Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 29 October 2020

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 5:30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ‘TT’ means ‘Trams Team’.

1 Attendance

Robert Armstrong TT Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC
Mike Birch CCTT/NTBCC Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC
Angus Hardie CCTT/LL CC Bruce Ryan CCTT minutes secretary
Steve Jackson TT Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC
Andrew Mackenzie CCTT /LLCC Chris Wilson TT

2 Apologies

Don Giles CCTT/LHNCC Rob Leech TT

3 Update/queries CCTT

3.a Update on TT strategy for surface water drainage at various parts of the route

  • H Tobermann: this arises from many drainage-locations being fixed (e.g. pipes being installed, gully-lines being created for final design), and hence possible impact on kerb-lines. Cf poor state of person-holes etc on Princes St
  • S Jackson: TT is installing new drainage all along the route. TT has done much work with Scottish Water (SW) on flood modeling, hence has added additional underground measures. The design will fully comply with modern regulations. Quality-control inspector (QI) will ensure work is to standard. There isn’t space everywhere for SUDS measures. Green areas can be used for drainage, as can grass tracks in the north of the scheme. Some drain-pipes are larger than normal.
  • HT: is this to (1) keep the track dry; (2) to keep the gullies dry? [i.e. are there two systems?]
  • SJ: there will be one overall drain network doing both: gullies on the road, and for cyclepaths, slots in the track will all combine to feed into SW’s drainage system, which then takes water to wherever SW has decided. Hence TT has ~45 networks in total.
  • Will roads and cycle-paths be cambered to enable water-shedding?
  • SJ: work will be compliant with relevant regulations.
  • Action: SJ to supply example drain-map

3.b Update on TT strategy for preventing multitude of sunk manhole covers and surrounding high-maintenance of roadway used by buses and other heavy vehicles (as in Princes Street)

  • H Tobermann: I understand that non-sinking of person-hole covers depends on quality of construction below them. Are old holes being rebuilt?
  • S Jackson: there are various types of construction. TT has learnt from earlier phases. Drainage uses pre-cast concrete rings. Chambers are built using an in-situ concrete method, which is more durable.
  • HT: isn’t this about how well the concrete cures, and the weather? Is QI ensuring correct curing?
  • SJ: yes

3.c Update on TT quality control and first results

  • H Tobermann: is there only 1 QI?
  • S Jackson: yes, but he is leaving TT, so we are replacing him. Meanwhile site-teams are doing QI work.
  • HT: how is quality-inspection recorded and measured?
  • SJ: it’s a standard process under the contract. This includes a fixed amount of time for defect-fixing.
  • HT: can defect-lists be shared, e.g. via the dashboard?
  • SJ: they are on the dashboard.

3.d Concerns raised about the increased use of East London Street by Lothian Buses leaving and returning to the garage on Annandale Street. When it will be reopened to two way traffic?

  • M Birch: things have moved on since I first raised this issue
  • R Armstrong: We will open the right turn from McDonald Rd onto Leith Walk, so reducing pressure on East London St from ~400 daily to ~150 daily. Buses can use Bellevue or Broughton St to reach Leith Walk.
  • MB: is this still scheduled for start of November?
  • RA: yes – 5 November. (It was planned for 2 November but some SW work caused a slight delay.)
  • MB: this is good for buses leaving their garage. What about those returning?
  • RA: I’m told that they wish to use McDonald Rd and other routes to reduce pressure on East London St.
  • MB: will McDonald Rd only close once Annandale St is open in both directions?
  • RA: yes. The recent TMRP meeting agreed this. (Lothian Buses are in these meetings). It should happen in March 2021.

3.e Any other CC queries

3.e.i Tram-stop environmental impact assessments

  • M Birch: I see that planning applications for the McDonald Rd tram-stop are on CEC’s system. These say that EIAs are not required because (1) stop is not in a sensitive area; (2) the site is below a certain size. Is there an EIA for the whole project?
  • S Jackson: EIA was done for the original tram Act 2006. Although the design has changed, TT was advised that the EIA did not need to be updated.
  • MB: so why are there these planning applications?
  • SJ: structures (including tram-stops) need to go through the ‘prior approval’ planning process, according to Tram Act.
  • MB: there are 2 applications in the system: one for prior approval, the other for environmental assessment. Why is the latter needed if EIA is not needed
    • Action: SJ to check this
  • MB: determination for McDonald Rd stop was due on 19 October. Why the delay?
  • SJ: [lack of] CEC planning resources, not fundamental issues. I push for approval daily. It’s not holding up the project.
  • H Tobermann; CCTT pushed for a refreshed EIA from the very beginning because the design and environmental factors circumstances have changed since 2006. However, legal opinion was that legislation does not require a new EIA.

3.e.ii Information-board on Ocean Drive

  • J Marlborough: can the info-board be moved from the north of Ocean Drive to the main Ocean Terminal (OT) entrance?
  • S Jackson: TT will look into this
  • C Wilson: this should not be an issue – we will check with OT next week

3.e.iii Ground-born vibration etc

  • A Mackenzie: is there an update on this issue, particularly for a resident who has strong concerns for his property?
  • S Jackson: TT planned to engage with the professor mentioned by this resident. This conversation has broken down, because the professor does not believe he has been engaged by this resident) so TT is considering its next step.
  • C Wilson: I have written to this resident, and have promised further discussions. R Leech has also met with him.
  • H Tobermann: please clarify
  • S Jackson: TT had understood that the professor was commissioned by the resident, but the professor says he is not advising the resident, and so is unwilling to take this further.
  • HT: TT could pay the professor
  • SJ: TT has its own experts, and will aim for closure this way.
  • HT: this resident lives outside LLCC’s area. So is LLCC concerned that such problems could recur in LLCC’s area?
  • AM: yes. I plan to look into this further. It would help if TT shows such concerns are groundless, or can be mitigated.
  • SJ : TT’s experts work for Atkins, which tried to engage with the professor.
  • HT: if Atkins staff were involved in the design, they are not independent.
  • SJ: Atkins is TT’s technical advisor, not a designer. Our close-out route is a technical note that is currently being drafted.
  • HT: please share this with CCTT, redacting names as appropriate.

3.e.iv Access to business premises on Constitution St

  • A Mackenzie: Latto’s garage has asked me about access to its premises in spring 2021. It has not been contacted by TT for ~18 months. Please advise when this road will be closed. I understand it’s in April 2021.
  • S Jackson: work on the Coatfield Lane – Queen Charlotte St stretch will start in summer 2021, due to lockdown-delays.
  • Action: C Wilson to ensure dialog starts asap

3.e.v Sunday working

  • A Mackenzie: another Constitution St resident has complained about Sunday working
  • S Jackson: we have worked on 2 Sundays here recently, due to complex utilities around Baltic St junctions taking progress off schedule. This area has now been handed over to the infrastructure and systems contractor so there should be much less Sunday working.
  • A Hardie: what are the arrangements for notifying residents about Sunday working?
  • SJ: the contractor must inform TT, then TT must agree to it. Then TT will do necessary notifications via letters, social media and TT website.
  • AH: did this process fail here?
  • SJ: not that I know of
  • R Armstrong: a letter was hand-distributed to residents 2-3 weeks before this Sunday working started
  • H Tobermann: this would have needed local knowledge – did this fail here?
  • AM: the complainer lives on the main road. Her issue was non-compliance with stated Sunday-working times.
  • C Wilson: this resident suggested Sunday working was illegal which is not the case. The distribution company initially reached 96% of addresses, then went back to reach the rest.
  • Action: C Wilson to report whether the distributors reached this individual. Broughton St sign

  • C Nimmo: Suddenly, traffic cannot get up Broughton St due to a sign saying ‘works traffic only’. Hence cars are stopping at the stop of this street because they don’t know where to go. Please move the sign.
  • S Jackson: this is not TT, it’s Laing O’Rourke (LO’R) working on Edinburgh Ed St James (as is all work on Picardy Place gyratory)
  • R Armstrong: I will forward LO’R project manager’s contact details
  • H Tobermann: concerning interfacing between TT and LO’R, will there be any work between the playhouse and York Place?
  • SJ: TT will install tracks and tram-stop at Picardy Place, and remove the York Place stop. LO’R should finish its work in summer 2021, then TT will work in this area starting end of 2021/start of 2022. There will be little road alteration. Work will include digging a 10m wide trench for track-bed

3.f Issues arising from 1 October minutes

H Tobermann apologized for late circulation of the draft minutes

3.f.i Item 3a (trees)

  • S Jackson: landscape design is due in Feb 2021. Removed trees will be replaced 1-for-1, not necessarily in same place.

3.f.ii Item 3c (traffic modeling)

  • R Armstrong: I am chasing for this modeling for all diversions.
  • Action: S Jackson to send existing modeling to M Birch, M Birch to report to CCTT on it

3.f.iii Item 3d (missing lines in Pilrig St)

  • Action: R Armstrong to ascertain why lines have been painted only on one side of the street

3.f.iv Item 3f (will tram-stops follow Edinburgh street-design guidance)

  • S Jackson: they will match the trams design manual.The street-design guidance does not cover tram-stops. This guidance will be followed where TT builds roads, footpaths etc. All will look harmonious

3.f.v Item 3h (barrow street cleaning)

  • R Armstrong: I have met with CEC waste team, and will meet them again soon. Would HT like to attend? Item 4c (progress of final TROs, showing hard copies of TRO drawings to CCTT)

  • S Jackson: these are going through final design-review, then drawings will be finalized and quality-checked. This should be done by end early December.
  • M Birch: CCTT has been concerned that consultation would clash with holidays, so do we have to stick to 28 days? Will drawings include detain of cycle-paths and footpaths along the route.
  • S Jackson: If it gets too late, we will either start the consultation in January or extend its period. Cycle-paths aren’t part of the TRO consultation but will be shown for context
  • C Nimmo, for your own reputation, I suggest starting consultation in January
  • H Tobermann: concerning quality control, in the first public meeting, drawings showed factual inaccuracies.
  • Action: S Jackson to arrange for H Tobermannn to see drawings at TT office

3.f.vii Item 3e (signaling enclosures)

  • Action: H Tobermann to report to next CCTT/TT meeting on his findings

4 Update TT

4.a Summary of progress made by TT since 1 – 29 October

  • S Jackson: good progress has been made (under the current restrictions) on Leith Walk between London Rd and the foot of Leith Walk (LW). LW between Pilrig St and Dalmeny St has been handed over to the infrastructure and systems (I&S) contractors. Progress on I&S should soon be visible. Between now and winter holiday, swept-path and utility work on LW will be 95% finished, and this area will be handed over to I&S contractor.
  • S Jackson: On Constitution St (foot of LW to Coatfield Lane), graveyard wall/exhumation is 95% complete. 2 more weeks needed to complete architectural and utlity works here. Section from Queen Charlotte St to Constitution Place has been handed over to the I&S contractor. Some utility work remains at Baltic St junction. Blinding concrete is being poured at the bottom of Constitution St. (Blinding concrete goes over the stone starter-layer, and is put in before the main track-slab.)
  • S Jackson: There has been good progress at Ocean Terminal: shuttering, rebar and rail are being installed. Concrete-pouring will start soon. Utility works at Newhaven are finished, so this section has been handed over to I&S contractors.
  • H Tobermann: is anything currently slowing work?
  • S Jackson: work is physically distanced, so this delays some work-tasks, e.g. heavy lifting and some utility work.

4.a.i New issues/’conflicts’ (if any) encountered by TT/contractors

  • H Tobermann: were the causes of the Sunday works noted above the only conflicts?
  • S Jackson: the main issues with utilities tend to be at junctions, but these have been concluded. Some additional utility work was needed at McDonald Rd and at Annandale St, but TT alswasy knew that such contingencies would arise.
  • HT: the big junctions I picture are Pilrig St, Foot of LW, London Rd.Might these delay progress?
  • SJ: Pilrig St will be worked on in 2021, as will foot of LW. London Rd at start of 2022. None of these are on the project critical path, so there is time to deal with unforeseen events.

4.a.ii Review of latest TT dashboard

  • M Birch: the last dashboards on the TT website are from August 2021.
    • Action: S Jackson/ C Wilson to publish later ones asap
  • S jackson: TT is working to improve presentation of quality data on dashboards, but it currently shows 15 open defects against Morrison’s work and 5 against SFN’s. These defects were found by TT. The SFN number is low mostly because it has not yet done much ([I&S] work. I would expect such low numbers for this type of project and the work involved.
  • H Tobermann: can you show the severity of the defects?
  • S Jackson: In the Code of Construction section, green = compliance, orange = non-compliance, yellow = non-applicable. [Minuter’s note – there is far more green than other colours]. TT staff go out with checklists to monitor compliance. This has been done 18 times this month – hence the graph goes up to 18. ‘Members of the P’ means ‘interfaces with the public’, e.g. external fencing, public trip-hazards.
  • HT: the parts with most red are ‘fencing and hoarding’, and ‘litter/tidy sites’. What can be done to improve these?
  • SJ: – we continually discuss such issues at site-level and with senior managers.
  • C Wilson: average time to resolve issues has reduced from 83 hours to 82 hours. Resolution at 1st contact has stayed stable at ~77%. Some queries spark others, leading to resolution taking more than 1 contact. Some queries are complex, covering non-trams issues (e.g. Spaces for people) but TT tries to get answers rather than just redirecting people to CEC
  • H Toberman: why the spikes in the graph of number of tickets per week?
    • C Wilson: June/July spikes are due to work recommencing after lockdown. The early spike was when work started on Constitution St. There was a major decrease in tickets during lockdown
  • M Birch: what is the protocol for switching off utility supplies?
    • C Wilson: this is undertaken under a statutory process by Morrisons.
    • S Jackson: Scottish Water requires that water shut-off must occur at night, to minimize inconvenience. Notice periods vary with the utility company and the numbers of people affected.
    • M Birch: TT could put relevant information in its newsletters
  • A Hardie:can TT differentiate between queries and complaints?
    • C Wilson: I don’t think so – we capture interactions, but I will check and report next meeting.
  • J Marlborough: does TT get notification of support for its work?
    • C Wilson: yes – logistics hub and contact-centre staff are getting support and thanks messages

4.b Plans for next 30 days (30 October – 26 November)

4.b.i Summary of main construction works

See section 4a above. No new work-sites are due to be set up: work will continue in existing sites.

4.b.ii New/additional/changed temporary traffic management measure

S Jackson: traffic management will remain as is during this period

4.c Plans beyond October

4.c.i Progress of final TROs, designs of public realm, and planning applications

  • H Tobermann: we have already discussed TROs (item Are the public realm matters about Elm Row and Gayfield Square?
    • S Jackson: public realm design will arrive with landscaping design, in early 2021.
    • A Mackenzie: opening the south Leith parish church wall has improved this area. Can its rebuild be reconsidered?
    • S Jackson: this improvement has been widely recognized, so TT is discussing this with CEC planning and Reverend May. However, the wall is listed. When the wall is rebuilt, it will have more openings = visibility into church grounds.
    • H Tobermann: would letters from CCTT help here?

4.c.ii Changes (if any) to projected completion dates for key phases and the overall project

  • S Jackson: I am confident that trams will be running on schedule.

5 Any other business

  • A Mackenzie: is there any truth in the Evening News article suggesting that overhead lines could be removed?
    • S Jackson: This would need a full refit of the tram fleet, so would have a financial impact. Battery-powered trams do exist (they are used in the West Midlands) but are not currently the most reliable.
  • A Hardie: has there been any progress on the cycle-route through the Kirkgate??
    • S Jackson: this project is currently in progress. Consultation on a proposed route is due in early 2021.
  • A Hardie: is the support for business programme going OK?
    • C Wilson: it has been reasonably well received. TT meets regularly with the Constitution St business collective. TT continues to advertise digitally about its campaign. The Chamber of commerce is now on board with the business development function. TT is reviewing applications for business continuity funding (25 have been received). TT is engaging with individual businesses. So it’s working reasonably well, but TT continues to work on it. Engagement is slightly patchier on Leith Walk, but this may be due to the number of businesses and absence of a collective ‘voice’.
    • C Wilson: Itison seems to have worked very well: 45% redemption-rate on Leith Walk, so 4300 vouchers have not yet been redeemed. This may be because restaurants are currently closed.
    • C Wilson: I recently met with Monty (Leith Walk police-box) and a few other businesses. So TT is trying to engage with small groups of businesses/small areas of Leith Walk.

6 Next meetings (last THUs of month)

6.a THU 26 November 2020

6.b Proposed future meeting pattern (to be agreed): last THU, resuming on 28 Jan 2021

The above schedules were agreed.

  • Action: H Tobermann to send schedule with dates.