LOCAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY 2014-2019 UNDER DISCUSSION BY COUNCILLORS
Key local transport issues will go before councillors next week, ahead of a public consultation.
Since 2007, the Council’s transport projects have been guided by the Local Transport Strategy (LTS) 2007 – 2012, now extended to the end of 2013.
Proposals for a new LTS 2014 – 2019 are now being developed to direct the Council’s Roads and Transport investment and service delivery for the next five years.
The council say that any of the policies and objectives in the existing strategy are still relevant, and these will be continued or updated in the next LTS. However, there are some significant areas of policy where there is scope for choice and change over the next five years.
It is these key issues that will be going before Councillors next week, including:
- Extending 20mph speed limit zones – potentially to all residential and shopping streets
- Extending 30mph speed limit zones – potentially on all streets with any urban frontage (i.e. houses, shops or businesses) – with the exception of dual carriageways like Calder Road
- Introducing some degree of Sunday parking controls
- Using net revenue from Sunday parking specifically to improve Sunday bus services
- Investigating the possible introduction of a Low Emissions Zone
Tomorrow morning the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee will be asked to approve these priorities, and put them forward for consultation with the general public and key stakeholders.
Environment Convenor Lesley Hinds said:- “This is a great opportunity to shape the future direction of transport in Edinburgh, and we’re keen to hear the views of as many members of the public and interest groups as possible”.
Proposals to further improve access to Waverley Station will be considered by councillors this month.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has been working with Network Rail to better manage vehicle movements within stations to improve passenger safety and welfare.
Following discussions between The City of Edinburgh Council and Network Rail, the proposed solution is to allow access into Waverley Station for Network Rail-authorised taxis and specialised disabled organisation vehicles via a controlled entry system.
At the same time, works on Waverley Bridge and Market Street are being proposed to provide replacement facilities for those previously provided within Waverley Station, mainly taxi and passenger drop-off points. This comes as a direct consequence of Network Rail’s proposal to manage vehicular access to Waverley Station by means of a barrier system.
This controlled access will not, however, be able to accommodate the current number of taxis entering the station at peak times – three per minute.
In light of the above, the Council has been working on a raft of measures designed to mitigate congestion and improve access in the area surrounding the Capital’s main railway station.
These designs include:
- Provision for taxi stacking on Market Street to allow controlled access into Waverley Station;
- A new roundabout at the junction of East Market Street and Jeffrey Street to improve access to the new pick up/drop off bays;
- Improvements to footways, kerb alignment and pedestrian crossingsin order to enhance the pedestrian environment on Waverley Bridge; and
- Improvements to footways, surfacing and drainage on Market Street.
Councillor Hinds said:- “The Council has been working very closely with Network Rail and I’m pleased to say we’ve come a long way since last summer when it seemed as though access to Edinburgh’s principal rail hub could be seriously compromised, particularly for less mobile station users.
“The designs the Council has produced, coupled with Network Rail’s investment into new lifts and escalators, will make it much easier for everyone to access Waverley Station as well as improving the surrounding area with resurfaced carriageway and footways and a new pedestrian crossing at the junction of Market Street and Waverley Bridge.
“With up to three taxis a minute entering the station at peak times, it’s crucial that we find ways of managing the traffic on Market Street and Waverley Bridge. The proposals up for approval offer a range of measures which will do just this, as well as enhance the amenity of the whole area.”
A report detailing these proposed measures and requesting elected members’ permission to progress the c. £1 million project will be considered by the Transport and Environment Committee tomorrow morning.