision?
    This could be considered following consultation.
  23. Picardy Place and Leith Walk cycle lanes do not connect sensibly, did the Tram project have any input into the Picardy Place plans?
    The two projects have integrated their designs to ensure consistency.
  24. Why are tram and motor traffic are prioritised over more vulnerable road users?
    No priority has been given except for public transport lane in peak hours.
  25. Has there been any investigation into the safety implications of bringing cycle traffic onto the road, then off the road then on again, and how does this meet with the councils ambitions for an East-West cycle corridor?
    The Council’s active travel team will be involved in the post consultation review to consider the link with the E-W cycle infrastructure
  26. Could a two lane only design be considered?This would allow plenty of space (all along Leith Walk) for pedestrians, cycling path, parking, bus pull-in and landscaping. Traffic would need to follow tram. This would keep all traffic speeds low and enable loading/ unloading/ visitors/ shoppers all to have easy access.
    This could be considered following consultation.
  27. Portland, Oregon, USA has done considerable work with bicycle and pedestrian route design and implementation. Could some of their ideas be relevant to Edinburgh? ftp.odot.state.or.us/techserv/roadway/web_drawings/HDM/Appendix_N_BikePedDesignGuide_Web.pdf
    This could be considered following consultation.
  28. Consultation issues (i) all maps should be on consultation, as well as on ‘trams to newhaven’ website; (ii) Why does consultation only ask about landscaping around proposed tram stops, not the whole proposed route? (iii) Why not consult on what the route should be, or better still, use a co-design process that may instill trust in both the proposals and the way they will be implemented? (iv) traffic management proposal maps are at too small a resolution (legend illegible)
    Please see points above. Following this consultation, we will carry out some reflective research to consider what we could do better. The outcomes of this research will be published in September 2018.

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