Parking: LCCC’s letter to CEC

LCCC’s parking working group has send the following to CEC’s Transport and Environment Committee convenor (Lesley Macinnes)

It was also copied to all TEC members, to Paul Lawrence (CEC’s Executive Director of Place), Ewan Kennedy (CEC’s Service Manager – Transport Networks) and all of LCCC’s ward councillors. (Their details are here: https://leithcentralcc.co.uk/about.)

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Dear Councillor Macinnes

I write on behalf of Leith Central Community Council and Abbeyhill Colonies Residents’ Association.

Following our deputation to the Transport and Environment Committee on 17 May 2018 with regard to our petition, ‘Improving Parking in the Leith Central Area’, we left the meeting with an understanding on two counts:

  1. Council officers would engage with us on short-term measures to alleviate some of the issues raised in our deputation. This would include staff from Parking, the North-east locality and Waste. (Euan Kennedy, Service Manager-Transport Networks)Indeed, you, Councillor Macinnes specifically said at the end of our deputation that the committee would “commit to looking at short term measures that will hopefully have a relatively quick impact on the specific issues that you are facing at the moment”.To date, four months after our deputation, there has been no communication from any Council officers or other staff from the City of Edinburgh Council.
  1. Leith Central would be specifically considered within the report, ‘Strategic Review of Parking, Edinburgh’, to be brought to the Committee in August. The report would ‘specifically address local issues’ and, as there would be a roll out in a phased manner, this would address ‘areas in most need first’. Unfortunately, I cannot name the officer who made this statement but he referred to himself as ‘having looked after parking for five years’.

We have now read the report, ‘Strategic Review of Parking, Edinburgh’ and are extremely disappointed to see that Appendix 2 shows Leith Central to be included in Area 3. As such, we are third on a list of areas to be reviewed but in effect we are fifth behind Corstorphine, Shandon, and South Morningside, West and East. It is stated that ‘The order recognises where the Council has previously given a commitment to investigate parking issues and the date order in which those commitments were made’.

Is ‘first come, first served’, really the best way for the Council to undertake this review?

As was emphasised as part of our deputation, Leith Central is only a stone’s throw from the city centre and, as such, suffers greatly from commuter parking which has a knock on effect on the lives of many of the residents. We are much closer to the city centre than other areas where there are already CPZs, including the Grange, Bruntsfield, Morningside, Stockbridge, Comely Bank and Craigleith, as well as all those areas already mentioned in Areas 1 and 2, above.

On 17 May, as stated above, we were assured that you would specifically look at local issues and would prioritise areas in most need.

What were the criteria used for deciding on ‘areas in most need’?

Also on 17 May, Paul Lawrence, Executive Director of Place, raised the following issues which should prioritise Leith Central over Areas 1 and 2:

  1. Development proposals in the Leith Central corridor and area.There are several current developments in this area which already have an extremely detrimental effect on parking and the lives of residents, as was so eloquently described by Councillor Rae as part of our deputation. The future proposed developments can only exacerbate these effects.
  2. Transport proposals, specifically the tram and the rerouting of buses via Easter Road and Broughton/Bonnington during construction.For us, the tram development, being imminent if the proposals go ahead, will cause major disruption in our area for a minimum of eighteen months and can only increase the problems we already have with parking and traffic management. Managing the traffic around the construction of the tram would be much easier if there was less traffic to manage in the first place.

    A parking scheme put in place AHEAD of the tram construction starting, would not just reduce the numbers of cars in the area, it would also fulfil the Council’s promise to make Leith Central’s parking arrangements a priority.

  3. The proximity to the city centreand wider pressures which were “clearly understood by officers”.

If this is so, why are we then so far down the list of areas to be considered under the review?

It may of interest to you to note that, although the Leith Central Area is the most densely populated area in Scotland, it has the lowest number of car ownership but one of the highest problems with parking.

Leith Central Community Council specifically has been working hard to do something about parking in the area for the past two years. The Parking Working Group was set up early in 2017 and, prior to producing our petition, we had various communications and two meetings with Andrew Mackay, Traffic Orders and Project Development Officer. The first of these, on 29 August 2017, included all our ward councillors

When the Abbeyhill Colonies Residents’ Association was launched in July 2017, the very first item raised by residents as an issue of concern was parking and it has been an agenda item at every meeting since.

On behalf of both these groups, I would ask that you look again at the order in which you intend to review areas of the city and consider Leith Central Area as a top priority.

Regards

Iona McLeod

Member, LCCC and spokesperson for the Parking Working Group

Chairperson, ACRA

 

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