We object to this application on the grounds of the failure to improve the pavements outside the development. Consent should only be given if there is a significant contribution by the developer through a ‘Section 75’ grant to improving them.
The problems with the current pavement are well known – it is less than one metre wide and has multiple vertical kerbs. These features mean that many pedestrians are placed in hazard by having to walk in the road (carriageway) at present, while the pavement is unusable by a person using a wheelchair. The pavement therefore needs to be widened and made level. We do not consider that it would be ‘reasonable’ (in the context of the 2010 Equality Act) if these deficiencies were not remedied as part of the development. If consent is granted without requiring these improvements, we would therefore ask the Equality and Human Rights Commission to formally investigate.
The minimum width for this pavement specified in the Council’s Street Design Guidance is 2.5 metres. To achieve this may require further traffic management measures (such as the installation of a chicane) which were recommended in the street audit conducted by Living Streets Edinburgh Group in 2016 (bit.ly/2covj3Q). This would be consistent with the proposals to make the Cowgate ‘pedestrian priority’ as part of the City Centre Transformation initiative.
We also consider that there is over-provision of hotels in the Cowgate, although this site may be more suitable for a hotel than some other developments which have already been approved.
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.
Continue reading Position Paper On Picardy Place Detailed Design
The City Council decision to back the controversial Picardy Place gyratory roundabout will be a ‘continuing embarrassment’ to those Councillors who approved the plan, say local walking campaigners. Living Streets Edinburgh  criticised the decision of Transport & Environment Councillors from the Conservative, Labour and SNP groups for giving the green light to what the walking campaigners describe as ‘a 1960s’ solution to a 21st century problem’ Living Streets Edinburgh Convenor, David Spaven, commented:
‘Councillors – other than the visionary Greens – have backed a fundamentally flawed plan, which runs completely counter to the Council’s own transport policies. We now face the deplorable prospect that the Council’s design will make the Picardy Place and Leith Street even worse for pedestrians than it is at present. This will surely be a continuing embarrassment to these councillors, unless big changes are made to the detail of the design in the months ahead.
‘We will be pressing strongly for design improvements by Council officers to reduce the negative impact of more circuitous road crossings, narrower pavements and cycling /walking conflicts where new cycleways bisect pavements.’
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group is the local volunteer arm of the national charity campaigning for ‘everyday’ walking. See: http://www.livingstreetsedinburgh.org.uk/END OF RELEASE
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