Council forced into consultation before implementation u-turn on LTN plans in East Craigs
Cllr Mark Brown
Scottish Conservative and Unionist Councillor for Drum Brae/ Gyle ward.
From day one when I received the original proposals in my inbox, completely out of the blue, I was very sceptical of the Council’s modus operandi on the plans they were putting forward for this part of my ward.
Badged as “Covid-19 Cycling and Walking Emergency Response Measures - Proposed low traffic neighbourhood in East Craigs” the scheme intended to impose the following solution to a problem that frankly didn’t exist:
- Introduction of uni-directional segregated cycleways along Drum Brae North
- Introduction of advisory cycle lanes on part of Drum Brae South
- Improvements to junctions in East Craigs to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians
- Introduction of six road closures, with filtered permeability for cycles and pedestrians in the East Craigs area
- Introduction of a bus gate on Craigs Road
With the Spaces for People scheme not in a position to welcome public consultation, only local ‘stakeholder’ groups, a narrow seven calendar day window was offered for feedback.
Along with my ward colleagues, a joint a-political submission was offered based on local intelligence on each item. Much to our collective surprise (no, not really), five weeks later, the Council Incident Management Team approved the proposal for implementation, with no concession offered on any of the local Councillor or stakeholder groups comments.
Along with my Conservative Group colleagues, we have consistently held this SNP/ Labour coalition, backed by the Greens, to account every step of the way.
After four very long and stressful months involving a plethora of meetings, many debates, thousands of constituent emails, community crowd funded legal action and changes to plans that make original proposals unrecognisable, we have finally reached the point which was requested of the SNP/Labour administration back at the very beginning.
‘Halt and Consult’ on plans for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the wider East Craigs.
The authoritarian approach taken by this Administration was always destined for failure. We could have had a full-blown consultation with residents by now and been on the route to delivering proposals fit for the future in their community.
What we now need to see is the detail on the former (I emailed officers to request this information on 16th November and await a response) and I remain quite unsure of the key significance of the introduction of the latter however, in the grand scheme of things, it’s set for implementation.
So, what’s next?
- Full public consultation would be undertaken on a proposed design for a LTN
- Outcomes would go back to Council’s Transport & Environment Committee (TEC) for their consideration
- Approval to commence ETRO process subject to TEC consideration of the consultation
- ETRO would then be advertised
- If more than 6 objections, these would be reported back to TEC for consideration
- TEC would then need to make a decision on whether or not to approve the ETRO implementation and the associated LTN scheme
A big win for all involved in a campaign that frankly didn’t need to happen but the Council decided to take on a collective that wasn’t for turning.
With special thanks to those who galvanised the Get Edinburgh Moving campaign.