Following the regrettable decision of the City Council’s Transport & Environment Committee on 25th January 2018 to back the traffic-generating gyratory roundabout design, Living Streets Edinburgh is now focusing on the need for significant improvements in the detailed design of the Picardy Place scheme. Incredibly, the latest Council design actually represents a net deterioration in the pedestrian environment compared to the current (pre-Leith Street closure) situation on the ground – as a result of, in particular, more circuitous road crossings, narrower pavement sections, and cycling /walking conflicts where new cycleways bisect footways. This is not acceptable.
Living Streets Edinburgh Group has previously objected to RSO 17/13 on the grounds stated in Appendix A. In response to a re-advertisement of the RSO, along with advertisement of TRO 17/81, we re-state our objection to the RSO, and state our objections to the TRO, on the following grounds: Continue reading Leith Street TRO and RSO – Response to re-advertisement
Local pedestrian campaigners have urged the City Council to scrap the proposed gyratory roundabout at Picardy Place and replace it with a ‘people-friendly’ street layout. In its formal submission  to the Council’s consultation on the controversial traffic proposals for the Picardy Place area, Living Streets Edinburgh Group , argues that the gyratory is ‘entirely inconsistent with the Council’s own strategic transport objectives for the city centre and Edinburgh as a whole’ and should be scrapped in favour of expanded public space, wider pavements, and more direct road crossings linking bus stops and a future tram stop with the new St James Centre development. The Group’s Convenor, David Spaven, said:
‘The current Picardy Place scheme is a traffic plan – but it should be a people-friendly plan. We are urging the Council to work towards a design which is both a symbolic and very practical demonstration of the importance of walking and ‘place’ rather than ‘movement’, in this highly-visible and much-used area of the city centre and World Heritage Site.
‘The Council have an overall aim of reducing the car’s share of Edinburgh’s transport  – but sticking with a three-lane gyratory at the heart of the city around Picardy Place would simply encourage yet more car traffic. And London has a comprehensive programme for removing major gyratory roundabouts, due to their impacts on pedestrians and cyclists. It would be tragic if Edinburgh were to head in the opposite direction, endorsing dis-credited 1960s approaches to urban transport planning.’
Other measures in the group’s recommendations to the Council include:
- exploring options for bus-only access on the south section of Leith Street
- redesign of pedestrian crossings to provide high-quality connectivity along pedestrian ‘desire lines’
- ensuring that all footways meet the Street Design Guidance ‘desirable minimum’ width of 4 metres or more
- eliminating ‘shared space’ for pedestrians and cyclists, replaced by segregated provision
- moving segregated cycleways out of the centre of footways, relocating them between the footway and the carriageway.
MORE INFO: David Spaven on 0131-447-7764 or 07917-877399
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group consultation response is attached.
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group is the local voluntary arm of the national charity campaigning for better conditions for ‘everyday’ walking. See: http://www.livingstreetsedinbu
 The City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019’ refers to ‘reducing the need for motorised travel, especially car travel. Less car traffic helps make a city a safer and more pleasant place to live, as well as an attractive place to invest.’ This qualitative objective is reinforced by a specific quantitative aim to reduce the car’s share of all vehicular traffic on the city’s streets from 42% in 2010 to 29% in 2020.
END OF RELEASE
Regarding panning apps 17/04462/CON, 17/04235/PPP and 17/04234/FUL (Lower Gilmore Place)
We object to this development on the following grounds.
We are generally supportive of the development because it has a low level of parking provision. As Edinburgh continues to grow, we need to curtail and discourage more car travel from the city. Housing in dense brownfield sites like this this are the most sustainable kind of development, not only for the environment and transport purposes (beaches it is so easy to walk, cycle or go by bus) but also for the neighbourhood economy – local shops, community facilities etc get more customers This would support council policies which aim to promote car-free or car-lite developments: http://www.livingstreetsedinbu
However, the public realm in the immediate area is very deficient for people walking, despite this being a key North/South walking route. We would therefore like to see significant improvement in the nearby public realm funded from the developer. These improvements are (in approximate order):
- Widening the pavement on Leamington Road, and to de-clutter it (almost all signage should come off it). This very important walking route between the Haymarket and Bruntsfield area is absolutely atrocious; the pavement should be at least 2 metres wide (preferably 2.5 metres) to conform to the Council’s own Street Design Guidance http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/i
nfo/20089/roads_and_pavements/ 906/edinburgh_street_design . Unfortunately, it is hard to see how this can be achieved without removing the existing residents’ parking, which will clearly be unpopular with those that currently park there. Could alternative (off street) spaces be provided for them in the new development ?
- Installing a ‘continuous pavement’ across Leamington Road at the junction with Gilmore Place. There is not even a ‘dropped kerb’ there at present and as a result Gilmore Place is a very difficult place for disabled people to move along. It would be criminal to miss this opportunity to address this (arguably even a breach of the Equality Act?)
- Considering stopping up Leamington Road at the Gilmore Place junction, permitting access only by bicycle and on foot. (Vehicle access to be through the eastern end of Lower Gilmore Place)
- Improving public realm on the north and east sides of Lower Gilmore Place. This might involve removing the canal-side wall to open up views and access to the canal towpath and decluttering the northern pavement of signage (which should have been done when the pavement was recently widened).
- A continuous pavement should be installed across Lower Gilmore Place at the junction with Leamington Road, providing a flat surface for people walking along Leamington Road to and from the lift bridge.
for Living Streets Edinburgh Group
RSO/17/13 Leith Street, Calton Road, Greenside Row, Waterloo Place
Living Streets Edinburgh Group objects to RSO 17/13 on the following grounds:
1) All – pavement widths
Leith Street is designated as a Strategic High Street, according to the Street Design Guidance adopted by the Council in 2015 (i). This specifies that the pavement should be a minimum width of 3 metres (2.5 metres allowed only in short sections), with a desirable minimum width of 4m or wider. We cannot determine the exact pavement widths from the drawings, but it is clear that the pavement widths proposed in the order are far below the Council’s own specified standards on both sides of the street.
2) Crossing point of Leith Street East at Greenside Row
The drawing seems to imply that the entire pavement both the north and south sides of the Greenside Row corner is re-determined as cycle way from both footway and carriageway (10, 12, 16, 13). This leaves no footway whatsoever exclusively for pedestrians crossing Greenside Row. The drawing suggest that pedestrians are expected to wait in a designated cycle way before crossing Greenside Row. This is a busy pavement at all times – and is already excessively busy at certain times of the year (eg during the August festivals). It is unacceptable that pedestrians at this location should mix with cyclists. Of course, it would also be also extremely unhelpful for cyclists to encounter pedestrians on the cycle track.
3) Junction of Leith Street East at Greenside Row
The corner radii of Greenside Row (at 10, 16) are excessively large, which will encourage vehicles to travel fast when entering and exiting Leith Street. This is an inappropriate design for a 20 mph street. The Street Design Guidance (see above) specifies that the maximum radius for a corner of this type of street is 3 metres, and although not shown, the radii proposed are clearly far in excess of this.
4) Cycle manoeuvres, Leith Street (west) to Greenside Row
We are unclear what manoeuvres cyclists are expected to make heading north from the west side of Leith Street (6) to join the cycle track on the east side (10). We are concerned at the risk of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians involved in this manoeuvre.
5) Junction of Leith Street (east) at Calton Road
It is our understanding that the junction of Leith Street and Calton Road will be governed by a signalised crossing, although this does not appear to be indicated on the drawings. We would support this, so long as adequate pedestrian priority is provided in signal timings to permit the heavy pedestrian traffic to proceed effectively north/south. However, we have concerns that the cycle track on Leith Street heading south ends abruptly at Calton Road (10). There could be conflict at this junction between pedestrians and cyclists wishing to continue south, for example to the Bridges,
6) ‘Floating Bus Stop’ Leith Street (East).
The drawing shows a ‘floating bus stop’ (17). Living Streets’ opposes the further introduction of this feature until an objective and thorough monitoring is completed on the first such floating stop, introduced on Leith Walk (ii). This is because we are concerned at the risk of conflict between pedestrians (especially elderly and or disabled bus passengers alighting from a bus) and cyclists, where the cycle way lies between the bus stop and the pavement. This would be especially the case if the cycle way is, as we think 2-way, so downhill (northbound) cyclists may be going quite fast. No such monitoring has yet taken place or been planned to our knowledge and so we therefore oppose the redeterminations introducing this feature.
for Living Streets Edinburgh Group
5 Rose Street
17 October 2017