Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 26 July 2022

These minutes consist of the Trams team’s responses to CCTT’s questions – both exchanged by email.

The June minutes are awaiting the Trams Team’s approval.

Question/Query (main) location of query, if applicable Query author/CC TT response (confidential/not for publication parts in italics)
1 Noisy late night works on WED/THU night and until at least 2.00am on Thursday (7/7/22) morning. The closure was from 07.30pm but I understand the specific work did not start until after 10.30pm
How can we best ensure that this nuisance is mitigated? Can we do a better job of communicating this work in advance so that residents are better informed?
Picardy Place MB/NTBCC These works were to facilitate the installation of systems cabling as part of the infrastructure works and substantial notice was provided via socials/newsletter etc.
2 Sunday morning (10/7/22) fire at Dalmeny Street logistics hub, possibly fuelled by commercial waste (palettes, cardboard). What responsibility have the Hubs to enure that all commercial waste is off the street when they close for the weekend? Dalmeny/Leith Walk HT/LCCC Commercial waste is for the individual businesses to manage.
3 Vehicles getting into difficulties entering Rennie’s Isle thinking it is a through roadhas been ongoing for several months despite it being reported and discussed at CCTT meetings (see photos shared with Chris W and Hannah R) Rennie’s Isle JM/LHNCC The project is aware of the issue following reports from residents and additional signage has been put in place and the project continues to monitor the situation.
4 Concerns about the siting of the bus shelter. It was previously sited adjacent to the road but it is planned to be installed against the wall of the railway bridge well away from the actual bus stop. The planned location will mean that anyone using the shelter will have a limited view of arriving buses. To get from the shelter to the bus stop will require the passengers to cross the pavement and the cycle path. From a Living Streets perspective this is creating additional hazards for bus users especially those with limited mobility or vision as well as other pedestrians and cyclists. The landscape drawings do not appear to show the bus shelters so I am unclear on the process that has been used to determine this new location. Has a risk or equalities impact assessment been undertaken? Please can you review the plans for the bus shelter and advise whether any changes can be made.

I understand that this bus stop has been the location of an accident previously between a pedestrian getting off a bus and a cyclist. I suggest that careful consideration needs to be given to future risks of such collisions which will be exacerbated by what we understand to be the current design.

Do you have drawings showing the proposed positions for all bus shelters along the route? Clearly the issues highlighted here may also be relevant at other points. As you are aware there is already a concern about the use of floating bus stops along the trams route and those concerns will be compounded by the inappropriate location of the bus shelters.

Croall Place MB/LCCC The shelter has been positioned following discussions with CEC and JCD who provide and design each shelter. Each specific position has been risk assessed and positioned for best use of the area.
5 Drawing does show three proposed trees to be installed on the pavement which would further reduce visibility and space for pedestrians in a very congested area. The drawings show a further five trees to be located just along Leith Walk opposite Albert Street in an even more congested area for pedestrians. Is it still intended to install these trees at the locations shown? Croall Place and Albert Place MB/LCCC Yes, these trees are within tree planters and so should the location not be suitable, alternative locations can be discussed.
6 Gayfield Square – the previous traffic management has been removed. How do we avoid it once again becoming a rat run on to East London Street given its proximity to the primary school? Gayfield Square MB/NTBCC Not a project issue but will be reviewed within CEC.
7 How has the status of bike lanes between Pilrig and Annandale/Montgomery been signposted? Pilrig to Annandale/ Montgomery HT/LCCC Status is that cycleways remain closed and appropriate signing is still in place
8 Has all signage been installed prior to opening of Pilrig to Annandale/ Montgomery? What are the enforcement arrangements? Pilrig to Annandale/ Montgomery HT/LCCC All signs installed and NSL enforce as per regular enforcement.
9 What arrangements have been made to contact building owners regarding imminent OLE works when they may be on holiday? 10 days advance warning (project newsletter to 25th July) seems not enough. Constitution Street HT/LLCC We deem 10 days to be adequate and building fixing agreements are in place with individual properties in advance of this ten day notice.
10 When will buses return northbound Pilrig to Annandale/ Montgomery? Pilrig to Annandale/ Montgomery HT/LCCC Busses are now running northbound, however any queries relating to bus routes should be directed towards Lothian Busses.
11 Closure of Dalmeny Street has been poorly signposted resulting in cars speeding towards Leith Walk, then reversing? How can this be improved? Dalmeny Street HT/LCCC Noted and will raise at TMRP.
12 Will all street lighting be operational by 30 November? Newhaven to Picardy HT/all CCs No, in locations where new lighting is not operational temp lights or existing lights will be in place.
13 From a resident: “Armco barriers, normally found on motorways, etc, have been erected from the western end of the bridge to a point in front of what is currently the Cala sales office. I suspect the purpose of the barrier is to prevent trams, trucks, etc which leave the roadway ending up in the water of Victoria Dock. That’s fair enough but as I understand it, the function of these barriers is to absorb the impact of the crash and direct the momentum of the vehicle along the barrier line. However, here the barrier line is not on a motorway hard shoulder but on a footpath used by pedestrians and cyclists. So, it seems to me that whilst the barrier may protect occupants of vehicles, it does by putting pedestrians at risk of death or serious injury. Surely that can’t be right. Should the barrier not have been erected along the side of the road i.e. on the left hand rather than the right hand side of the footpath as shown in the photo?

Of course, there are no trams using Ocean Drive at the moment but the road is open in both directions and heavy goods vehicles including construction traffic may be using it.”

Rennie’s Isle JM/LHNCC As previously discussed the design is a consequence of a safety assessment of the designers.
14 From a resident: Issues that have arisen during the past 18 months.

“Here’s a summary of my experience:

  1. Near constant out of hours working over the past 18 months. Latest example is a particularly good one – dropped wood off at 00.35 am on Friday and it’s still there at 10 am Monday, and I’ll make a note of when it’s used given that “it’s got to happen”. The collective attitude stinks and we just suffer ad infinitum. I have reported countless times and have received countless apologies, but nothing ever improves.
  2. Poor planning, e.g. delayed concrete delivery leads to noise for >12 hours which should never happen. Our home life should not be the cost of poor planning and a refusal to reschedule work.
  3. Every single councillor has done absolutely nothing to make this better. Almost every email has been ignored, and invitations to attend meetings have also been snubbed repeatedly.
  4. Swearing, spitting (pandemic!), shouting (with swearing) unnecessarily. These bad behaviours are not remedied and nobody penalises workers. They are terrified they walk off the job. Again, why is it all at our expense. This is not considerate construction as they claim!
  5. Poor monitoring of noise and vibration data, putting us at risk as residents re potential damage to our homes and wellbeing.
  6. There are not enough monitoring stations in sensitive areas – perfect examples would be constitution street and beside flats at tower place (where work is very close!).
  7. Incompetence in the handling of claims. I had a claim for noise mitigation refused on the basis of not exceeding the noise limits. I point out they did exceed so they refuse on the basis of this not being a nuisance. I then point out the data is incomplete, with 15% of it missing because batteries were not changed so they change the reason for refusing to noise being inevitable. It’s not damage, more just the fact I want to enjoy my home which is not reasonable… So, we go from the sole use of data to refuse a claim to just ignoring the fact there isn’t even data to prove / disprove! They still never answered to say why the loss adjustor missed the fact that huge swathes of data were missing…. He’s not competent if he can’t spot that! It’s possibly the most unscientific argument I’ve ever seen.
  8. Repeatedly asked for regular noise and vibration ituation like this.
  9. Surveys not carried out on all properties facing the tram works– they only took low quality photos (probably with a phone) of the back of my house! Despite a successful stage 2 complaint to the council the project refused to do a survey. In fact, they refused to comply with any of the significant recommendations returned by the senior solicitor who handled the complaint.
  10. Streetlights repeatedly cut off by tram workers and left for months in darkness – safe streets? Complaints lead nowhere and my partner won’t even walk the dog in some areas for fear of being robbed, assaulted, or worse.
  11. Repeatedly cut off internet and refuse to pay claims based on loss of personal time that had to be recouped as I work from home. I was unable to ‘prove’ the loss, so flatly refused by the same loss adjustor outlined above.
  12. Trams vehicles don’t comply with laws of the highway, causing danger to other road users and pedestrians. They go through red lights all the time, wrong way down 1-way streets etc., reverse out in front of pedestrians and force you out of the way. They’re a disgrace.
  13. No / very poor pedestrian access and signage in this area – it’s a miracle nobody has been killed!
  14. Extremely unsafe practice by workers, e.g. smoking in exposed utilities, lifting materials over the heads of pedestrians with a digger. All reported, but of course nothing changes. It’s very dangerous living in this area around these workers. Reported to HSE / authorities, but always end up back at the council and their refusal to penalise / sanction due to fear of walk-off the project.
  15. Sworn at by tram workers for asking them to drive on the right side of the road after nearly running me down.
  16. Endless engine idling and lack of acoustic shielding on mobile generators. These things are easy wins, but workers simply refuse to comply. People have even asked them to stop / use this but they refuse. I’ve reported this hundreds of times, but nothing improves.
  17. They decided to put bark down on the newly planted areas with a ridiculous device that blasted a lot into our gardens. I asked them to clear out and replace the stone chippings / bark mix but of course have heard nothing. If they’d delivered it in bags I’d have done it myself to save the inconvenience, but what’s happened is they made a mess of my property and did nothing to fix it (yet). Am I now to do the work and also pay to fix this myself…
  18. I was told by SFN (in front of council rep) that the construction code of practice is a set of guidelines, not rules. What is the code of practice there for then?!? Is it not there to set out expectations of how the project should be delivered and what the rules are (e.g. no smoking in the work site especially near utilities!).
  19. The project management boast of endless ’toolbox talks’ but what is clear is that it makes no difference whatsoever to what happens on the ground.”
Stevedore Place (?) AM/LLCC Verbal update to be provided at next CCTT and we are engaging directly with the resident in question in the meantime.
15 Follow up questions to (14): have TT staff attempted to verify any of the issues reported by the resident by attending the site unannounced? What action has HSE taken? What contractual measures are available to control the problems reported by the resident? Stevedore Place (?) HT As per 14 above, verbal update at next CCTT.
16 Why did it take 10 days to fill the dangerous and repeatedly reported pothole between Gayfield and Annandale? Was is not deemed a priority, were there CEC internal communication issues or did CEC lack the capacity to deal with this in a timely manner? between Gayfield and Annandale HT/NTBCC Understand you have now received response on this from G.Barwell.