SCC CHAIR’S REPORT, for meeting of March 12, 2018
20mph enforcement – On Thursday March 1st, Joan and myself met with two community police officers, Neil Mackay and Euan ? They explained their approach to enforcement of the 20mph speed limit and why this may not be as high-profile as we would like, but this is for practical reasons rather than any lack of commitment on their part. Having met them, I am convinced that they are committed to enforcement.
They put forward a view that enforcement needs to be supported by physical speed reduction measures, e.g., rumble strips. As yet, there is no investment in the physical speed reduction infrastructure.
They also mentioned an initiative called Community Speedwatch which has been piloted successfully in Fife and is being looked at closely by other authorities across Scotland including Edinburgh.
Causey TRO – Following discussion at the previous Community Council meeting and subsequent consultation, I submitted the following response to the Crosscauseway TRO:
“Whilst there is a range of views amongst individual Community Councillors on the TRO and the Causey project, Southside Community Council overall is supportive of the proposals.
“In terms of reducing the traffic flow through West Crosscauseway, in order to facilitate the Causey redevelopment project, we welcome the restriction of flow under the proposed layout to left turn only out of the east end of West Crosscauseway. We would suggest that the traffic flow be reduced further by only allowing a turn into the west end of West Crosscauseway from one direction of travel, preferably the north, so that traffic using West Crosscauseway will only be able to use the route to travel from a northerly direction returning to a northerly direction on leaving the road, minimising its usefulness and attractiveness as a short cut.”
A-Boards Consultation – Following agreement with Community Councillors, I submitted the following response to the recent CEC A-boards consultation:
“What are your views on a ban on advertising boards and other temporary on-street advertising structures?
“A-boards, along with other annoying street clutter, principally trade waste bins that should not be out on the pavement, are a daily nuisance of walking around Edinburgh. The City Council’s current regulations on A-boards are routinely flouted. Having a ban would be undeniably clear to all businesses and all pavement-users -there should be no A-boards on Edinburgh pavements, period. At the present time, businesses may claim that guidance is ambiguous – an outright ban is not ambiguous. Enforcement would become much clearer for the same reason – a ban is clearer to observe and clearer to enforce than a set of regulations that allows A-boards in certain circumstances and not in others.
“Other street ‘clutter’ arguably serves a useful purpose to the community. Signs, bins and bollards (preventing illegally parked delivery vans from damaging the pavement) constitute a net positive contribution, though we would welcome a review of whether all examples of such street ‘clutter’ do constitute a net benefit. However, A-boards unnecessarily add to this, arguably necessary, clutter whilst not contributing a net benefit to the broader community.
“Businesses should only use means of promoting their trade that do not create a hazard. A-boards create a nuisance, and a danger, to all pavement-users, but especially to those who are sight-impaired, to users of prams and buggies, to wheelchair and mobility scooter users, even to Edinburgh’s many visitors with wheeled suitcases to manage.
“What can the Council and partners like Business Gateway do to support you to grow and promote your business?
“This is an important and separate question and not relevant here. A-boards do not necessarily promote businesses. They antagonise pavement-users to the extent that some, included members of the Southside Community Council, would avoid supporting a business that was cluttering the pavement with its advertising. If an outright ban was adopted, observed and enforced, all businesses would be on a level playing field. Currently, ‘well-behaved’ businesses, that observe the regulations, lose out on not being able to promote themselves through A-boards, whilst the neighbouring ‘poorly-behaved’ business, that flouts the regulations and uses A-boards, enjoys the perceived commercial benefits. There are innumerable means by which businesses can promote themselves that do not cause danger. Even an A-board can be attached to the wall, and whilst it may not be quite so visible to passers-by immediately outside the business, at least it is not creating a hazard and a nuisance to pavement-users that is stepped round at best or tripped over at worst.”