Here are the notes of a meeting called by CEC on 3 August with Community Councils local to Lanark Road. Unfortunately no one from ColCC was available to attend due to holiday commitments. A further meeting has now been called for 7 October 2021 to discuss the outcomes of the earlier meeting - see document below. ColCC will be there on 7 October, and we need your views to inform our own, both on the process of the consultation- queries have been raised about some of the "closed questions" asked in the Council's survey-and on its outcomes. We in Colinton are in particular impacted by the issues around the parking/cycle lane at Cranley Nursery at Gillespie Crossroad; but many of us use Lanark Road more widely as a commuter route and we'd welcome any views on that too.
Lanark Road SfP – Community Council Engagement
Notes from the meeting of Tuesday 3 August 2021
CEC: Dave Sinclair; Phil Noble; Rurigdh McMeddes
Longstone Community Council: Alan Gordon; Steuart Campbell (unable to contribute due to technical issues)
Craiglockhart Community Council: John Corbett; Peter Mavor
Juniper Green & Baberton Mains Community Council: Aonghas McIntosh
Currie Community Council: Keith Symington
Colinton Community Council
Balerno Community Council
RM presented the previously circulated document, outlining the options which had been developed to mitigate cycle speed, and conflict between people accessing parked cars, and people on bikes.
Proposals include the introduction of road markings on the cycleway to encourage people cycling to slow down on approach to parking areas, as well as specific options for revisions at two parking areas: Spylaw Park (by Cranley Nursery), and; Kingsknowe Park (by Dovecot Park).
The Council is aware of concerns regarding conflict between parents accessing Cranley Nursery and passing cyclists at this location.
Due to its location this section of cycleway is also likely to be less heavily used, and less beneficial to users than the remainder of the corridor.
There are two proposed options at this location.
- Remove the Parking
- Remove the cycleway
(NB: RM clarified during the presentation that there is a third option at this location – to leave it as it currently with both parking and cycleway, and that this will be made clear in any community engagement)
AM highlighted the need for data in order to support decisions, and queried what data was used to establish the levels of use.
RM stated that cycle counts were being carried out but the Post-Implementation results were not yet available, and that they would not go into granular enough detail to assess this specific location. Though this level of granularity may be available from Strava data, and this can be considered in advance of final decisions being made. However, the assumption that it sees less use than the rest of the route is reasonable.
AG suggested that this area should remain as it is now, with improvements made if possible, and that it would be a retrograde step to remove the infrastructure now it is in place. AG further suggested that the cycleway should instead be extended further west to more effective connect the communities to the West of the bypass.
Officers noted that no support was voiced for removing the cycleway at this location, and that this would be considered in developing the public engagement, which would include the option to retain the current layout.
The Council is aware of conflict at this location between people accessing the parked cars and passing cyclists, including reports of near misses and collisions.
There are two options at this location:
- Remove the parking
- Relocate the parking to the opposite side of the road
- (Relocating the parking results in a net increase in the number of spaces)
(NB: RM explained that due to the occurrence of at least one collision at this location it was not considered a viable option to make no changes here – as such leaving the layout as it is was probably not a viable third option)
AG stated that relocating the parking to the uphill side of the road seemed a sensible move, but asked about receiving deliveries etc for the flats where the parking is currently located.
RM explained that loading/unloading, as well as pick-up / drop-off was still permitted on Double Yellow Lines. As such there will still be space for deliveries and other such uses to be carried out from the kerbside. As a brief activity this is permitted to take place from the cycleway where space allows.
KS and AM agreed that relocating the parking to the uphill side of the street was a sensible option. Though KS noted that electric bicycles can still travel at reasonable speeds uphill – though this was probably acceptable as the assisted speeds are still below what can be achieved when travelling downhill.
AM queried whether the bollards could be removed from the downhill parking bay to provide more manoeuvring space for people cycling.
RM explained that this would likely result in vehicles parking closer to the kerb, which would both remove the benefit, and increase the likelihood of ‘dooring’ accidents. Though RM noted that the bollards have been omitted from the parking areas adjacent to the two nurseries, and adherence does seem to have been good. Nonetheless, the problem is resolved by relocating the parking.
Officers noted that there seemed to be a generally favourable view of relocating the parking bay at this location to the uphill side.
Other Parking Locations
At all remaining parking areas the risk of conflict between people cycling and people accessing parked cars is mitigated by the topography. Nonetheless, it is proposed to introduce further markings to encourage people cycling to keep to an appropriate speed while passing parking areas.
Attendees agreed that this would be a positive change.
AG: Stressed the need for improvements for pedestrians, especially improved crossing points, and ideally the introduction of a signal controlled crossing point using temporary traffic lights, possible set up in a way that could trial locations for crossings to be installed on a permanent basis. Several other attendees agreed on this point. AG suggested that pedestrian crossing facilities should especially be considered in the area around Dovecot Park.
AG: Suggested introducing timed parking bays at the parking areas with high demand for customers. Officers highlighted that this is not possible using a TTRO, however it would be possible using an ETRO should the schemes be retained for a longer period.
AG - Queried why we are not paining SLOW on the main carriageway given drivers are being recorded at speeds of 68mph even with the new road design changes. Surely the balance of risk has lost it’s sense of proportionality if we are only concerned about writing SLOW on the cycle lanes? I do support writing it on the cycle lanes before the floating parking bays but why not for drivers also? 'Traveling Safely’ must surely apply to all road users
AG: Suggested that the ‘floating’ parking bays should be ‘bookended’ better, eg: with planters, to ensure that they are conspicuous even when lightly used. AG also noted that these bays provide a valuable purpose in traffic calming by requiring passing vehicles to reduce their speed.
AG: Highlighted that the cycle crossing point at the junction of Lanark Road and Kingsknowe Drive has poor visibility and should be altered to ensure safety.
AG: Noted that some parking for the golf course has been displaced and that parking around the junctions of Kingsknowe Gardens and Kingsknowe Avenue, with Kingsknowe Road South. AG suggested installing Double Yellow Lines at these junctions to ease parking concerns.
KS: Expressed support for points made by AG and AM, including retaining the parking and cycleway adjacent to Cranley Nursery and relocating the parking at Dovecot Park, and introducing SLOW markings on the cycleway. When asked for his thoughts on extending the cycleway further west KS stated that should this be considered it should be alongside further engagement.
JG: Suggested reducing the speed limit on Lanark Road further to 20mph. Further suggested installing Crossways (Zebra Crossings without Belisha Beacons) at regular intervals in Lanark Road and at Side Roads, and highlighted the need to improve the environment for cycling on Lanark Road between Inglis Green Road and Hutchison Avenue, especially in light of the new developments taking place in the area.
Officers stated that these points would be considered in advance of engagement with residents, and where appropriate the designs, and options, would be updated. In particular, consideration will be given to improving opportunities for crossing the road throughout the scheme, and consideration will be given to the inclusion of a temporary-traffic light controlled crossing. Though officers highlighted that budgetary constraints may create difficulties as such installations are costly due to the ongoing hire costs involved.
Two attendees sent further comments.
AM had to leave early but submitted the following questions before leaving, and asked that they be answered:
- Q: What can be done about enforcement whether that's speeds (cyclist and cars) or parking illegally?
- Answer: Enforcement of traffic speeds is carried out by the Police. Police Scotland have carried out enforcement recently following numerous concerns about speeding and are issuing penalties. Speed limits only apply to motorised vehicles as such it is not possible to ‘enforce’ cycle speeds, though it is unlikely that any more than a small minority of cyclists are travelling at speeds in excess of 30mph on this route. The Council is monitoring cycle speeds and will be able to consider whether further mitigations are required in the future.
- Q: Will anything be done to improve/reduce conflict on the Water of Leith. The largest number of complaints I receive are around inconsiderate cyclists on the water of leith. if we are improving safety for cyclists on Lanark Road, is there a way or justificaiton on directing them away from WoL? Especially what we've been referring to as the 'Strava' ones?
- Answer: It is not proposed to actively discourage users from using the Water of Leith, however Lanark Road provides a far more direct route and it is hoped that this will encourage greater use from those people who value speed while cycling.
SC was unable to contribute during the meeting due to technical troubles. However, SC sent comments after the meeting, which included:
- Requirement for pedestrian crossing improvements long overdue
- Relocation of parking at Dovecot Park supported
- Cycle crossing at Kingsknowe Drive dangerous due to visibility
- People are much safer cycling on the new route, though some still choose to stay on road
- Difficult for motorists joining Lanark Road from side roads due to visibility being obscured by parked cars
- Don’t agree with banning people cycling on Water of Leith
- Agreement with 30mph limit, but 20mph not required
- Speed cameras should be re-instated, query why the only face east
- Several changes at once, means it’s hard to identify results of each
· Lack of clarity on what metrics will be used to assess the impact of the scheme