LHNCC submitted the following response to the Low Traffic Neighbourhood consultation.
A PDF of this response is here: PDF of submission
Community Engagement: Leith Connections
Unit 1 Flassches Yard
South Gyle Crescent
Edinburgh EH12 9LB
LHNCC: Leith LTN Response
I am submitting above on behalf of and approved by LHNCC whose boundary includes a significant area within proposed project area and our response concentrates on questions that relate directly to areas within our CC boundary. We agree to LTN proposals with reservations, area limited as boundary finishes on South side of Commercial Street, therefore final stage of proposed route not included.
Concerns were raised regarding the omission of leafleting to all areas adjacent to project boundary that will be affected by some of the proposals, this is particularly relevant to North Leith, including Ocean Drive, Ocean Way and North Constitution St that have been omitted from boundary and Ocean Terminal is identified as destination in Leith Connections Project.
We are supportive of the aims for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods but it needs to ensure all residents have local access. It should also be noted that it is not just residents living in the area who will be affected but it will also affect visitors to the area as well, they also need to be accommodated and encouraged to visit
Q3a To what extent do you agree/disagree with the proposals for trial access restrictions to motor traffic on Tolbooth Wynd at the junction with Water Street/ Queen Charlotte Street?
- This proposal may well present problems for residents who need to use cars to and from Water St. and Burgess St. having long detour onto Bernard St./Baltic St. that resulting in additional traffic at these very busy junctions. There may be issues for local residents who have mobility problems that would be affected by having to use different longer routes, also difficulties for deliveries, refuse collections, emergency services and taxis that need to be addressed.
- All traffic appears to be being funnelled via Bernard St. and Commercial St. leading to slower moving traffic and increased emissions. There may also be difficulties for deliveries, emergency services and taxis that need to be addressed.
Q4a By restricting access at the junction of Burgess Street, new public space can be created for the local community and businesses to use on the Shore. See visualisation above for an idea of how this could look during the trial.
- We agree with suggestion for new public space but any street furniture must be sensitive to the conservation area and its heritage and the cobbled setts must be retained and restored. Some of the visualisations used do not appear to be appropriate or sensitive.
- We support idea of restricting traffic on the Shore and believe it should be main focal point with public space for pedestrians and cyclists enabling residents and tourists to appreciate The Shore and its heritage and access to Victoria Bridge. The road is quite damaged at present and needs to be restored and maintained. The issue remains regarding buses using this route, there is a great deal of support for The Shore to be bus free. At present there are increased numbers for large construction vehicles using the shore adding to pollution from emissions.
- Comments fed back from one of the workshop stated ‘that there seemed to be a consensus that the local residents believe that the Shore (at least between Bernard Street and Tolbooth Wynd ) should be pedestrianised with buses running across the Sandport bridge. We were told that Lothian Buses rejected this as that route takes them too far away from customers but once the tram starts running, that argument doesn’t really stack up.’ Also mentioned was the exceptionally poor condition of the road surface at the Shore, not least due to the increased size and weight of the new bus fleet and that even the better condition of the roadway in Henderson Street seems to be suffering now.
Q 7a To what extent do you agree/disagree with the proposed improvements to the public space on Burgess Street?
- Answered in Q 4a
Q 8a To what extent do you agree/disagree with the proposed improvements to the public space on Sandport Bridge?
- Agree in principle but various responses regarding public space and closure of Sandport Bridge
- Cycle lanes and pedestrian areas will need to be well defined and segregated for safety reasons. Better thought needs to go into usage and arrangements for each group, especially regarding road surfaces.
- Public spaces need be appropriate for the area and its heritage and the published visualisation does not reflect this.
- The area is quite limited and could easily become overcrowded and the North exit from the bridge is very close to businesses’ and residences’ access/exit for Sandport Way/Sandport Place/Coburg St/Dock (ALDI carpark).
- If Sandport Bridge is closed, then Tollbooth Wynd should stay open so there is a through route (e.g. to the Docks/Ocean Way/Stevedore Place!). Coburg Street needs to stay open for the same reason.
Q 10a. To what extent do you agree/disagree with the proposed improvements to the public space at Yardheads?
- Public space would be acceptable but would need to be accessible for emergency vehicles, refuse, disabled, taxis and nearest access would appear to be Mill Lane or Cables Wynd from Great Junction Street that are very narrow with no available exit to Sandport Place/Bridge
- It was noted that most vehicles entering Henderson Street from Gt Junction Street can only exit by the same route as they enter, leaving issues of the lack of turning points in eg Tolbooth Wynd. Access to Parliament St., Sandport Bridge and The Shore not available.
Q 11. Please tell us which potential elements of a new public space would be most important to you in each area? Please select all that apply
- Question completely unclear and doesn’t allow for a free text response. What does ‘planting’ mean (trees? Bedding plants in naff planters?).
- Artwork – NO. One person’s artwork is another’s graffiti. Barriers/seating – ok if well planned using appropriate materials.
- Choice of headings too vague to comment on could mean many things to many people!
Q 12. The locations/streets which are presented in the project materials and above in this survey have been prioritised from feedback received from the community through the previous online survey and Community Reference Group. Are there any other locations/streets that you think could benefit from an intervention which have not been mentioned previously? Please expand below:
- The North Leith section covering area North of Commercial St. that includes Ocean Drive, Victoria Quay, Melrose Drive, Ocean Way, Rennie’s Isle, Stevedore Place and N. Constitution St. are are going to be indirectly affected by the proposed changes. As Ocean Terminal is final destination identified in project it is essential that a safe suitable safe route for cyclists and pedestrians is identified and incorporated into LTN proposals. Unfortunately this area is still under design development!
The impact on the north of Leith needs to be shown and how residents will be able to get to and from homes should be visualised or mapped in some way. Many of the routes used now will not be possible under these proposals, but could be accommodated with small changes to allow local access (see 8a. iv)
In general there are many streets which have badly impacted through the heavy traffic and diversions of lorries and buses during the tramworks. For example, Tower Street, the Shore (northern half) need to be repaired as a priority, retaining and upgrading the damaged cobbled setts. Dock street is also in need of attention.
- Great Junction Street is a busy thoroughfare providing direct access from Kirkgate to Ferry Rd/ Commercial St,/Lindsay Rd./ Ocean Drive (Ocean Terminal) junction that would benefit from street clearance and traffic light controlled crossing at Henderson St junction and additional bus stop on East section between Mill Lane and Henderson St. Traffic diverted via some of proposed road closures will add to potential higher emissions.
Q 14 Please provide any further details you would like us to consider from your perspective to inform our design decisions:
We do support the need for LTN and reduction in emissions but there are concerns about the timing of this project as it is difficult to make comment on some of the proposals until the Tram construction is completed and there is a clearer picture of how transport, travel and movement for of people will be affected. The progress of the tram work indicates it will be completed on time in early 2023 and a full assessment of travel implications will become necessary. This may well have an impact on LTN changes being proposed. This is particularly important in relation to public transport provision for the general public in North Leith.
Leith is a diverse and vibrant community, all ages and abilities are represented.
- Whatever scheme is finally agreed must be to the benefit of all and this means pedestrians, cyclists, other wheelers, car owners (in particular those to whom a car is essential for daily life)
- give convenient access to public transport and private hire vehicles etc. as an alternative to using own transport of whatever kind,
- permit convenient access to delivery vehicles as online has become an essential part of the lives of many unable to shop in person
- it must ensure that Emergency Service vehicles can proceed as quickly as possible to their destination, it must ensure that our refuse service vehicles can ensure the hygiene, safety and health of this community is not compromised is any way….