In April when it became apparent that our narrow footways were not wide enough to maintain social distancing, and many were getting out on their bikes the Scottish Government announced £10 million to support pop-up active travel infrastructure. The stated aims were to provide additional space for pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users and prams.
These proposals have caused some controversy locally on Morningside Road and Comiston Road where residents and businesses are worried about increased congestion and pollution – particularly given that Braid Road remains closed. I am trying to assist residents in taking these specific concerns to the council where they occur.
Many have also raised concerns over the short consultation period. This unfortunately is because councils across the country are circumventing the need for a full TRO process by using the Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) – Section 14(1) Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 and Section 14(2) Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984. The normal TRO process requires extensive consultation and can take around 18 months to complete. These emergency instruments do not require the Council to consult the public at all. See page 3 of Scottish Government guidance to local authorities in relation to COVID-19 which accompanied the above £10m funding.
To find out more about this temporary project please see the council website and get in touch with your local councillors.
The Spaces for People programme is separate and distinct from the Council’s Active Travel plan which is delivering around 50 permanent projects across the city. You can read more about this scheme here.