Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 27 May 2021

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 27 May 2021 at 5:30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ‘TT’ means ‘Trams Team’. Names are sometimes abbreviated to initials.

1 Attendance

Robert Armstrong TT Steve Jackson TT Bruce Ryan CCTT minutes secretary
Mike Birch CCTT/NTBCC Andrew Mackenzie CCTT /LLCC Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC
Don Giles CCTT/LHNCC Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC Chris Wilson TT

2 Apologies

Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Angus Hardie CCTT/LLCC Rob Leech TT

3 update/queries CCTT

3.a Actions from April meeting

  • The minutes containing the actions from the April meeting were delayed by the minute-taker’s personal circumstances.
  • They are listed in Appendix 1
  • Action: TT to fulfil actions in the near future.

3.b Pedestrian priority at Rennie’s Isle, Haddington Place, Leith Walk, (Pilrig – Arthur)

  • H Tobermann: TT has taken over areas of land, causing difficulties for pedestrians. CCTT knows of these problem-areas:

3.b.i Rennie’s Isle

  • HT: The closures came at short notice, and require large detours. What alternatives were considered?
  • S Jackson: TT needed to close the bridge during remedial works. There are no viable alternative routes, and building a temporary alternative bridge is not financially viable.
  • HT: Surely there are relatively cheap ready-made options in use worldwide.
  • SJ: It is impossible to place a replacement bridge near the one being worked on. There is no space for bridge-ends.
  • HT: Surely it was clear at final business case that no space is available, so notification should have been sooner.
  • SJ: closure was envisaged from the very start, so we admit fault with the last-minute notification.
  • HT: How long will the route be closed?
  • Action: SJ to report duration of closure, and publish this in the next TT newsletter
  • J Marlborough: only 3 days’ notice of closure was given. The relevant newsletter is not on TT’s website, nor is it displayed at Ocean Terminal. Nor is the 14 May newsletter. The alternative route is not suitable for some people.
  • SJ: TT takes the point about late notice. It was mentioned in the 14 May newsletter but details were not given. TT was considering possible alternatives to maintain the existing footpath until the last minute.
  • Action: TT to ensure up-to-date newsletters are displayed
  • M Birch: please give more details of the bridges
  • SJ: there are two bridges over Ocean Drive. The Victoria dock bridge is currently being worked on. The Tower Place bridge is to be worked on later. Its diversion will be more straightforward, i.e. closer to the desire-line.
  • M Birch: the code of practice mandates weekly newsletters, although CCTT is content with fortnightly newsletters. The relevant newsletters are not on TT’s website.
  • C Wilson: we admit that notifying only 3 days in advance is not acceptable. TT apologises for this.
  • R Armstrong: there was a website notification on 13 May, showing the diversion route and duration (20 weeks).
  • Action: TT to ensure newsletters are on the website

3.b.ii Haddington Place, Pilrig St to Arthur St

  • HT: the footpaths here are very narrow, leaving no escape routes from unwelcome events. This land was ‘taken’ over 4 weeks ago, yet no work has happened here.
  • SJ: last month it was noted that foam concrete and significant amounts of utilities were found under the pavement. This delayed progress because it was necessary to redesign the works. Required materials were then ordered – they ae due to arrive this week, and work has now started, e.g. on kerbs. Hence the delay in visible work.
  • HT: can TT commit to testing first in other areas?
  • SJ: the design now assumes similar problems along all of Leith Walk, on both sides.
  • RA: TT did not intend to stop work for 4 weeks. Therewere meetings with Spokes, Living Streets and Edinburgh Access Panel. A passing-place was installed on Haddington Place’s footpath. Street-lighting has now been fixed on much of Leith Walk. It’s not currently possible to install and extra pedestrian crossing – track must be laid first.
  • HT: what are the timescales for re-widening footpaths in these areas?
  • RA: this scheduling work is in progress. TT wants to enable business to have tables and chairs on the pavement as long as possible. In this, TT means the full length of Leith Walk, not the parts that are currently narrowed for TT-work. Hence the schedule needs to cover the whole set of works
  • HT: how long will the sections that are currently narrowed be this way?
  • RA: I can’t immediately give this detail. TT is allowing up to 10 weeks per section, but some might take 8 weeks from start of ‘work in earnest.
  • Action: RA to share the schedule with CCTT first.
  • HT: does this raise issues about Constitution St, where work has been in progress for a long time?
  • A Mackenzie: the pavement on the east side of CS is very narrow. How long with this last?
  • Action: TT to ascertain this duration.

3.c Other CCTT queries

3.c.i TRO timeline

  • A Mackenzie: what is the timeline for the tram TROs?
  • S Jackson: the TRO consultation has now closed. Responses are being reviewed. Then a report for CEC will be prepared, to go to transport and environment ctte in August.
  • M Birch: can CCTT see the report in advance of this committee meeting?
  • SJ: we can probably do this at the next CCTT/TT meeting.
  • MB: has traffic modelling been updated, e.g. did it take into account St James reopening?
  • SJ: we can confirm this next month. Modelling did take account of future expected developments.
  • MB: this contradicts what was said some months ago. That level of comments probably needs an extra meeting.
  • Chris Wilson: the August date is due to CEC’s summer recess.

3.c.ii Cumulative mapping

  • AM: Is a cumulative map of projects in Leith possible?
  • S Jackson: the TRO consultation has now closed. Responses are being reviewed. Then a report for CEC will be prepared, to go to transport and environment ctte in August.
  • Action: RA to ascertain reasons for delay

3.c.iii Leith Connections consultation delay

  • A Mackenzie: Are there any insights into when the Leith Connections consultation will go live?
  • RA: I’m not sure why the consultation was delayed, but it may be due to a redesign of the Foot of the Walk junction. This would affect what would happen at Henderson St.
  • J Marlborough: there is now a website about this, but users need to sign up to receive information and participate in a brief survey.
  • Action: RA to ascertain reasons for delay

3.c.iv Traffic signals at The Shore, Constitution St and Bernard St

  • JM: a resident has been asking about traffic signals at The Shore, Constitution St and Bernard St, but has had no response. These lights give pedestrians very little time. Are they controlled by TT or CEC?
  • RA: I’m due to meet with this resident next week. CEC traffic signals has adjusted other nearby lights. Too much change could impact main routes affecting the lights asked about. TT knows that matters don’t appear optimal.

3.c.v Work at Duke St (near GP practice), utilities

  • JM: this work has no signage. Is it TT work?
  • RA: this is not TT work. It might be Scottish Gas.
  • AM: where do utilities fit in the trams project hierarchy?
  • RA: I attend a biweekly utilities meeting chaired by the area network enforcement manager. Also, relevant TT meetings are attended by relevant representatives. So we aim for optimal co-ordination/accommodation. The work you’ve asked about is being done by Morrisons, who also work on the trams, potentially causing confusion.
  • Action: RA to ascertain who is working here. Leopold Place/repairs to diversions

  • MB: please expand upon correspondence about vibration here, and damaged road-surfaces in general.
  • RA: S Blacklaw recently left CEC. He is now working for AECOM on Leith Connections. He was managing Maclays, who cover defects on diversion routes. I am now in touch with SB’s replacement. We will examine defects on diversion routes, then create a programme to fix them. We know there are many.
  • MB: Who is responsible for diversion routes: TT or CEC? The code of practice suggests the former – see section 5.5.
  • RA: CEC is taking responsibility for diversion routes, tying in with SB’s work in 2019. Other such decisions are yet to be made.
  • MB: when will work be done?
  • RA: Maclays are ready to go, so work could start in June.
  • MB: how can CCs help with the list of diversions? East Claremont St has been damaged by diverted heavy vehicles
  • RA: please inform me directly. We can cover the list in a future meeting once we have drafted it.
  • H Tobermann: which budget will pay for this work: CEC or the tram budget?
  • RA: as far as I know, CEC covers costs of diversion-fixing, but TT pays for repairs to the running lane.
  • HT: my point here is that CEC’s budget is more stressed than TT’s budget.
  • D Giles: while [TT’s] contractors are responsible for reinstatement, this need only be good for 12 months. CEC works are generally good for 12 years. What if damage occurs after 12 months from reinstatement?
  • HT: there is an Edinburgh-wide – maybe a UK-wide – problem with road maintenance

3.d Closed queries

  • H Tobermann: many of the CCTT queries presented in recent months have been closed out. CCTT will remind TT of closed and open queries.

4 update TT

4.a Review of latest TT dashboards (and 2nd version) for 26 April to 26 May

4.a.i Period lookahead (page 2 here)

S Jackson: this is a list of works in progress on the whole route. I’ve spoken through such lists in previous meetings.

  • Finalise detailed design
  • Continuation of infrastructure and track laying works between Queen Charlotte Street to Constitution Place and commencement of The Shore tram stop construction
  • Continuation of infrastructure works and commencement of track laying works at Newhaven to Melrose Drive
  • Continuation of Newhaven Retaining Wall Works and Road Lowering Works
  • Continuation of utility, excavation and drainage works on Leith Walk
  • Continuation of infrastructure works between London Road to Annandale St and McDonald Rd to Middlefield
  • Continuation of infrastructure works: Annandale to McDonald Road and Pilrig St to Dalmeny St including track slab
  • Continuation of infrastructure works between Arthur St and Springfield including track slab
  • Continuation of infrastructure works between Steads Place to Jane St including track slab
  • Continuation of site Investigation and early works associated with the Attenuation pipes
  • Continuation of Ocean Terminal infrastructure works, and tram stop construction
  • Commencement of tram stop construction at Newhaven
  • Continuation of infrastructure works at Ocean Terminal to Rennies Isle including track slab
  • Continuation of infrastructure works at Tower Place to Constitution Place including track slab
  • Continuation of Victoria Bridge works
  • Continuation of infrastructure works at foot of the Walk tram stop
  • Handover of Dalmeny to Arthur St and commencement of infrastructure works
  • Handover of McDonald Rd junction and commencement of infrastructure works
  • Continuation of McDonald Rd tram stop construction
  • Commencement of Balfour St tram stop construction

4.a.ii Health and safety

No discussion

4.a.iii Code of construction

  • S Jackson: supplier will soon recalibrate all vibration monitors – at least one is giving unacceptable readings
  • Action: TT to fix truncated text on this dashboard

4.a.iv Stakeholder and communications

All points by C Wilson unless noted otherwise

  • 61 tickets about north section of route (50 previous month)
  • 40 tickets about south section (28 previous month)
  • 19 about Tower St/Shore traffic management diversion
  • 10 about Stevedore Place
  • 23 about Constitution St
  • 11 about Leith Walk cycle lane
  • 7 about Lindsay Rd
  • 5 about Ocean Drive path-closure
  • Action: CW to circulate this data in advance of future meetings
  • CW: last month’s data had ’50 tickets about north section, 28 about south section’ yet the dashboard showed 406 tickets. This is due to blocked emails, auto-responses to outgoing emails and spam emails being included in the total.
  • It’s unlikely to be possible to filter irrelevant emails from the totals. Raw numbers give a good indication of where issues are, and how people contact us. Changing methodology would make month-on-month comparison difficult.
  • M Birch: enquiries about Lothian Buses take much longer on average to resolve (308 hours – next highest is 130 hours).
  • CW: TT tries to resolve queries at first contact, giving briefs to contact staff. I believe this high time to resolve is due to diversions on Bellevue Rd leading to ongoing correspondence with 1 individual. This is taking time to resolve.
  • Action: CW to ascertain exact causes of high datum for Lothian buses
  • B Ryan: can TT factor in the number of each type of enquiry, so we can be aware of the impacts on TT? (1 complaint taking 300 hours to resolve would have less impact that 100 complaints each taking 10 hours to resolve.)
  • CW: such analysis might be affected by how queries are tagged by operators.
  • HT: it may help to know the spread of times taken.

4.a.v Progress

  • S Jackson: no big changes – work progresses as outlined above. In a bit more detail:
  • At Newhaven, track works at continue, as does work on retaining wall at Lindsay Rd
  • At Ocean Terminal, track works are in progress: the track crossover is going in
  • At Ocean Drive, track-work has commenced
  • At Tower Place and Stevedore, track works are making good progress
  • From Baltic St to Constitution Place, finishing works are in progress. These should be finished in July, then diversions can be removed
  • From Queen Charlotte St to Baltic St, track works are in progress, as is the tram stop
  • From Coatfield Lane to the foot of Leith Walk, tram infrastructure is going well
  • On Leith Walk, track construction is in progress. One utility issue is outstanding (Jane St gas main) Key metrics

  • S Jackson: all is generally on target

4.b Update on progress made and new issues/’conflicts’ (if any) encountered by TT/contractors TT from 26 April to 26 May

See above

4.c Review of upcoming TT plans 27 May through to end June: works planned and their predicted impact on local residents, including w/e working, changes to pedestrian and other traffic routes

See also discussions above

  • S Jackson: footway works on Leith Walk: there will be more of these this month. However, these have been publicised.
  • TT will have more ‘resource’ from Monday, so will basically work on the full length of Leith Walk.

4.d Update on ‘businesses health’ along the construction route

  • H Tobermann: is TT measuring how many businesses are closing/suffering?
  • C Wilson: there tends to be a mixture. TT is having individual discussions with businesses. A staff member from Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is discussing training needs, and helping administer the TT business continuity fund. At the moment, it’s very much anecdotal.
  • CW: there have been 87 applications to the fund. 43 have been processed for payment. Around 30 have not yet provided all relevant information. TT needs to handle public money correctly, and document this.

5 Project timeline and any changes

5.a Review of upcoming major milestones

5.a.i TROs

  • S Jackson: the only way TRO progress could be disrupted is if CEC councillors don’t agree.

5.a.ii Pedestrian route program

See final major point in section 3.b.ii above.

  • R Armstrong: this program should be ready by the end of next week. The programme will cover 10 sections.

5.b Discussion of recently announced changes

See detail in Appendix 2 below

  • C Wilson: reasons for delays in individual sections are in purple type type. Reasons include complexity and volume of utility works. The last major update of this information was in November 2020, as part of a review due to the lockdown.
  • CW: TT should issue such updates regularly – quarterly or every 2 months.
  • H Tobermann: this would be useful.
  • M Birch: this is mean that the latest plans for London Road to York Place have now been adopted?
  • R Armstrong: yes, but some changes to the detailed design still need to be made. We can meet about this.
  • MB: will Broughton St be open during most of the work? Will there be a running-lane at the side of Picardy Place?
  • RA: there will now be one 13-week period, instead of two separate periods
  • H Tobermann: can the data be presented with numbers of weeks?
  • S Jackson: TT has a detailed programme that can provide such detail.
  • HT: how does this differ from information on the TT website?
  • Action: CW to check this list (appendix 2) and the website show the same information


  • A Mackenzie: can CCTT see tram project board minutes?
  • S Jackson: no – these are commercially sensitive
  • AM: can CCTT see TAPOG minutes?
  • Action: Chis Wilson to investigate this
  • AM: hasthe CCTV camera at Constitution St/Baltic St been fixed?
  • CW: it has been installed but there is an issue with the power supply.
  • R Armstrong: TT needs to get contractors in to supply power. We raise this each week, and are frustrated too.
  • J Marlborough: there have been complaints about the height of the rebuilt cemetery wall
  • SJ: the wall has been rebuilt to the planning consent. It will look and feel as it did before it was removed, but there will be some additional openings.
  • CW: Historic Environment Scotland is very clear about what must (and must not) be done here.
  • M Birch: who is on the tram project board?
  • SJ: chair is CEC director of place. Members are CEC head of legal, CEC head of finance, CEC head of transport networks, CEC head of communications, CEC head of procurement, an independent advisor, Edinburgh Trams representative, Transport for Edinburgh representative

7 Next meeting

THU 24 June 2021

8 Appendix 1: actions from April meeting

Five open items in April queries table:

  • TT to consider questions around staff-hours on site
  • TT to act on specific problem-parking
  • TT to remove bike-lane and other marks
  • TT to respond to CCTT when Atkins has reported on further queries
  • TT to also consider noise and vibration

3.b.i RA and MB to have a non-disclosable conversation this week

3.c.ii RL/TT: check technical/legal processes that would give effect to CEC’s decisions if they would change TROs

4.b SJ to circulate note of his actions arising from the previous meeting.

4.d SJ/RL to circulate key metrics dashboard each month, and circulate this month’s KMs retrospectively

4.d SJ to share locations of monitors

4.d.i CW to use the same categories each month, to facilitate understanding of trends and occurrences

5.a TT to supply summary of what’s coming up in next 6 months

9 Appendix 2: programme update

Following a review of the Trams to Newhaven’s construction programme, the project continues to work towards a Spring 2023 open for service date. The project remains with the £207.3m that was agreed by City of Edinburgh Council in March 2019 as part of the final business case.

There are some instances of an extension to the programme is certain sections. Details of these are highlighted below in purple along with the estimated completion date that we gave back in November 2020. There is also a short explanation of the reason for the delay.

9.a Newhaven to Melrose Drive

Spring 2020 – Winter 2021/22

(Estimated completion November 2020: Winter 2021/22)

9.b Melrose Drive

Summer 2022 to Winter 2022/23

(Estimated completion November 2020: Autumn 2022)

Re-sequencing of programme has resulted in later start date for this section. Works are expected to take the same amount of time as previously forecast.

9.c Ocean Terminal to Melrose Drive

Winter 2021/22 – Summer 2022

(Estimated completion November 2020: Summer 2022)

9.d Ocean Terminal:

Spring 2020 – Autumn 2021

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Spring 2021).

Delayed due to COVID 19 lockdowns and complexity of public realm works in the area.

9.e Ocean Terminal to Rennie’s Isle

Winter 20/21 – Spring 2022

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Autumn 2021)

To facilitate traffic management arrangements, a small section will require to be completed separately which has resulted in a delay.

9.f Rennie’s Isle to Tower Place

Autumn 2021 – Summer 2022

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Spring 2022)

Construction will now be undertaken in two sections which has resulted in a delay.

9.g Stevedore Place Tram Stop Area

Winter 2020/21 – Autumn 2021

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Autumn 2021)

9.h Casino Access Road

Winter 2021/22 – Spring 2022

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Spring 2022

9.i Constitution Place to Tower Street

Autumn 2019 – Summer 2021

(Estimated completion date November 2020: Spring 2021)

The volume and complexity of utilities, including a Victorian sewer, in this area has resulted in a delay to the completion of this section.