Trams to Newhaven Newsletter: 2nd July

The Trams to Newhaven team have published their latest newsletter which details the Leith Walk roadworks, new bins arrangements and an incoming cycle-lane. We have posted the Leith Central-related plaintext below but you can sign up for the alerts directly by going to edinburgh.gov.uk/tramstonewhaven

Leith Walk
The establishment of the construction site from London Road to Crown Place is ongoing. The city bound lane is operational. Please visit our project website for further information on the traffic management arrangements. Details of Lothian Bus diversions are available on their website

Site Investigation works have commenced from London Road to Annandale Street and will be continuing down Leith Walk.  

The junction of McDonald Road and Leith Walk will be closed from 10th July for 6 weeks to undertake utility works in this area. 

Bins
Communal bins for Leith Walk are now situated at the nearest side street to their existing location. The regularity of uplifts will be increased to ensure the area is kept clean and tidy and uplifts will take place in the evening to minimise traffic in the area at peak times. If a bin collection has been missed please report this on the council’s website. 

Cycle Way on Leith Walk  
We are installing a bi-directional cycle lane as part of the establishment of the construction site. This will result in a separate cycle way for cyclists adjacent to the pedestrian footpath and both will be maintained throughout the period of construction. We are aware of concerns raised by residents and members of the public and as an interim arrangement we have installed advisory signs. In the meantime, we would ask that all cyclists approach the area with caution. 

Parking
All parking and loading provisions are suspended on Constitution Street and between Foot of the Walk to London Road with no street parking or loading facilities available on the running lane on Leith Walk. Parking areas will be provided at three locations during the works to facilitate access to businesses and local properties. These parking facilities will be short stay only for 30 mins and will be located in the vicinity of Crown Street, Pilrig Street and Elm Row.

COVID-19 Measures
Following the outbreak of COVID19 we have implemented strict measures to ensure that optimum safety is achieved for our staff and the general public.  We have uploaded a short video to share our new controls.  All works must now be carried out in compliance with Scottish Government guidance.  We have implemented the following protocols

  • All staff and operatives have now been re-inducted to communicate the projects COVID 19 measures. These are followed up with regular briefings to ensure the message is continually communicated and to reiterate the importance of good hygiene and physical distancing requirements.
  • Work will be carried out in compliance with Scottish Government guidance however workers will also be provided with additional Personal Protective Equipment when required
  • Temperature testing is now mandatory on the project and all staff, visitors and operatives are subject to a daily temperature check when presenting at site.
  • All sites will have infection control station, shown in the photo above. These stations are available to our operatives whilst out on site to promote good hygiene practice.
  • The project site office has been remodelled to include measures for physical distancing and optimum hygiene measures. Anyone entering the project office is re-inducted and advised of the above measures in order to prevent spread of COVID19. Those who can work from home are required to continue to do so.

In order to allow for physical distancing, pedestrian footways across the route will be widened where it is safe to do so. There are several sections of the footway where this will not be possible due to open excavations and/or uneven surfacing. To address this, we are installing suggested one-way systems on several sections and introducing passing places where possible.  We are continuing to review our working areas and liaising with council colleagues to ensure that we implement best practice but in the meantime in areas where space is restricted, as in other parts of the city, we would ask that people consider other pedestrians and give them space, stay alert especially if you are using your phone or wearing headphones, and keep left if possible and pass on the right.

Logistics Hubs
The logistics hubs on Mitchell Street, Foot of the Walk, Dalmeny Street, Albert Street and Montgomery Street are now operational. Logistic officers are working within the physical distancing guidelines outlined by the Scottish Government. The logistic hubs are there to help businesses with deliveries and dispatches but any resident on the construction route that is expecting a bulky delivery should contact the logistic hub who will be able to assist. 
We have received positive feedback about our Logistic Officer’s practice and would encourage anyone who requires support to make contact with them.

Your thoughts sought: Parks, Quiet Routes & Housing

We’ve been contacted by several organisations, including Edinburgh Council, wanting the views of people in the Leith Central area (June 2020). If you have opinions about the following, they’ll want to hear them;

Parks and Greenspaces survey
by The City of Edinburgh Council

Cycling ‘Quiet Routes’ after dark survey
by Oliver Caron-Nowak (University of Edinburgh) & The City of Edinburgh Council

Active Commuting (walking & cycling) survey
by by The University of Edinburgh & The City of Edinburgh Council

Opportunities you have to rest, relax and recover at your home
by Mina Sufineyestani (Heriot Watt University)

(Please note these are not conducted by Leith Central Community Council)

Social distancing changes on Easter Road & London Road?

Social distancing changes on Easter Road & London Road?

The City of Edinburgh Council are proposing pavement widening and other measures down all of Easter Road and part of London Road for social distancing purposes.

They’re asking people who live and work in the community to let them know your thoughts about how they can create more space. You can email them at spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk before 5pm on 26th June 2020. Please note they are unable to respond to individual emails.

The map highlights areas they’re looking at;

Great Junction Street and other areas near the Kirkgate are also up for consideration. Our neighbouring community councils, Leith Links and Leith Harbour/Newhaven have posted about them.

You can read more about the Council’s plans to on edinburgh.gov.uk.

Northbound buses no longer going up Elm Row / Leith Walk

From tomorrow, Saturday 20th June 2020, Lothian Buses will be diverting the services 7, 14, 16, 22, 25 and 49 (going towards the Kirkgate) up London Road and Easter Road as the Trams To Newhaven project resumes.

Additionally, several bus stops in Easter Road, including the one at the top, will be closed.

More info on LothianBuses.com

Leith Central Community Councillors have been engaging with The City of Edinburgh Council and neighbouring community councils about the project and the impact on our area for the past few years. You can read some of the enquries the CCTT task force have been pressing.

Zero Waste Leith: your views wanted

The Zero Waste Leith project, which is run by the locally-based recycling & waste company Changeworks are wanting your views on the work they’ve been doing, such as organised litterpicks and advertising campaigns

Enscape, on behalf of Zero Waste Leith, contacted Leith Central Community Council with the following survey:

Are you a resident based in Leith? If yes, we are keen to learn about your experience of the Zero Waste Leith project. So whether you actively engaged with the project or haven’t heard of it, we would like to hear from you.

The survey will help to inform how future community projects are funded and to understand the impact that Zero Waste Leith has had on local residents. We know that time is precious, but if you can spare five minutes, we would be very grateful.

Zero Waste Leith survey

Seafield Recycling Centre re-opening on Monday (by appointment only!)

Edinburgh Council have announced that the 3 household-waste recycling centres (Seafield, Craigmillar and Wester Hailes) are re-opening from Monday 1st June 2020, but appointments are required or you will be turned away.

You can book an appointment here from today (Monday 28th May). This is to prevent overcrowding.

Our response to the Leith Walk/Halmyre Street consultation

The site between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street has had its consultation extended until 1st June 2020.

Before we submit the below views, we want to hear yours. Please fill in this 30-second form and let Leith Central Community Council know what you would like included in our response.

We urge all local residents and businesses to to take part in potentially shaping the future of the site either by filling in the above form or on edinburgh.gov.uk.

Place Brief for the site between Leith Walk & Halmyre Street

Leith Central Community Council consultation response

(15-02-20, P. Forissier / H. Tobermann)

Background

On 11 March 2019, LCCC called for formal planning guidance from CEC for the sites on both sides of lower Leith Walk (“Stead’s Place” and the site opposite, framed by Leith Walk at the old tram depot site to Manderston and Halmyre). On 25 March 2019, Neil Gardiner, CEC’s Planning Convener, responded: “There is considerable merit in your suggestion to prepare guidance in relation to the Stead’s Place site and also cover neighbouring development opportunities, for example land on the opposite side of Leith Walk. The preparation of a Place Brief would provide the opportunity for the local community to come together with landowners/ developers to discuss development options, aspirations and concerns across a number ofdevelopment sites.”

In early 2020, CEC started work on a Place Brief for the area between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street in the form public workshops and an online consultation.
Key elements and characteristics of the emerging Place Bief.

In view of the prominent location of both sites – east and west of Leith Walk, between Stead’s Place and Jane Street, and Manderson Street, Halmyre Street Smith Place respectively – Leith Central Community Council welcomes a Place Brief that guides future development in this area in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding urban fabric that is home and workplace of a strong community. Leith Central Community Council is conscious that the latter is vital to sustain the existing high density of the area. Given the size of both sites, insensitive or inappropriate “insertions” would undermine this strength and should therefore be ruled out by the Place Brief.

At the same time, the Place Brief is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve East-West and North-South permeability and to provide a step-change in health provision and much needed social and truly affordable housing.

The following elements should be part of the Place Brief

  1. Manderston Street and its railway arches should be part of the Brief, as well as former Tram Depot office building (165 Leith Walk) and the “Stead’s Place” shop frontage with the warehouses behind.
  2. The effects of any future development on the Conservation Area and all listed buildings surrounding the site should be acknowledged. In particular, the 2-storey “Stead’s Place” shop frontage needs to be a key element of any future development, as acknowledged by the DPEA appeal decision.
  3. The provision for truly affordable housing for rent and to buy, including social and council housing, should be made a priority to tackle homlessness and overcrowding.
  4. This part of Leith has an active local economy giving opportunities to access good quality work. A mixture of affordable residential, industrial, commercial and retail options is essential to protect a vibrant and lively Leith Walk as a place where people live and work.
  5. High quality pedestrian, and where possible, cycle routes through both sites – both north-south and east-west – should be designed in from the outset.
  6. Recognising the existing diversity of uses, there should be no single dominant use.
  7. Sensitive and diverse architectural styles should be at the heart of the future design.
  8. No overly massive design should be allowed; scale and density must be in tune with existingbuildings surrounding the sites.
  9. Considering the size of the site, the future developments should create an attractive series of places rather than one place.
  10. Design features should complement existing styles while contributing to the existing eclectic character of this part of Leith Walk.
  11. Outstanding precedents like the award winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich and Leith Fort should inspire the Place Brief.
  12. The inclusion of significant greenspace should be an essential part of the Place Brief.
  13. Developer’s contributions should be ring fenced for community agreed projects.
  14. Cultural and social spaces should be considered a priority for future community development.
  15. There is a range of spaces and opportunities to meet for the elderly and vulnerable people but many are at risk, like the Bingo Hall.
  16. Serious consideration needs to be given to the relocation of the outdated NHS facilities at Allander and Inchkeith House to a purpose-built health centre on the West side with “walk-in” access through one of the retained shop frontages. The existing – refurbished – buildings would lend themselves to retail or community use at ground level with residential accommodation above.

Please fill in this 30-second form and let Leith Central Community Council know your thoughts about our response.

Easter Road considered for footpath widening

The City of Edinburgh Council have indicated that Easter Road along with streets across the capital have been shortlisted to recieve widend pavements to help facilitate social-distancing if councillors approve the ‘Creating Safe Spaces for Walking and Cycling‘ (PDF link) report.

The report also proposes citywide measures, most notably reducing waits between Green Men at traffic lights.

It does not detail the exact nature of the possible pavement extension.

The webcast will take place on Thursday 14th May and may be viewed on edinburgh.gov.uk.

If you wish to feed back to your local Leith Walk councillors before then, please see our ‘About’ page for their (and our) email addresses.

Trams to Newhaven: April newsletter released

Edinburgh Council’s Trams to Newhaven team have released their latest newsletter. Visit edinburgh.gov.uk/tramstonewhaven for updates directly from them.

Construction work shuts down
Construction on Edinburgh’s Trams to Newhaven project is on hold to protect the safety of workers and residents during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

The project will follow guidance from the Scottish Government as to when works can recommence.

The existing traffic management on Constitution Street, Lindsay Road and Ocean Drive remains in place.

The construction sites are inspected daily to ensure they are safe and secure and emergency services have access to all sites at all times in the event they require it.

Work on the project which can be done remotely is continuing,

The contact centre remains operational for any queries.

Please refer to the project website for updated FAQs.

Bus Diversions 

Please check the Lothian Buses website or Transport for Edinburgh App for details of bus services.

Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council Advice 
This week, the City of Edinburgh Council highlighted some tips and guidance on well-being during COVID-19.

Please follow the guidelines that the Scottish Government have issued which you can read here and be safe.

Please find below some further links from the City of Edinburgh Council’s website that you may find useful.

Our latest guidance for businesses
Childcare arrangements for key workers
Homelessness services
Parks and Greenspaces guidance
Council Tax and Benefits phone services

Community Benefits
Construction works may have been temporarily suspended  on the project during COVID-19 but our contractors SFN and MUS have been working behind the scenes by reaching out to communities to offer support and assistance where required.
SFN donated some of the vital items that frontline workers require during these challenging times.
City of Edinburgh Council Housing services was just one of the requests that they responded too as they were experiencing a shortage in disposable gloves.  They were more that happy to offer further assistance and supplied them with this much needed resources to ensure that housing repair operatives could continue carrying out essential repairs to tenant’s home throughout the locality.

Bring your Child to Work Day – Home Edition
On Thursday 23rd April 2020 our project team got involved in Bring your Child to Work Day.  This is hosted by Developing the Young Workforce, who are responsible for driving the Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy, which helps to better prepare young people for the world of work.

This campaign – #DYWChildtowork Day is all about inspiring and attracting young people in to the industry.  We got involved by getting some of our team members children experience a day in the world of construction.

Please follow us @TramstoNewhaven to meet our newest recruits!

Find out more and get support

For further information on the project please visit our website where you can find a range of FAQs. Alternatively, you can contact us via email or by telephone on 0131 322 1122. We’re available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

Dryden Gait substation work completed

The new transformers have now been energised and the work has been completed along with the underground cabling work.

The contractors have now left the site and the road has been temporary reinstated of excavation on Dryden Gait this will be permanently reinstated once authorisation is given for Scottish Power Energey Network contractors to return after the COVID-19 crises are over.

Leith Central Community Council recieved an email from Scottish Power Energy Networks.