Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 25 November 2021

Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting, 25 November 2021

Actions and decisions are red italic. ‘TT’ means ‘Trams Team’. Names are sometimes abbreviated to initials.

1 Attendance

Robert Armstrong TT Andrew Mackenzie CCTT /LLCC
Mike Birch CCTT/NTBCC Jennifer Marlborough CCTT/LHNCC
Charlotte Encombe CCTT/LCCC Michael Motion TT
Don Giles CCTT/LHNCC Bruce Ryan CCTT minutes secretary
Angus Hardie CCTT/LLCC Harald Tobermann CCTT/LCCC
Rob Leech TT

2 Apologies

Carol Nimmo CCTT/NTBCC Steve Jackson TT

3 Approval of October minutes

Approved nem con

4 Final Design / Landscape Issues

4.a Final Designs

4.a.i CCTT’s initial comments after viewing final designs (last revision: August 2021) @ 165 Leith Walk on 3 November 2021

  • HT: thanks to RA, CCTT was able to view large-scale plans of the whole route on 3 November.
  • RA: CCTT does not yet have the simplified plans which could be emailed to CCTT members. This version would have reduced wording to make the drawings easier to read, but would not hide any planning detail.
    • MB: RA did a good job of taking me through the current plans. Like JM, I prefer to receive copies of the drawings we were shown: nothing on them got in the way of understanding them. I don’t want to wait another month.
    • Action: RA to circulate these as soon as they are available.
    • Action: CCTT to not share these further
  • JM: the planned development for Ocean Terminal (OT) has changed a lot, e.g. parking areas used for taxis. The notes say that OT must accommodate whatever TT does, but OT plans to build other things. So is there a comms issue?
    • HT: OT has not yet submitted its planning application. TT should not hold up its work because of OT’s intentions.
    • RL: I concur: planning applications must go through due process.
  • HT: the plans’ last revision date is August. Why are they only available now? Were any revisions made since August?
    • RA: the only revisions were to tree species (done by the ‘client team’). There are not major changes.
  • HT: PDFs may be too big to email.
    • RA: simplification is also needed because the drawings 1GB.
    • Action: RA to deliver hard copies to HT asap.
    • Action: HT to then distribute these to CCTT members

4.a.ii TT’s plans for wider sharing of August designs?

  • RL: Atkins is working on simplified drawings. These will go on the TT website imminently.
    • Action: MM to advise CCTT when these are ready.

4.a.iii Have there been further revisions since August? Are more revisions planned/likely?

RA: No

4.a.iv Status of completed Leith Walk section (by Haddington Place): fully approved or subject to further changes?

  • RA: this is finished apart from two minor items: white-lining is to be burned off; street-lighting columns need sorted.
    • HT: those are about the central reservation. What about frontage: roadway, cycle paths, pavements?
    • RA: this area has not been handed over for sectional completion. That will happen when the east side has been done. At that point, I and the CEC quality inspector will check it all, so that all of LW can be adopted at once. It will then enter a 2-year ‘defect period’
    • MM/RL: while sections might be open to traffic ahead of sectional completion, adoption will not happen until the entire section is ready. This gives more time for defect-correction. Sectional completion for the sections will occur as stated in the contract. The sections are
      • York Place to London Rd
      • Leith Walk
      • Foot of the Walk to Crown St
      • Constitution St: Crown St to Coatfield
      • Constitution St: Coatfield to Queen Charlotte
      • Constitution St: Queen Charlotte to Constitution Place
      • Constitution Place to Tower Place
      • 3 sections between Tower Place and the Newhaven terminus.
    • MM: the defect period starts when all work is complete. The sections are not shown on the plans discussed earlier.

4.a.v TT’s progress of/response to CCTT’s Elm Row paper, jointly submitted with Leith Central Community Council, New Town and Broughton Community Council, Living Streets Edinburgh, Spokes Edinburgh, Edinburgh Access Panel, Edinburgh Bus Users Group on 9 November 2021

  • MB: RA send an interim response to the paper yesterday, offering separate discussions. CCTT will take up this offer.
    • HT: there is no point in such discussions unless changes are possible. Are changes possible?
    • RL: TT gave a ‘straight-bat’ response but is taking this concern seriously, and will explore possibilities next week. At the TT board meeting this week (chaired by Paul Lawrence), PL said he was keen for TT to work through any potential improvements while still delivering on time and on budget.
    • RL: Parking in Elem Row was also discussed – it’s a driver for the final design. Could CCs rally support for taking parking out of Elm Row? This would widen options for the area.
    • MB: the current designs try to satisfy everyone, but this ends up pleasing no-one. Residents need parking, there are issues around disabled parking. There will be bus-stops, cycle-route connections, so these must be in the design. So are there choices around other things, e.g. tree-retention?
    • HT: are we looking for meeting with the Elm Row paper signatories?
    • RA: we need to take into account residents and businesses, and ensure all parties are content.
    • Action: MB to arrange suitable meetings
  • MB: some issues have been raised with CEC councillors about the design of LW, via Spokes and the access panel: these include cyclist/pedestrian segregation, path-widths. CCTT has highlighted these in the past.
    • RA: TT has received this. CEC Active Travel is happy with the current designs, but I’ll send them a report.
    • HT: CCs look after businesses as well as residents, so CCTT will bear such concerns in mind.

4.b Action from October (3c+d): details of pavement widths along the whole route and technical note from Atkins?

  • RA: I have just sent out a note showing where pavement widths are less than 2m. This can be distributed within CCTT.

4.c Traffic Modelling showing impact post-construction

4.c.i Is VISSM modelling available to TT? When will it be shared with CCTT (with or without a modelling expert)?

  • RL: Please clarify what CCTT wants from a modelling session so we can do it.
    • HT: VISSM shows the traffic model along the whole route, and traffic flows in and around it, once the TT project has been finished. CCTT is interested in this because we have to live with the project outcomes. For us, trams arguably don’t add much to what we had before (i.e. good bus services), but trams might reduce congestion and pollution in the area. Modelling was not done prior to the final business case.
    • RL: I’ve not seen the modelling: we rely on an approvals process involving consultants and CEC traffic signals team. I don’t know what their criteria are.
    • RA: the underpinning idea is to ensure that junctions will work and are not saturated. CEC will not accept dysfunctional junctions. The signals team has seen the modelling. TT has not, so cannot publish it.
    • RA: possible changes are around tweaking of signals prior to installation to bring junctions below saturation. If modelling predicts 130% saturation or more, nothing can be done. However, in the range 90 to 120% saturation, changes to traffic light phases can be effective.
    • HT: for me ‘tweaking’ implies cars waiting longer at red lights and in side-streets, leading to more pollution. CCTT needs to be aware of such things, so please keep us informed, so we can lobby for relevant changes. We request another meeting to engage with modelling.
      • RA: [agreed to set up such a meeting]
    • AH: Duke St was modelled but is still poor. Modelling needs to take in everything that impacts traffic flows, e.g. low traffic and Leith Connections proposals, changes to bus services. Will this be done
    • RL: we cannot model everything that might happen in the future. Building in flexibility is key to enabling this city to do different things in the future. Our modelling does take in what we know will happen.
    • RA: Leith Connections and the other projects also have the data we have, so there is a shared picture. TT will ensure the trams work. As soon as the VISSM modelling has been signed off by CEC signals, TT can meet with CCTT about it.
    • RL/RA: we have to trust the experts, and the process is written into the contract. Changing processes at the last minute guarantees disaster. The modelling will be released very soon – CEC signals need to sign off one more junction, so it will be ready in December or January. We can then cover any queries.
    • HT: CCTT prefers to meet about signalling in January. Jacobs and CEC signals should be at this meeting.
      • Action: RA to organise such a meeting

4.c.ii What design changes were prompted by LinSig modelling? When will LinSig (junction only) modelling be shared with CCTT?

  • HT: please confirm this type of modelling has been completed.
    • RA: confirmed. While I could send out one or two pages, it’s best to cover all modelling in one go.
    • HT: receiving one or two examples would help CCTT prepare to examine the full data-set. Animations are pretty but do not answer underlying questions.
    • RA: each junction’s modelling takes up ~100 pages, but I can extract examples.
      • Action: RA to do this
  • JM: I’m concerned about other things that will affect traffic, e.g. the controlled parking zone, much of which is on the tram route.. The CPZ consultation uses out-of-date maps by should be using up-to-date maps used for the TROs.
  • RA/RL: CEC is dealing with this. I understand that because this is part of a TRO consultation, CEC can’t give any group extra influence. This matter was raised at TT board today. We are trying to push on this, and suggest CCTT also pushes.

5 Construction-related disruption issues

5.a Temporary pedestrian crossings on Leith Walk

5.a.i Improvements noted (with anecdotal substantial footfall improvements @ Pilrig); still not achieving promised 200m intervals

  • HT: there were improvements when the Pilrig crossing was reinstated – thank you. However distances between crossings are not all less than 200m. Please ensure they are when flipping is done. Work sections seem to be shorter than 200m, so it should be possible.
    • RL: The contractors are obliged to do this.
    • Action: MM to enforce this

5.a.ii Flags: many flags still very low; pastel colouring not helpful, poor visibility at night

  • HT: the flags are better than nothing but have limited visibility. Pedestrians need to be able to see them.
    • RA: ClassOne and/or SFN installed them, so TT will get them to look into this issue

5.b Progress on patching pot-holes and drainage issues on diversion routes: Leopold Place and elsewhere

  • RA: I know this work has not yet been done – I chased it today. It should be done in the next fortnight.
    • HT: CCTT raised this about 6 months ago. Who is doing this work?
    • RA: Chronic will work on Leopold Place. This work will be done by Christmas.
    • HT: What is McClays’ timetable for fixing the diversion routes?
    • RA: McClays is currently tied up with other work.
    • HT: McClays did the efficient pre-tram work to get the diversion routes to a decent standard. If this company is overworked, why did it get the contract to install the bin-hubs?
    • RA: McClays are contractually obliged to carry out these defect repairs. It has been struggling due to furlough. I will keep chasing.
    • HT: I can chase this, and raise it elsewhere: a contractor that is significantly delayed should not get another large contract on top of its outstanding obligations. CEC procurement failed to pick up this concern.

5.b.i Action from October (4a): list of repairs to all diversion routes

No discussion

5.c Relaying setts at Iona: not matching original spacing. Agree to add to register of ‘legacy issues’

  • HT: this issue should be added to a register of legacy issues.
    • RA: grouting had not been put in when we looked at it. Now this has been done, TT and CEC are relaxed about it.
    • HT: this is a conservation area, so I am not happy that the work has not been done correctly. It needs to be fixed once the trams are running, so the project isn’t delayed. The contractor can pay for later fixes
    • RA: It is impossible to tie new setts into remaining ones because the road had dipped but we have put in a camber.
    • RL: if the work does not meet specifications, TT will get this fixed.
    • Action: MM to ascertain whether specifications have been met.

5.d Winter readiness: assessment by TT

  • MM: There are weekly checks of all fences and water-filled barriers. Work on a shut-down plan started in November. Some work will carry on to 24th December, but sites will start to shut down on the 21st. This includes squeezing in fencing. During the break, there will be emergency contacts for all tram-related companies, including ClassOne, temporary lighting, temporary footways. There will be named personnel for these contacts.
  • MM: TT will set up stanchions to protect fences at pedestrian crossings, where there are no water filled barriers.
  • MM: the on-call numbers will be displayed on fences etc 24/7
  • RA: lighting is work in progress. Temporary lights will be installed as needed.
    • AH: On Constitution St, two lights are currently out.
      • RA: I will speak with SFN
    • JM: lights have not been installed at the junction of Melrose and Ocean Terminal at the bus stops.
    • RA: I will speak with CEC street lighting because this is outwith the trams project.

5.e Miscellaneous actions from October (4l): loading Union Street, noise monitoring Bernard Street, completion of various sections of Constitution Street

  • RA: the only remaining issue is installing a sign to say there is a specified loading area.
  • MM: there is no noise monitoring on Bernard St at present. One can be installed if needed.
  • HT: I assume Constitution St is covered by the materials C Wilson sent out.

5.f Any other construction-related disruption/congestion issues

No discussion

6 Review of latest metrics

6.a November dashboard

  • HT: CCTT has not had time to review this.
    • RL: I apologise for circulating this late. Please email me any queries.
  • JM: A Rennie’s Isle resident says the entrance here is a ‘no through road’, yet there is no notice so traffic is getting stuck. Please install such a sign.
    • RA: TT will look into this. No tour busses should be coming into this area

7 Businesses along the route

  • HT: CCTT has asked for
    • stats for applications received/approved/rejected and average turnaround times
    • stats for businesses closing since work started (relative to original survey) and a metrics for variety of businesses
    • a copy of application form and guidance
  • HT: many businesses have concerns. C Wilson has provided the form and guidance.
    • RL: C Wilson has relevant information, and will circulate it next week

8 Looking ahead

8.a Upcoming TT plans through to end January 2022:

8.a.i Upcoming changes to (or continuing) temporary crossing, bus stops and ‘flipping’ along the whole route

  • MM: London Rd to Pilrig will remain as it is now until January
  • Between London Rd and Annadale St, there will be flipping
  • Pilrig St to Jane St: flipping will happen in mid-December. There will be no other work here while flipping is happening.
  • Broughton St junction closes on 17th Jan
  • Flipping on Melrose Drive will happen at the end of January

8.a.ii Action from October (4a iii): latest map/s showing all pedestrian crossings (and distances), bus stops and upcoming planned changes (with dates)

  • Action: RA to circulate traffic management plans and dates via HT

8.a.iii Overview of works planned: locations and nature of work

  • Broughton St junction closes on 17th Work here is going well.
  • Leith Walk will be as it is now: track works etc. Work has started on the substation at 165 LW. At the bottom, excavation work will go on until the end of the year. Then infrastructure work will start.
  • Along to Coatfield, the current work will progress.Track works will extend to Coatfield Lane, and on the Coatfield to Queen Charlotte St (QCS) area. Traffic management will be installed from Coatfield to Lurie St.
  • From QCS to Baltic St, TT is pushing to finish landscaping before th break, so it can move fencing inwards.
  • Attenuation work will continue in Bernard St, so the Burns statue is in place before Burns night.
  • Other works will occur on Constitution St.
  • Track works will continue on Stevedore Place.
  • Tower Place to OT: track work continues, enabling buses to return in January. There will be landscaping work at OT.
  • Melrose Drive: ferry terminal works will start in December. Track work and Lindsey Rd works will continue.

8.b Consequent changes to motor traffic and predicted impact from displaced traffic on other area

  • HT: Please focus on Broughton St
  • RA: TT ran through numbers ~3 months ago. We are happy to do so again.
  • HT: now you have refined plans, what is the biggest impact on traffic (or has this not changed)?
  • RA: the biggest concern is the closure of Broughton St, but we have gone through appropriate processes, and factored in closure of North Bridge etc, buses etc. TT is comfortable with the situation/plans.
  • HT: are delays to bus timetables quantified? ‘Comfortable’ is not welcome when describing delays.
  • RA: Lothian Buses will do this if pushed

8.c Upcoming design challenges and options being considered

No discussion

8.d Upcoming construction challenges

No discussion

9 Changes to Project Phasing and Completion (if any)

9.a Changes to major, previously announced, milestones, especially completion of individual work sections (eg Haddington Place, Constitution Street north of Baltic Street)

  • HT: the street-names in the heading were taken from C Wilson’s email. If there are delays, this must be notified asap, and justified, along with any knock-on consequences. There should be compensation for any effects on businesses.
    • RL: please take this up with C Wilson, who is looking into various initiatives around this topic.

9.b Update on impact of supply chain/labour issues

RL: the materials issue is starting to level out. Labour remains a nationwide issue, but TT is mitigating via rescheduling work.

9.c Consequences of localised delays to completion (see Tram Update below): maintenance of running lane (Leith Walk) and diversion routes; support for businesses

No discussion

10 AOB


11 Next meetings: January 2022 onwards; dates, times, format to be agreed

  • Action: HT, RL and H Ross to work on dates and formats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.