I continue to be contacted hundreds of times a month on the Council’s Spaces for People (SfP) schemes. A lot of the schemes are really worthwhile and are a great facilitator of active travel. However, in some instances the lack of consultation with communities has resulted in projects which are flawed, not based on evidence and are deeply unpopular. The approach taken risks undermining the Spaces for People programme and the active travel agenda more generally.

On Thursday the 28th February the Council’s Transport Committee met to discuss the schemes in Edinburgh South. The biggest issues are Braid Road and the latest proposals for Braid Hills Drive. You can read more about what was proposed on Braid Hill Drive here.

Braid Road

I know that many really value the closure of Braid Road and the safe access to the Hermitage it facilitates. On the other hand I have been contacted by hundreds of constituents who in Comiston Road and the surrounding streets who have seen a marked increase in traffic, pollution and rat running. The Council have never been clear that the benefits of the closure outweight the costs.

On Thursday officers proposed the opening of Braid Road south bound. This will only be done when the Meadows – Greenbank Quiet Route has been completed. I hope this will alleviate some of the congestion and pollution issues around South Morningside PS. However the reopening of Braid Road is not a silver bullet.

Braid Hills Drive

After a bizarre series of options which included the complete closure of the road was made public the Council has now decided to go ahead with option 5:

“The fifth option is to introduce a bi-directional segregated cyclelane adjacent to the north kerbline over the majority of the route. In this option no road closure is necessary, however, entry and exit arrangements at each end are still to be determined.”

I think this is probably a good option. The road is certainly wide enough to accommodate a cycle lane which would vastly improve safety for cyclists. Let’s hope the potholes are filled, the camber made safer and the cycle lanes gritted when needed. Perhaps the sensible outcome arrived at here was because the document was leaked and exposed to scrutiny by local people.

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