Spaces for People – Urgent Review of the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

Below is an update from the Spaces for People team on an “Urgent Review” of the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route I knew nothing about. Plans above, and the original PDF version is below.

Based on the briefing below I put three points to the SfP team:

Point 1
Cllr Arthur – What actual data was this decision based on?
SfP – This proposal was based on officer observations and feedback from local residents and councillors. Counts have been conducted (Tue 20th and Wed 21st) and reviewed, and follow on counts are scheduled for next week. Count summary attached (this level of data presentation has taken a considerable amount of time and may not generally be available across other projects). [note the data is linked at the foot of this blog – it is for 7am to 7pm] The change is a very minor modification following an instruction from the Transport and Environment Committee on 22 April to conduct an urgent review due to unintended consequences with the layout at that time. Should problems persist more significant modifications can be considered.
Cllr Arthur – This data suggests (graphic below) that an average of 12,603 vehicles (inc buses) and 250 bikes pass through Greenbank junction from the north or south each day. For Braid Road the daily numbers are 911 vehicles from Hermitage Drive and 336 bikes passing the Hermitage entrance. Note – In May 2020 there were 600 trips daily on Braid Road alone.

Point 2
Cllr Arthur – Did the observation today that traffic was falling take into account that many schools were closed for in-service training? Can the data relating to traffic levels be shared?
SfP – Today’s observations did not specifically consider the impact of school operations, however on previous days the majority of the traffic heading northbound on Braid Road was observed to turn right onto Braid Crescent – following the Quiet Connection. Today the majority of traffic heading northbound on Braid Road at this location was observed to continue along Braid Road.

Point 3
Cllr Arthur – What discussions have taken please in relation to the peak-time delays to public transport on Comiston Road? Was this considered today? I raised this with the SfP team last week.
SfP – Lothian buses have been part of discussions and while there have been some delays recently on the A702 there has been no clear pattern. LB have not raised any concerns with our proposals and we will continue to discuss any issues with LB if and when they emerge.

Braid Road Urgent Review – Outcome
As you are aware Braid Road re-opened to Southbound traffic alongside the introduction of several measures meant to support the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Connection on Monday 19th April.

As you are also aware, the layout as installed resulted in some unintended consequences with significant numbers of vehicles travelling north/east from Braidburn Terrace towards Cluny Gardens along the route of the quiet connection until the junction of Cluny Drive and Braid Avenue where traffic is forced to turn left. This resulted in larger levels of traffic in certain streets on the quiet connection (such as Corrennie Drive) than would normally be seen.

This traffic quickly reduced over the ensuing week as motorists became aware of the closures, however towards the end of last week it was observed to still be higher than had been hoped. It was also noted that numerous concerns had been raised about motorists finding the layout confusing. Following this input, and in line with instruction from Committee, a review was carried out.

Following this review we have actioned several minor changes to tweak the layout to encourage better driver behaviours in the area, and discourage through traffic from using the streets on the Quiet Connection. These changes are summarised in the attached document.

Most of these changes have been carried out, and we hope that all changes will have been made within the next week or so. We will continue to monitor the operation of the Quiet Connection through officer observation, consideration of public and elected member feedback and traffic counts at various sites.

From observations on site today it would appear that traffic levels on the Quiet Connection are continuing to fall compared to immediately after the introduction of the scheme, and we will continue to monitor this closely and consider any further changes that may be required.

We have received a large amount of correspondence from the public regarding this scheme and will shortly begin responding to all of these now that we have a more established way forward.

We will also be making the following changes following specific feedback:

  • Widening the northbound cyclelane on Braid Road immediately north of the hotel
  • Revising the layout of Braid Road between the junction with Hermitage Drive and the Hermitage of Braid path to allow northbound egress from the Hermitage of Braid for forestry maintenance vehicles
  • Adjusting the Rosehill Cycle Lane Defenders at the junction of Braid Road and Hermitage Drive to improve pedestrian desire lines

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions on the above and attached.

12 thoughts on “Spaces for People – Urgent Review of the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

  1. This ridiculous scheme needs to be reversed to post COVID layout.

    I live in Nile Grove and I seriously believe that my civil liberties have been infringed.

    It’s a huge waste of resources and makes no sense it just makes our every day lives more difficult.


    • Oh you poor wee sole. Is the car journey taking an extra 15 minutes in the mornings? Is fuel to expensive that you cannae afford to have the heating on in the car? Oh, bless wee Gerald.


  2. Please put the roads back to th they were. The road outside morningside primary is now so congested the kids must be getting lung damage. Never seen the road so busy in the 25 years I’ve lived here


    • Back when you were at school in the 1980s (or possibly 70s) most parents smoked cigarettes outside the school gates. Did you ever get lung damage?


  3. I live in this area and have not met anyone who approves of this ill thought out scheme. It sounds like a punishment for managing to reopen Braid road even if in only one direction. Thousands of complaints and comments on FB. The councillors need to listen and abandon this scheme. It endangers life and limb by causing delays to emergency vehicles and is a cause of increased congestion in previously quiet residential streets.


  4. Thank you for letting the public see these plans.

    As a resident of Corrennie Drive with three children between 6 and 11 years of age I have sadly seen first hand how dangerous this scheme is. Cars are still driving in excess of 50mph (according to my iPhone app) along this street.

    Could we not just change the name “quiet zone” to “lethal zone” and let us have details of the Council’s insurers for when the inevitable accident occurs?

    This is gross negligence at best and the revised plans fill me with little confidence especially when the reasoning sets out that it involves minimal cost but is unlikely to be complied with. This will not aid the council in defending future negligence claims.

    Can you please ensure that this email is treated as a formal complaint within the Council.

    Kind regards

    Alastair Maclean

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know the iPhone app you’re talking about. I’ve got the app on my mobile as well. The other day according to the app a cyclist was travelling at 73mph down Braid Road. And if you think that’s bad, last Monday my app caught a bus going at 112mph down Comiston Road.


  5. Thanks for this, Scott

    Bluntly, it seems to me that the whole ‘Spaces for People’ thing is and has been a waste of time and money when there are more important issues that Council should be addressing. It has also fouled up traffic flows (how long did I hear an emergency vehicle siren as it tried to get up Comiston Rroad when I was in the park?) Sooner or later, if not already, someone will collide with a pole or block in the roadway intended to define a cycle lane – with very few cyclists if any – while the other traffic queues in a single lane. Or a car parked in a marked (perhaps disabled) place but pushed into the highway by a rarely used cycle lane is likely to be impacted by a vehicle travelling on what’s left of the highway. And that’s with the reduced traffic while many folks are working from home.

    I seem to remember that the plans at least for our part of town were drawn up by (an English?) a non-local company which clearly had no sense of how traffic normally flowed. So I’m not at all surprised that they are having to revise things as reality kicks in. Best revision would be to abandon this whole thing and return to how it was before.

    Enough! Good luck!



  6. In response to Mr Maclean’s comment, I agree that speeding is a major issue with regard to road safety, as are other violations of basic Highway Code tenets. From other comments made, it is clear that while the Council is spending thousands of pounds on all sorts of “safety” measures, drivers are still being left to monitor and re-educate themselves. Sadly, many simply ignore the Highway Code, and the Council’s safety efforts, because they can. The city does have some monitoring cameras but they would be needed on every single street to identify and take action against bad driving – a costly solution. Seatbelts were made compulsory to help save lives. Why cannot vehicles (including two wheeled ones) have onboard driver monitoring devices to do the same thing? It could warn the driver of a violation and, the next time that violation occurred, send a signal to a central location to immediately impose a fine. Hitting people in their pockets has an immediate impact and sends a clear message that bad driving will not be tolerated. Some people might bleat about invasions of privacy but surely taking responsibility for one’s actions and respecting the lives of others ranks above that. After all, a vehicle in the wrong hands is a deadly as a gun.
    Unfortunately, as I have learned, bringing in such a scheme would be up to the Westminster government.


  7. The whole Braid Road scheme has the feel of a cunning plan devised by a group of part-time students and released on an unsuspecting public without consultation. Let’s go back to what it was before, and if it’s felt necessary, go through the whole thing with proper discussion


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s