Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 30 August 2018

(LHNCC apologises for delayed publication of the following. This was due to personal holidays. In future, CCTT/TT meeting minutes will be published much sooner after the meetings.)

Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, held in Leith Community Education Centre on Thursday 30 August at 6:00pm

Abbreviations

  • CCTT = Community Councils Together on Trams
  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CPZ = controlled parking zone
  • SPC = swept-path contract
  • TAPOG = CEC’s tram all-party oversight group
  • TfE = transport for Edinburgh
  • TN = Trams to Newhaven project
  • TRO = traffic regulation order
  • TT = trams team

1 Welcome and introductions

1.1 Attendance

Charlotte Encombe CCTT/Leith Central CC Darren Wraight TT/CEC
Angus Hardie CCTT/Leith Links CC Carol Nimmo Broughton and New Town CC
Rob Leech TT/TN project director Anturas Consulting Harald Tobermann CCTT/Leith Central CC
Rob Levick CCTT/Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC Andrew MacKenzie Leith Links CC
Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC

1.2 Apologies

Alan Jack (Broughton and New Town CC)

1 Update from CCTT

HT reported that a recent meeting with Adam McVey was positive, however there continues to be very little traction with local politicians. JM reported that LHNCC have raised their concerns around supplementary programmes issues. R Levick asked for clarification on status of CCTT in terms of how accessible this meeting should be to other stakeholders and residents. DW responded that his view was that CCTT was in effect the equivalent of the Community Forum that the Tram Team had envisaged establishing around this time. As and when the need arises, all were agreed that other interest groups/ key stakeholders should attend as necessary with the approval of CCTT / TT meeting attendees until the decision is taken whether to take the tram forward. Once/if that decision is taken DW is looking to Edinburgh Council to take responsibility of running a stakeholder forum.

AM gave an update Constitution St residents’ (first) meeting on 4/7/18. A workshop took place on 11/7/18. It was a constructive meeting with 4 design options presented. At the time the TT team agreed that Minutes would be produced and circulated and a 2nd workshop arranged. Residents have since produced their own notes as nothing was forthcoming. They received an email 1/8/18 from Rory, but have still not received anything and are annoyed about this. DW and RL have not seen these notes and will ask Rory to send them out tomorrow (31/8/18)

2 Update from Tram Team:

2.1 Tenders and ‘Supplementary Programmes’

DW has taken account of all the comments, where practicable, from the Constitution St residents and thinks residents will be pleased with the new designs, particularly concerning loading and safety. DW confirmed that it is dual track, the main concern of the Constitution St residents according to AM and JM. They also cited that it was felt that there were lots of problems with the initial designs, especially as they received no feedback. R Leech acknowledged that communications could have been better and emphasised that the new designs are the result of a lot of engagement. AM thinks the designs have changed because of the complexity of Constitution St. HT said Rory’s recent mailshot is a bit random (CCs appear not to be on the list) and suggests that the special groups should get VIP treatment in terms of information dissemination. DW said that the people who went to the consultation are on this list and he will make sure that the information, once assembled, goes out more comprehensively albeit the Council is governed by GDPR regulations and cannot simply add stakeholders without their permission. TT are going to publish monthly newsletters, also going out to all the shop owners, lamppost wraps etc. AH: communication is such an important issue there is lots that can go wrong. JM: There is also a group along Stevedore Place who are anxious that the designs are not what they want.

Next consultation for design will be at the beginning of October, this is for the general public and is looking at the entire route. AM mentioned that Constitution ST residents were given to understand that they would be able to comment much sooner. HT suggested that the Constitution St residents should come along to the next meeting. DW will get in touch with them in advance and check what information they have been given.

Atkins have been working hard to process the comments of the workshops earlier this summer. DW will present the finalised drawings of the entire route at the next meeting in advance of them coming out in public. DW: Lots of aspects still need to be checked: safety, buses, school routes, etc. There will be a consultation of the businesses on Leith Walk between 3-30 September 2018, causing JM to remind the meeting that the area north of Leith Walk is also important. R Leech: I think we will be more confident standing behind our designs, the last drawings were much more open to discussion. Having taken on board all the comments we will be defending these drawings more robustly. Even so, the drawings may still need changing on the back of new comments and we still have to seek TRO’s – more consultation – so people will continue to have an opportunity for commenting until next year. Once the council approves the Final Business Case (FBC) we will also have a contractor on board who will be able to contribute as well. AH comments that it will be good to have plans that stand up to robust questioning form the public.

3 CCTT Joint Statement First Area of Concern: The Local Economy

3.1 Support for Business (SBP)

Swept paths tenders have come back and TT has been evaluating them. The approach being taken is very different to the approach taken on the first phase of tram. Deadline for the Infrastructure & Systems tenders is 7 Sept. R Leech states that the details are entirely commercially confidential.

R Leech introduces the support for business proposals which have been signed off for consultation by the tram all party oversight group. The proposals break down into two categories, those that will be funded by the contractor (approx. £500k) as part of their work package and those which will be paid for directly by the Council.

The overarching aim is to maintain the vibrancy, desirability and accessibility of the entire route during the construction works. TT tried to listen to what the eco system of Leith Walk actually consists of. Some proposals in the document are construction-related and some legacy and will benefit the local community.

The document is divided into 1) Contractor’s Responsibilities, 2) Business Support Measures (responsibility is with the council), 3) Rate Reduction (responsibility of the Lothian Valuation Board). (SEE DETAILS Support for business package).

3.2 Comments on slide 3/8 and 4/8 (Contractor’s Responsibilities):

R Leech: The contractor will remove all parking and there will only be one lane of traffic on Leith Walk (city bound) during construction (approx. 18 months). The concern is that people still want to access Leith Walk during construction. There will be 3 distinct car parking areas provided that will be moving as the works progress. Within each area there will be parking for up to 20 cars. There will be loading provision and bus stops adjacent to the parking areas. AH asks how much of a reduction in parking? HT asks for sketch plans. R Leech will respond in due course. 14 logistics hubs along the route will be staffed, hopefully/ideally employing local people with space available for storage. They could be in the side streets. Waste is not included in this. DW: following a survey with the shop owners we have designed these hubs (for example: a container, depending on what is required) DW: There are about 400 businesses (including Ocean Terminal) and about 25% have responded to detailed questions about their deliveries. (traders were sent a survey monkey survey). Following a comment from JM: Anyone moving house will have to get in touch to make special arrangements. The hubs will operate during working hours and through pre-arranged times. Re ‘On Street Way Finding’, signing will be advertising local businesses, staff will be properly trained, understand the area and able to help people. This proposal will help the contractor to demonstrate any community benefits. There will be ‘open for business’ campaign with banners on key approaches for cyclists and pedestrians. Crossing points will be at 250m centres, where possible at desire lines.

HT: One of the issues in the past was that areas were blocked off during the initial tram construction. He wants these to be properly indicated and not chopped and changed and mentions that Leith Street is not good example in this respect. R Leech: With regards to the practical aspects of the works it would be best that the logistics support staff are employed by the contractor. However, the customer support people should be council employees rather than contractor employees. CEC will have ultimate responsibility in this. TT will continue to be on the ground checking standards and raising questions in case of problems. With a stakeholder forum still in existence during construction these issues can be raised. TT are pushing contractors to think about how to disseminate information for the community: such as archaeological finds, other items of interest, etc, so that they start to feel part of the project.

3.3 Comments on slides 5/8, 6/8 and 7/8: Business Support Measures

R Leech: These will include on-line marketing, web design and development, enhancing e-commerce opportunities, as TT feel that businesses are going to need to up-skill. £100k available for business skills development; this could be a good legacy. There will be a business champion who will go and visit the local businesses. Enhance the environments during construction: Create one-off events and art festivals with Leith-based organisations, match funding for events that are already under way. In short, TT will be trying to keep Leith culture as it is. Customer Service personnel, ideally using the model currently in place on Edinburgh Trams, will be employed by the Council in uniform to explain the specifics of the works, help people with limited mobility, regularly updated way-finding and updates as to what is going on. JM: All of this is about Leith Walk and she would like to see the same attention paid to the rest of the route. DW: On top of the customer service activities we also want to ensure a clean and attractive environment: window and façade cleaning, hopefully Façade improvements via grant funding, not for individual households, Cleaning of mud/dust off the roads and side streets. HT: Keeping the dust down was part of the contract for Leith Street.

DW: All the above will be open to consultation.

The option of a shopping app was discussed, with several members agreeing that these were very difficult to operate in practice. However, DW said If the businesses do support this as a measure, we also need to ask the public. Part of the measures would be market nights and Shopping Festivals with targeted deliveries using cargo bikes. There will be a Business Continuity (hardship) Fund to help businesses who experience difficulties during construction period. The threshold will be dependant on turnover p.a. It will cover food outlets as well. Application via website with fast 3-day turnaround, payment within 5 working days. People will have to demonstrate that they are in financial difficulty.

Re Business Continuity Fund, AH prefers loans rather than hand-outs. Quite a lot of these business are marginal, they go in and out of business on a regular basis. Last time they just paid people and it caused anger as it felt that that was just willy nilly. HT: hospitality businesses are successful often because of their staff. Part of the value of the business is the staff and so staff costs must be considered. Action AH: AH will put the TT team in touch with the Scottish Community Reinvestment Trust. R Leech spoke about the last item, rate reduction. TT have had discussions with the Lothians Valuation Board. The board have been positive about possible rate reductions although no decision has been made. Issue is that the smaller businesses don’t pay rates anyway.

These measures totalling £1.85M will be part of the total tram budget set out in the Final Business Case

CCTT will feedback once the proposal is up for consultation.

In response to a request for economic appraisal R Leech pointed out that the FBC will include a wider economic appraisal but localised appraisals are not part of the project appraisal guidelines. HT: would like to see a footfall count. Even if it’s not an independent appraisal would give us footfall, etc. R Leech: that is not necessarily a measure of success. It’s v difficult to measure as businesses are likely to be reluctant to give out any information. HT asks for more detailed information and R Leech will think about how to share that.

HT: Minimal/expected disruptions should be sorted out sooner rather than later after the business case has been established. R Leech: the contractor will be handing out this information at the appropriate time. HT: the problem is that once the construction starts, smaller issues go down in importance or get forgotten. DW: Early Contractor Involvement Period (no less than 5 months) ECIP should help to minimise this problem. This is now standard practice on large projects. The contractor will work out detailed plans and/or may turn up with better ideas which can then be incorporated in the construction process. Re noise pollution, the contractor is legally bound within certain decibel levels, vibration levels and certain hours.

Time table as presented on today’s Agenda.

R Leech thinks that they are broadly correct, needs to check. He will send CCTT an updated version of the table of milestones.

TRO applications are still to be timetabled for some time next year, sometime after the final business case has been made. If something needs to be done urgently Temporary TRO’s can be applied for. HT: we were led to believe that the problems were in the TRO’s, he would like to have a separate chat about this.

4 Supplementary Programmes

These have nothing to do with the tram budget. TT may however manage certain projects:

  1. £70K study to be carried out: Cycle Link from Leith Walk Kirkgateto Ocean Terminal. An application is now in with Sustrans for appraisal. Sustrans wants to find the best route for cyclists from Leith Walk to Ocean Terminal and look at wider environs. There will be a safe walk/cycle route. A detailed design would be worked up between Xmas and spring. More consultation will be needed.
  2. Roundabout Easter Road/Duke Street. Could be a pinch point, needs temporary traffic lights.TT wants to put a permanent and better design in place.
  3. Duncan place. Sub-optimal parking, needs re-thinking. Needs to conform to Safer routes to school. CCs want CPZ, TT is initiating discussions with Gavin graham, parking officer. Would also help to put in much smaller projects.

Members spoke briefly about their wish to see fully Integrated ticketing. CE to try and get a meeting with TFE head George Lowder. HT added that he cannot stress enough that the tram will add nothing for the average person living in Leith and integrated ticketing will be essential.

4.1 Road Renewal Programme

Sean Gilcrist is managing Capital road renewal programme. DW to report back to the next meeting about the road renewal programme as their plans and those of TT should be synchronised.

Most important thing to discuss at next meeting are the design updates.

5 Next meeting

5:30, Thursday 27 September 2018 (venue to be confirmed)

This meeting is likely to cover Constitution Street designs (This will be confirmed before the meeting.)

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