The City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee met yesterday at the City Chambers.

All motions from the agenda were agreed, and then the reports were discussed in more detail, most notably:

(8) Carriageway and Footway Capital Investment

(11) Supported Bus Service 18: Renewal of Contract

(18) A8 Glasgow Road and Granton – Commencement of Statutory Procedures to Permit Use of Footways by Cyclists

(19) Traffic Calming (Road Humps) Consultation – Buckstone Phase 2 and Broughton Zone Edinburgh.

The Carriageway and Footway Capital Investment (Report 8) was agreed. This report recommended approval for a proposed capital investment programme to repair roads and pavements in the city between October 2011 and March 2012. Councillor Child queried how funding for repairs and road works is to be allocated – as many streets need attention and only a fraction of these will be attended to – while Councillor Hawkins questioned the implications for traders on Portobello High Street of work on carriageways. Hawkins asked for information on whether the street would be closed during the works. Councillor Mowat also voiced her concerns over the state of roads on which work has been delayed due to the tram works.

It was agreed that local councillors will be consulted on street lists for their own wards, to ensure works do not interrupt other repairs or maintenance in the areas, and that a scheme of prioritisation is in place, mainly based on the physical condition of the roads and the amount of traffic.

Supported Bus Service 18: Renewal of Contract (Report 11) sought approval from the Committee of the award on the contract for the number 18 bus, which is the city’s main route between the Royal Infirmary and the Gyle Centre. The present contract for the service was negotiated with Lothian Buses, which expires in July 2011. This report recommends that the tender for the four year contract goes to First Scotland East’s tender, as it achieved a weighted cost/quality score of 66.11,  in comparison to Lothian Buses score of 55.29. Issues were raised about confusion for passengers – the same service number will operate on two bus operators.

Approval was granted by the Committee, after the convener Councillor Mackenzie explained that the contract can still be changed, or even terminated, if it does not work out in the first three months, and that a report will be issued on the effectiveness of the service within three months of its start date, which will ensure standards are being met.

Report 18 requested the Committee’s approval to permit cyclists to use footpaths  on the North footpath beside the A8 Glasgow Road between Dechmont Road and Maybury Road, and also on various footways adjacent to West Granton Road, Waterfront Broadway, Waterfront Avenue and West Shore Road.

Councillors agreed to the changes, both of which will link existing cycle paths in the areas to form a continuous off-road cycle route. Councillor Buchanan also assured the Committee that cyclists will have to adhere to designated footpaths only, so as to prevent any danger to pedestrians.

Report 19 also referred to carriageways, this time the road humps in Buckstone Phase 2 and Broughton Zone. It is proposed that the traffic cushions already on this road – put in place to allow ambulances to travel more easily – be removed and replaced by road humps. This is in response to the public consultation on traffic calming in Buckstone and Broughton, which showed that lack of road humps only encouraged on-street parking. Councillor Buchanan advised that ambulance services would be consulted of any changes to these routes, and that was agreed.

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