Category Archives: News

Reducing Pavement Clutter

Living Streets Edinburgh Group is pleased to have been awarded a grant from Paths for All under its ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ programme to tackle ‘pavement clutter’ in the city.  We aim to build on the ‘A-board ban’ to help free some of Edinburgh’s narrow pavements of obstructions. The City of Edinburgh Council is providing match funding for the project, which runs to September 2019.

 

The idea is that we will work with local council staff to identify – and hopefully remove – obstructions which get in the way of people walking. Our focus is especially on ‘fixed clutter – such as guard rails, signage poles or old phone boxes, but we will look at other obstructions too such as bins or encroaching vegetation from hedges. We aim to identify at least 100 pieces of ‘clutter’ in all. Our focus is across the whole city, not just in the city centre and we want to look at residential areas and local shopping districts.

As well as making some specific streets clearer, we hope that the project will generally raise awareness of problems caused by clutter and opportunities to remove it. We also see this as an opportunity for LSEG to build relationships with locality staff and also to involve community councils, and the Edinburgh Access Panel.

How you can help

We are looking for local community groups and individuals to tell us areas where you think there is a particular problem with pavement clutter. You can contact us by email, twitter of Facebook and we will then have a look at the street. We will also invite community councils in areas that we are looking at to join us on a walk around the area and suggest items that should be cleared from the pavement.

Formal objection to TRO/18/64 Picardy Place

Dear City of Edinburgh Council

Living Streets Edinburgh is the local group of Living Streets, the national charity for everyday walking. We aim to promote walking as a safe, enjoyable and easy way of getting around Edinburgh.

We wish to make a formal objection to TRO/18/64 Picardy Place

Prohibited turn from York Place in to Broughton Street – we understand this is to allow a pedestrian crossing phase at the top of Broughton Street.  This will be dangerous given the number of vehicles seen elsewhere in the city that ignore such bans.  A prime example is the banned left turn from Leith Street to Waterloo Place.  As seen with the 20mph limit the police do not have capacity to enforce. This is also against CEC policies allowing “x” type crossings of junctions.

The TRO should contain an absolute ban on pavement parking.  This can be included in the TRO as per current legislation.  See recent developments by Aberdeen Council.  The pavement area outside Tesco’s / Hertz is of primary concern.

Area in front of St Marys Cathedral – there should be no exception to this area becoming a pedestrian zone.  Any vehicle requiring to park should do so on Little King Street.  If the council is minded to continue with the exception, it  should be more detailed.  “vehicles in actual use in connection with weddings or funeral undertakings” could apply to any vehicle taking part in any wedding on any day.

Cathedral Lane should be stopped up given how narrow the road and pavement is.  The pavement (at 80cm) does not meet the councils absolute minimum of 1.5m.

Cathedral Lane is currently one way east to west, which means traffic will be queuing in the general pedestrian area.  If the one way system is switched as we believe it will, the vehicle entrance will be in the middle of an advanced stop line.

Thanks

Living Streets Edinburgh

Living Streets Edinburgh Annual Public Meeting 2018

A DATE FOR YOUR DIARY – 11TH OCTOBER

This year’s annual public meeting of Living streets Edinburgh Group will focus on ‘City centre transformation’, and we’re delighted to have as our keynote speaker Daisy Narayanan, who is leading the City Council’s City Centre Transformation project. As usual, we will have workshops as a key part of the event – these will focus on the general opportunities for, and barriers to, a walkable city centre, including discussion of potential ‘strategic walking routes’ to and through the city centre. Daisy has indicated that she is keen to hear feedback on the city centre project and will welcome points arising from the workshop discussions.

We will also have updates on our campaigning work over the last year, including the successful outcome of our lobbying on A-boards, now to be banned from all streets in the city – and our plans for 2019.

The venue is the Quaker Meeting House on Victoria Street on Thursday 11th October. Registration will start at 19.30, and the proceedings will kick off at 19.45, with the meeting ending by 21.30.

Notes of Living Streets Edinburgh Group Annual Public Meeting 2017

Notes of Living Streets Edinburgh Group Annual Public Meeting, Friends Meeting House, Edinburgh, 7.00pm, 28 September 2017

 

  1. Convenor’s Welcome and report

David Hunter welcomed supporters to the meeting and summarised the Group’s activity over the past year which included:

  • Preparing a manifesto for the May Council elections with four main asks;
    • transform the way our streets are managed
    • more investment in walking
    • a traffic plan for the city centre
    • major pedestrianisation project (George St)
  • Welcoming some evidence of CEC movement on transforming street management, eg review of A-boards policy.
  • Regular liaison with a number of CEC councillors and officers including recent walkabout with Cllr Macinnes. Welcomed Paul Lawrence’s vision of doubling the width of all pavements – more radical than us!
  • Responded to more than a dozen cycle route proposals – with some welcome walking improvements, but in most cases incidental and inconsistent, and frequent failure to apply Street Design Standards to pavement widths etc.
  • Inputted to planning and traffic management plans, notably Picardy Place, proposed as a giant roundabout
  • Commented on or reported countless road works impeding walking, demonstrating an endemic failure within CEC systems of management / enforcement
  • Kept pressing the Festival Streets concept (closing streets to traffic) and hope to see support developing for an initiative in 2018
  • Finally, we’ve strengthened our Committee and got involved in an ever widening range of campaign activities: we would be pleased to hear from anyone who wants to help in any way – responding to consultations, social media, or simply reporting faults and following up on them.

David then introduced and welcomed Cllr Lesley Macinnes, the new Convenor of Transport and Environment Committee.

 

  1. Cllr Macinnes

Cllr Macinnes spoke about her background and, as a new councillor, her wish to understand the issues and agendas that her position required, to build relationships within and outwith the Council and to prioritise the work plan of the administration which the SNP leads, with Labour. She emphasised the commitment to empower communities and citizens and encourage participation. She considered the 20mph scheme to be an outstanding success.

At the same time there have been some major issues which need urgent attention, notably the business case for extending the tram. She was an advocate of more pedestrian zones (not only in the city centre0, reducing congestion and car traffic generally, as the city is expected to grow to a population of 600,000 in the next 30 years. She was keen to tackle pavement parking and improve street cleansing and road/pavement maintenance. She is part of a ministerial working group to improve air quality and introduce Low Emission Zones in line with recent Scottish Government announcements.

She spoke of her recent decision to postpone decisions on the controversial Picardy Place plans and committed to a programme of intensive consultation before a final decision was made; however she also stressed the legal, financial and physical constraints. She pointed to Silverknowes as an example of her willingness to intervene (to halt a road scheme that was inappropriate for cyclists).

She welcomed the input of groups like Living Streets and would also appreciate their public support where possible, as there would also be vocal opposition to many proposals to improve active travel and curtail traffic.

Cllr Macinnes then took questions from the floor on issues including: the possibility of more, or better advertised Park and Ride, controlling or removing ‘A-boards’, improving fault reporting systems, the prospects for a joined-up approach to managing streets through ‘street marshals’ and the hazard caused by bollards and chains on the High Street.

The audience joined in thanks to Cllr Macinnes for her talk, insights and openness to ideas for improving walking in Edinburgh.

 

  1. Stuart Hay

Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland, gave a presentation showing some possibilities of radical improvement to public space in Edinburgh and illustrating initiatives from around the world which other cities (some ‘competitors’ to Edinburgh for visitors) have introduced to make them more ‘places for people’.

 

  1. Workshop sessions

The meeting then broke into informal groups to look at maps and stimulate thoughts on specific locations and issues, in both the city centre and across the council area, where there were particular barriers to walking – or indeed, good practice.                (These have been collated and will be passed on to the Council).

 

The meeting closed at 9.00pm.

LSE Group – Annual Public Meeting 2017

Thursday 28 September at 7pm
Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Street EH1 2JL

You are invited to attend the 2017 Public Meeting of Living Streets Edinburgh, the local voluntary arm of the national charity campaigning for ‘everyday walking’. We’ve had a busy year, raising the profile of walking in the city, and engaging with Councillors and officers of the City of Edinburgh Council on a wide range of public realm issues.

Come along to catch up on our news, to hear from the new Convenor of the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee, and to feed in your ideas to workshop sessions on walking route campaign priorities for the city centre and localities across Edinburgh during 2017-18.

AGENDA:

18.40 Registration; tea, coffee and biscuits

19.00 Welcome and update from David Spaven, Convenor of Living Streets Edinburgh Group

19.10 Keynote address by Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Convenor, Transport and Environment Committee, CEC

19.30 Question time

19.45 The national perspective from Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland

19.55 Workshop sessions:

  • Topic 1: Identifying strategic walking routes in the city centre and key pinch points / barriers
  • Topic 2: Identifying strategic walking routes in localities across the city and key pinch points / barriers

20.20 Swop workshop sessions

20.45 Sum-up

21.00 Meeting closes.