LEZs help to improve air quality, protect public health and encourage people to use more public transport and cleaner vehicles.
LEZs will be enforced from mid-2023 in Glasgow and from mid-2024 in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. They will stop the most polluting vehicles from entering the zone. Any vehicles entering a zone must meet minimum emission standards or will face a fine, certain exemptions will apply.
On January 27th, the City of Edinburgh decided to proceed with a ‘Low Emission Zone’ primarily featuring in the centre of the city.
Although this may not directly impact the Leith Central area, it will have an impact on everyone in Edinburgh who visits the Old Town, New Town, Southside or West End or uses those areas to cross the city.
In line with the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 and the Low Emission Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2021, Edinburgh Council is required to prepare a statement which sets out the details of the consultation undertaken in accordance with section 11 of the Act and set out details of how the Council has taken account of any representations received in the course of the consultation:
Edinburgh Council is now commencing the statutory period during which the proposals for the Scheme are published and during which objections to the Scheme may be made.
The statutory period for objecting to the LEZ Scheme commences on 1 February 2022 and will run until 1 March 2022. Objections must be made in writing, stating the grounds of objection and must be submitted:
Action: LCCC members to read documentation, then decide whether to discuss this further
5 Transport & Clean Streets
5.a to note: consultation on Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone (deadline 20-09-21)
Action: LCCC members to read documentation
5.b to note: damage to road surface at Leopold Place due to diverted bus (prompted by tram works) – Leopold Place Residents
A resident: I have been working with H Tobermann and NTBCC on this matter, which is causing much vibration to nearby buildings. We believe that vibration has been increased by tram-related traffic diversions, but this is not being considered seriously. How can this be resolved?
Resident: we are on the boundary between CEC wards: the road is in City Centre ward, so we have contacted Cllrs Miller and Doran.
H Tobermann: the resident’s house is in LCCC’s area yet the road is in NTBCC’s area. Also, neither the Tram Team (TT) nor CEC roads recognize this issue as their responsibility. Someone needs to own this problem.
J Caldwell: Bellevue and Annandale residents have worked together on similar issues. I can put you in contact.
Cllr Rae: these issues are widespread throughout our ward. We should work with TT on the general problem.
Action: Cllrs Rae and Munn to pursue this with other relevant cllrs, CEC roads officers and trams team
H Tobermann: giving space to public transport (i.e. trams) is understandable, as are car-, bus- and cycle-traffic. However, this narrowing does not seem right. It has only emerged this fortnight. Living Streets is pushing hard on this. Large-scale drawings have been available for some time, but these did not give enough detail to become aware of this issue. The table in the link was compiled by TT recently.
There was some discussion/clarification of ESDG minima, and provision of cycle-paths.
A resident: space is needed for walking, as we have been encouraged to do, social distancing, prams, wheelchairs etc. If cafes are going to have tables and chairs on pavements, pavements need to be widened.
Action: CCTT to push this hard at this week’s CCTT/TT meeting
5.c.ii to note: any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Project Team
A resident: the tram route does not benefit and is not accessible to anyone not on its route, yet all residents pay for it.
H Tobermann: no. According to the business case, it will be paid for from future revenue.
5.d to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area
5.d.i Controlled parking zones
I Mowat: I learnt today that the next CEC transport and environment committee (TEC) meeting will consider approval of report receommending roll-out of phase 2 controlled parking zones (CPZs). In LCCC’s area, this includes Bonnington and West Leith. For Bonnington, on which LCCC commented, it is recommended to proceed. If would need to register any deputation on this tomorrow. There is some amelioration of concerns about Connaught Place. There is no recommendation for mews parking, despite residents strongly desiring this. There is no acknowledgement of LCCC’s representation – can local councilors reiterate it at the TEC meeting? It would be better if this decision was delayed another month so that residents have time to react to the report.
Cllr Munn: these are good points. I have also commented on Connaught Place proposals, and raised other residents’ issues. LCCC’s submission has been acknowledged by CEC officers. Although I am not on TEC, I have met with its convenor today to raise issues. I can reiterate LCCC’s position to the TEC convenor.
Action: IM to send LCCC’s submission to Cllr Munn
S Kennedy: detailed plans for phase 1 are not yet available. Abbeyhill residents have also requested mews parking, but have received no response, and there is no information about this on CEC’s website. What are the regulations on mews parking? Do we need to wait for TROs for phase 1 to see the proposals? There has been better consultation about phase 2. We have also not seen bin-hub proposals – is it too late to request changes?
J Caldwell: CEC is consulting on a communal bin-review. Proposals for some areas have not yet been published, but people should watch this link.
S Kennedy: there has only been a tiny notice in Abbeyhill about bin-changes, but details were promised. There are no
C Encombe: bins, parking etc should be considered together.
5.d.iii Leopold Place and nearby bus-stops
A resident: The Trams TRO implies removal of one of Leopold Place’s two bus-stops. A temporary bus-stop on lower Leopold Place has been tolerated by residents, who are concerned that the stop may be made permanent. How can suitable detail be obtained, and/or a deputation made?
A resident: A bus-stop is preventing visibility of oncoming traffic at the Windsor St/London Rd junction. Tram-work has worsened this problem.
Action: Cllrs Munn and Rae, which will continue after completion of tram-works, to raise these issues with CEC officers.
5.d.iv Just Eat hire-bikes and shelters for other bikes
A resident: Just Eat hire-bike racks are empty and derelict, so do they have a point?
C Encombe: it may be that bikes are simply elsewhere.
J Caldwell: Just Eat bikes do not lock into racks, but are tracked by GPS. There was a problem with vandalism of racks. New racks – and dumped bikes – are now a trip-hazard.
A resident: my street needs a shelter for parking private bikes, to avoid fire-hazards from bikes parked on stairs.
J Caldwell: there is a plan to increase numbers of these shelters. I suggest contacting your local councillors.
6 LCCC Governance
6.a to agree: to resume future LCCC meetings at the Nelson Hall
C Encombe: it is likely that LCCC can stream its meetings but not undertake online question sessions
Action: B Ryan to report on his forthcoming experiences with hybrid CC meetings
Action: B Ryan, J Caldwell, S Kennedy to experiment with streaming
Decision: resumption was agreed (5 for, 1 against)
It was later found that Nelson Hall will not be available for the foreseeable future.
6.b to note: update on handover of Teams admin
J Caldwell: there have been no major challenges or bad behaviour so far. 2-factor authentication, passwords etc are appropriately available but safeguarded. Face-to-face meetings may imply less reliance on Teams.
H Tobermann: J Caldwell, I and B Ryan have access to an online table of passwords etc. Members need to trust us.
A resident: masks impede lip-reading.
S Kennedy: transparent masks are of little help.
6.c to note: update on LCCC’s emerging communications protocol
Action: B Ryan to circulate current draft to all members for comment
H Tobermann/C Encombe: LCCC has effectively lost one of its 4 councillors
Action: H Tobermann to complain to local government ombudsman about Cllr Ritchie’s behaviour
6.e to note: update on LCCC’s ex officio membership following recent Scottish parliamentary elections
S Kennedy: I have emailed all our representatives, receiving thanks from most
6.f to note: arrangements for LCCC participation in Leith for Ever Event 18 Sep 2021
C Encombe: I have only received one offer of help from members. More are needed. We should have a flyer.
I Mowat: LCCC should share a pitch with neighbouring CCs.
Action: J Caldwell, C Encombe to organise creation of an up-to-date flyer.
Action: C Encombe to contact neighbouring CCs about sharing a pitch.
7.a to note: 21/03828/FUL | Erection of 1.5 storey 4-bedroom dwelling house. | Land South Of 1 St
C Encombe: LCCC planning is minded to object to this application.
I Mowat: while there may be good reasons to object, the plans look reasonable. What value does this green space have? It might be better used for a house and a well-tended garden. Can it be accessed and used well? The proposed house is what LCCC should encourage.
H Tobermann: we have the most densely populated area in Scotland, so such green pockets are valuable and part of the area’s original design. The planned house would interfere with neighboring houses’ views. It helps with noise issues. How it is currently used isn’t material – it could be looked after.
C Encombe: tenement-dwellers may well appreciate such spaces. Building on brownfield sites should be encouraged over building on green spaces.
Lucy Watters: this ‘scrappy’ area could be better used. Green areas help with temperature and biodiversity.
7.b to agree: LCCC enforcement request regarding Pilrig Conservation Area infringement at 4 Arthur Street
H Tobermann: the owner has removed the front garden wall to enable more parking. This contravenes conservation rules.
Action: H Tobermann to submit request
7.c to note: 21/03965/FUL | Conversion and extension of building Existing garage Class 5 for Class 4 Business Office Light Industry | 27A Arthur Street EH6 5DA (deadline 27 August 2021)
H Tobermann: LCCC planning is minded to object because this would involve demolition of the existing garage. This would of itself be acceptable but it relies on a controversial planning application that LCCC has opposed. If 21/03965/FUL was approved, it would lead to the same access and safety problems as the one LCCC has already opposed.
I Mowat: the height and massing seem to be appropriate. (H Tobemann concurred.)
H Tobermann: among other things, this programme would mandate developers’ contributions being spent locally.
Actions: LCCC members to read this in detail; LCCC planning to report its position on details in this programme
7.e to note: any other planning matters relevant to LCCC area
8 Parks & Green Spaces
8.a Powderhall NW-SE Green Corridor
8.a.i to note: further delays (since May) to long overdue Stage 1 report due to ‘[staff being under] intense pressure (not just from temporary schemes) and have also been impacted by Covid related absence’
H Tobermann: a relevant report was published a year ago, but the officer who should forward it to TEC has been abstracted to Spaces for People for a long time. CEC should concentrate on core, already agreed, desired matters such as this, which potentially would benefit 30,000 people.
I Mowat: the best use for this corridor would be a railway, with a station at Powderhall, as part of a revived Edinburgh rail network. Is this now feasible?
J Caldwell: Lack of maintenance by Network Rail of the bridge between Dryden St and McDonald Rd is unwelcome.
Cllr Rae: Lack of progress is indeed unwelcome. The very recent IPCC report is terrifying, and should be part of decisions on cars, houses, land-use.
C Encombe: many people do want reduced car-numbers. LCCC wants this corridor to be used for sustainable transport
8.a.ii to agree: to write to ward and TEC councillors, requesting resources and TEC prioritisation commensurate with the needs of our densely populated area to have access to green spaces and the North Edinburgh off-road cycle path network
8.b to note: any other Parks & Green Spaces matters relevant to LCCC area
S Kennedy: information on Friends of Montgomery Street Park’s plan to revamp the park would be welcome.
to note: any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area
Parks & Green Spaces
Powderhall NW-SE Green Corridor
to note: further delays (since May) to long overdue Stage 1 report due to “[staff being under] intense pressure (not just from temporary schemes) and have also been impacted by Covid related absence”
to agree: to write to ward and TEC councillors, requesting resources and TEC prioritisation commensurate with the needs of our densely populated area to have access to green spaces and the North Edinburgh off-road cycle path network
to note: any other Parks & Green Spaces matters relevant to LCCC area
Open Forum (local residents)1
AOCB (LCCC members)2
Parking: Use of Maximum Standards (Essential Evidence No.42, published August 2021 by Edinburgh Napier University’s Transport Research Institute)
Future Ordinary Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations
to note: future meetings on 3rd Monday of each month at 7pm (except July and December):
021: 20 September, 18 October, 15 November
2022: 17 January, 21 February, 21 March, 18 April, 16 May (AGM)
to note: future presentations and charrettes
to agree: to invite Steve Kerr (chair EACC) and Simon Holledge (secretary EACC) for a talk and Q&A on the Future of Community Councils In Edinburgh
1this agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest; during online meetings, please raise your virtual hand 2 this agenda point allows LCCC members to raise issues not covered by the agenda 3 Items of local interest that may be raised at a future LCCC meeting – not for discussion at this meeting)
Transport Scotland have a consultation running on Edinburgh Council’s proposed Low Emission Zone (LEZ). The current proposed boundaries begin at Leith Street / Picardy Place / Greenside and extends south to The Meadows. Although none of Leith Central Community Council’s area are directly in the zone, there will likely be an impact.
Leith Central Community Council are currently listening to residents in the area and may respond accordingly before the close date in Septmeber 2021.
The proposed plans for Edinburgh could see the city introduce an LEZ in spring 2022, with enforcement expected to begin in June 2024.
As you may be aware, Edinburgh is one of four cities in Scotland where LEZ plans are being progressed. They include Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow.
Aimed at improving air quality and protecting public health, Scotland’s LEZ plans set emission standards on certain road spaces and restrict access for the most polluting vehicles. They also support the country’s wider climate change ambitions by encouraging people to think about active travel and using more sustainable transport options.
While Scotland’s air quality is generally good, road transport is a key contributor to the number of polluted hotspots that remain which is why progressing the country’s LEZs continues to be a top priority to help reduce the major impact that air pollution has on people’s health.
Further details about Edinburgh’s LEZ plans and how people can comment are available via the Edinburgh City Council links below: