Letters of support from Local residents

Dear Councillors Main, Ross, Cook and Watt

I am emailing to support the proposed Greenbank to Meadows Route. (Although it is unclear why the route was recently amended and what the grounds for that amendment were.)

I cycle my son to and from St. Peter’s Primary 5 days a week and one of the most tricky parts of our route to school is Canaan Lane, firstly from cars doing a U-Turn at the gates of the Astley Ainsley when they realise they can’t go up Canaan Lane to Newbattle Terrace and then at the other end of Canaan Lane, at the junction with Woodburn Terrace. This is a blind lefthand turn and we need to go straight on,  making us vulnerable to impatient drivers behind as well as those that  are taking a tight right hand turn. That area of road in general is really congested with cars dropping off and picking up, as well as people doing U-Turns. The Safe Route proposals with regards to Canaan Lane will undoubtedly help with these issues.

I am alarmed that I even need to write this email of support for a safer route to school. Why are people objecting to creating routes that would support children getting to school in the healthiest way possible and a scheme that would reduce congestion around the gates of St Peter’s, South Morningside, the Royal Blind School and Gillespie’s Primary school?

I would also like to take this opportunity to comment on Edinburgh Council’s rollout of Spaces for People. I think it is a real shame that certain politicians are using this as a political point scoring opportunity. There may have been a few teething problems but by and large I have seen some fantastic improvements that support local distancing and safe cycling. As a Southside resident, I have to say the changes along Forest Rd, George IV Bridge and the Mound are fantastic. I can only comment on what has impacted me but I think the council is to be commended on their effort to give pedestrians extra space as well as supporting cycling and wheeling, particularly for those who do not drive but may want to avoid public transport.

Please could you contact the Transport Committee councillors as well as other relevant counsellors to register my support for the Greenbank to Meadows scheme and my continued support of their hard work implementing Spaces for People within Edinburgh to protect our communities from Covid, air pollution, climate change and to help people feel safe to move about the city in a sustainable way.

As residents on the recently opened Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route, we are concerned about the level of rat running traffic using Cluny Drive since the closure of Braid Road. The initial schematic plan for the Quiet Route, with the modal filters on the junction of Cluny Drive/Hermitage Gardens, had a lot of support from residents. In fact, we haven’t spoken to anybody who didn’t support their introduction.

However, we were surprised and disappointed to discover the final approved scheme had removed these filters. We are very much looking forward to seeing more cyclists especially children cycling to school using the Road, but we want them to be safe. Many of us have written to the Council, our local Ward Councillors and local MSP’s, sharing our concerns and seeking their support for measures to address the problem and ensure this is indeed a safe and quiet route. We have made suggestions for ways to reduce the rat running traffic such as re-instating the modal filters and introducing no right turning off the Comiston Road.

Whilst the Transport & Environment Committee has acknowledged the problem, we are as yet, unaware of any plans to tackle it. We very much want this scheme to be a success and therefore would like to offer our support with any campaigning for traffic reduction you may make in the area.

I write, as a parent, car-owner and resident of Morningside, to register with you my support for the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route proposals.

My reasons for supporting it are:
It provides a safe route for my children to make their own way to George Heriot’s School by bicycle, thereby creating capacity for social distancing on the 23 bus without needing us to take them in the car.
It thereby reduces the number of car journeys my family make through Morningside, reducing pollution and improving quality of life for those living near the main traffic arteries.
It helps my family, and Edinburgh generally, meet our climate change targets by removing the need for numerous short journeys.
I recognise that there is ‘concern trolling’ in response to this proposal from people who do not want to have to drive a little further than they currently do to reach their front door, but couch their objection in terms of the imagined impact these proposals will have on ‘the elderly’ or ‘the disabled’. Anyone who has a car (elderly, disabled or not), may find their journey slightly longer than it currently is: that includes me, and I am very content with that because all it means is a few more minutes sitting in the car. Everyone, car owner or not, elderly, disabled or not, who lives in the affected area, should see their quality of life improve as motor traffic evaporates when journeys change to a different mode, are combined or just don’t happen.

I write to you again to beg of your Transport and Environment Committee to do something urgently about the traffic that is using the Braid Estate and Cluny Drive in particular as a Rat-Run.

Since the snow has melted, the volumes of fast travelling cars, vans and even lorries is again increasing incrementally and the danger to life and limb is growing daily.  This cannot be described as the Safe Cycle Route, that had much support among the residents.   It is only a matter of time before there is a bad accident. 

The nature of this Residential Area has changed dramatically for the worse causing noise, pollution and risk to life.

[Letter received immediately after the opening of the southern section of the route]

The roads have been really busy this weekend with the anticipated motorists shenanigans; mounting the pavements to get round the filters, moving the barriers, taking the cones, lots of anger and speeding but we’ve no doubt this will subside in time. Some people report they are finding the road markings confusing but with use I’m sure they’ll learn to navigate them. We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people walking and cycling along the road. Lots more families with young children and kids cycling independently which is great. I spoke to a father and son who had cycled from Falcon Road to the tennis courts at Greenbank. They loved it. The boy said he felt much safer with the filters in place.

We’ll be writing to Spaces For People, Transport committee, local councillors etc. in support of the measures and give them an update on how it’s working. Likewise at the Morningside Council Committee Meeting