Category Archives: News

Annual Public Meeting – Tuesday 28 June

LSE-AGM-2016

Living Streets Edinburgh Annual Public Meeting

Tuesday 28 June from 6pm – 8pm
Registration, tea and coffee from 5:40pm

Friends’ Meeting House, Victoria Terrace
Enter from George 4th Bridge. Lothian Bus 23, 27, 41, 42

Delivering World Class Streets for Edinburgh: The Next Steps

Agenda

Welcome – David Spaven, Convenor Living Streets Edinburgh

Tollcross Street Audit: results and next steps – David Hunter, Living Streets Edinburgh

Walking: The National Situation – Stuart Hay, Director Living Streets Scotland

Improving Edinburgh’s public realm: challenges and opportunities – Paul Lawrence, Executive Director of Place, City of Edinburgh Council

Campaigning Workshops
A World Class Edinburgh: big asks for Council Elections 2017
Action at street level: how to declutter Edinburgh’s streets

Plenary and summing up

 

 

Briefing: The way forward for George Street

In October 2015 Living streets Edinburgh responded to the local Councils request for comments on the future plans for George Street.

The full response can be found here

The briefing sets out the views of Living Streets Scotland and Living Streets Edinburgh (the local campaign group) on the future of George Street and the scope to restore it to its rightful place as one of the capital’s and Scotland’s finest streets. It summarises 10 principles that we believe will allow Edinburgh to match and compete with other similar north European capital cities, with principal streets that offer a high quality experience to visitors and residents.

Achieving the vision

  • Recognize that George Street is an internationally important asset
  • Redress the chronic lack of high-quality urban space in Edinburgh
  • More people – not more parking – is the key to George Street’s future success
  • Create fully pedestrianised European style spaces
  • George Street is not a transport artery, so prioritise place over movement
  • Quality materials are not enough to deliver a quality street
  • Shared space must protect vulnerable users and restrain vehicle speeds
  • George Street must be at the heart of a lively, sociable walkable New Town
  • Proactively manage and regulate the new street from the outset
  • Edinburgh must not fail again

 

The opportunity must be taken to demonstrate Edinburgh’s streetscape can match its world-class architecture. 

 

 

Princes Street – lengthy pedestrian crossing wait times

Princes Street is the heart of Edinburgh and its busiest street for people on foot. But pedestrians get a very raw deal as they proceed along the street.  We have recorded video footage of this junction in September 2015 and found that it can take to FOUR MINUTES 22 SECONDS for people to wait for the green man phase to cross just the Frederick Street junction. This is an unacceptable wait time for people on foot and not only leads to delays for the great number of people on foot but is dangerous as some people will inevitably seek to cross before the ‘green man’ phase comes on, resulting in frequent ‘near misses’.

The problem lies with the timing of the traffic signals. According to council policy, “absolute priority” is given to trams; this has had a knock-on effect of increasing the time that pedestrians have to wait to cross the roads which join Princes Street. However, the Council has responded to our concerns by tweaking the signal timings and we understand that pedestrian wait times have reduced recently. We will make more video recordings in the future, so that the pedestrian experience and actual wait times can be accurately documented and monitored. We also want to ensure that, should trams be extended to Leith or Newhaven in the future, there is no detriment to the pedestrian experience on any other part of the tram route.

 

Tollcross Edinburgh Street Audit – final report

Tollcross-Street-AuditThe Living Streets Edinburgh group organised a ‘street audit’ in Tollcross on 25 and 26 September.  The aim of the initiative was to help the local community identify improvements to local streets in a systematic way and campaign for improvements.  Thirteen people took part, with Living Streets supporters and members of the public joined by people from the Tollcross Community Council and the Edinburgh Access Panel.

The focus was on Home Street and Lochrin Place – streets which will be improved shortly during works to link the cycle network from the Union Canal to the Meadows. The chief recommendations were to:

  • improve pavement surfaces;
  • remove unnecessary fixed obstacles (signage poles, redundant phone box etc);
  • better manage movable clutter (A boards, bins etc);
  • introduce a proper cycle parking plan to meet demand (on street where possible);
  • make enforcement effective – for example, cushioning of scaffolding, management of waste bins and parking controls;
  • install dropped kerbs and tactile paving consistently and properly;
  • ensure that pedestrians can cross the street easily at signalled crossings (especially at Tollcross itself).

A meeting with council officials to discuss the findings will be organised soon and we hope to see improvements introduced this financial year. Living Streets Edinburgh hopes that this audit will encourage other local communities to organise audits of their streets throughout the city, to identify improvements to the design, maintenance and management of the walking environment.

The full pdf report can be downloaded here (3.3mb) – Tollcross Street Audit

Campaigning Group Calls For Delay In ‘Flawed’ New Bus Shelter Programme

CAMPAIGNING GROUP CALLS FOR DELAY IN ‘FLAWED’ NEW BUS SHELTER PROGRAMME 

The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) should call a halt to its new bus shelter programme [1] while numerous breaches of Council space standards for pedestrians by contractors are investigated, says the walking campaign group, Living Streets Edinburgh [2]. In a letter to CEC Transport Convenor, Cllr Lesley Hinds [3], Living Streets say that “in random sampling in a few areas of the city we have identified a range of locations [4] where the pavement space left for pedestrians does not met the minimum standard in CEC’s Bus-Friendly Design Guide. which states that ‘an unobstructed width of at least 1400mm must be provided along any length of footway adjacent to a shelter’”. The group’s Convenor, David Spaven commented:

“We’ve found some shocking examples where contractors installing new shelters have seriously failed to meet the Council’s own standard that ‘an unobstructed width of at least 1400mm must be provided along any length of footway adjacent to a shelter’. This is highly inconvenient for people on foot and in wheelchairs, and flies in the face of the Council’s claim to be prioritizing the needs of pedestrians. The bus shelter programme is clearly flawed and we’ve called on Cllr Hinds to delay the implementation programme until CEC can be assured that implementation will be such as to (a) meet CEC’s minimum standards and (b) at the very least not make conditions worse for pedestrians at the bus stops.”

MORE INFO:    David Spaven on 0131-447-7764 or 07917-877399

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

 [1] Over 350 ‘advertising bus shelters’ are being provided across the city as part of a 10-year CEC contract with JC Decaux, a major advertising company, see: http://www.jcdecaux.co.uk/edinburgh-live

[2] Living Streets Edinburgh is the local volunteer group of Living Streets the national charity for ‘everyday walking’, see: http://www.livingstreetsedinburgh.org.uk

[3] Letter from Living Streets Edinburgh Group to Cllr Hinds sent 11 October 2015:

‘Cllr Hinds

‘Living Streets Edinburgh is concerned that a number of the new bus shelters now being installed by JC Decaux are failing to meet even the absolute minimum space standards specified for pedestrians in CEC’s Bus-Friendly Design Guide, let alone providing much needed improvements to allow reasonable space for pedestrians. In random sampling in a few areas of the city we have identified a range of locations (see foot of letter) where the pavement space left for pedestrians does not met the minimum standard in the Guide, which states that ‘an unobstructed width of at least 1400mm must be provided along any length of footway adjacent to a shelter’.

‘We are aware of two instances, at Constitution Street and at Buccleuch Street, where the shelters have apparently been installed in the wrong positions, and where remedial action is being taken, or is planned, after this has come to the attention of CEC staff.

‘But there are other locations where the minimum standards have clearly also been breached, such as Crewe Road North (at Selex) and Lindsay Road (at Annfield), and a number of others where the absolute minimum width requirements are barely met, but where the shelters could readily have been positioned to give more space. Examples of the latter are on Ferry Road (at Wash & Valet,  Morrisons and Pilton Drive). In these instances the shelters could have been positioned at the rear of the pavement where an unnecessary c. 0.5m gap has been left (supposedly for cleaning purposes, despite there being no need for such a gap and none usually being left when installing CEC funded shelters).

‘It would seem that JC Decaux and their contractors cannot be relied upon to have any regard for the needs of pedestrians, or for the Council’s standards, even at the most basic level. In the circumstances we are seeking your intervention to delay the implementation programme for the new shelters until CEC can be assured that implementation will be such as to (a) meet CEC’s minimum standards and (b) at the very least not make conditions worse for pedestrians at the stops.

‘In view of the importance of this issue, we will issuing a media statement, embargoed until 10.00 Tuesday 13th.

‘Kind regards

 

‘David Spaven

Convenor, Living Streets Edinburgh Group’

 

[4]

‘Photos of issues noted above:

Still being installed but looks like they will breach standards:

Previous issues that we’ve been informed are being fixed:

END OF NEWS RELEASE

 

Buccleuch-Street-South-BoundConstitution-Street-Kirkgate-House-Measured  Ferry-Road-at-MorrisonsReoseburn-Terrace-Water-Of-Leith  Ferry-Road-At-Wash-n-valetLyndsay-Road-at-Citadel-Tisos