Below is the latest update on Braid Road and the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Routs from the Spaces for People team. The main conclusion appears to be that traffic moving through the area is more settled. The number of cyclists continues to fall, but numbers on a nearby road (Whitehouse Loan) are rising. Pedestrian numbers on Braid Road are noted as being “high”, but these are also falling. The data files are at the foot of this blog.
Pedestrian traffic on Braid Road appears to have dropped by 21%.
The data suggests that the total number of vehicles passing through Greenbank junction has increased by 9% whilst the number of bikes has dropped by 27%. The data also suggests that the total number of bikes passing through the junction on Braid Road (where the roundabout was) has increased by 12% whilst the number of bikes has dropped by 27%.
In response to the briefing, I have posed the following questions to the SfP team:
- It would be useful if you could add to this an objective analysis of the delays on Comiston Road.
- Your data suggests that the total number of vehicles passing through Greenbank junction has increased by 9% but the number of bikes has dropped by 27%. Is that correct?
- Pedestrian traffic on Braid Road appears to have dropped by 21%. You describe the numbers as “high”. I assume this is just a personal judgment rather than an objective analysis? I live in Buckstone and many streets here are far busier – esp Buckstone Road and Crescent.
- Your data suggests that the total number of bikes passing through the junction on Braid Road (where the roundabout was) has increased by 12% whilst the number of bikes has dropped by 27%. Is that correct?
- On Braid Road, it was originally closed as it was argued that the numbers of pedestrians accessing the Hermitage meant extra space was needed. The current configuration has removed this extra space as the carriageway at the hermitage entrance is now wholly consumed by space for bikes and cars. Given that SfP argued that the Braid Road closure is separate from the Quiet Route, what is the current “Covid” justification for Braid Road only being open southbound?
Spaces for People Braid Road Update
The changes to Braid Road and the southern section of the Quiet Route have now been in place for several weeks and we have received updated count data. As such, I wanted to share an update on how the measures appear to be functioning.
Please find attached an updated summary document of the traffic counts, as well as pedestrian counts for both the April and May count periods.
In terms of vehicle traffic movements through the Braid Estate, the Quiet Connection now appears to be functioning largely as planned, with a reduced number of vehicles accessing the Braid Estate overall, and most of the northbound traffic on Braid Road, continuing all the way to the junction of Cluny Gardens, rather than turning onto Braid Crescent and following the quiet route.
This is shown by the reduction in the number of vehicles turning left onto Braid Road from Braidburn Terrace from 1,083 vpd in the April counts, to 895 in the May counts, as well as the significant increase in the number of vehicles turning right from Braid Road onto Cluny Gardens from 491 vpd in the April counts to 776 in the May counts. Suggesting a reduction in the amount of through traffic traveling along Braidburn Crescent, Hermitage Gardens and Corrennie Drive compared to immediately after the changes. This is supported by officer’s on site observations, as well as more recent feedback from members of the public.
Levels of traffic accessing Braid Road southbound have increased from 961 in April to 1,414 in May, which should help to reduce pressure on the A702 southbound.
We are aware of concerns from residents on some streets in the area (notably Midmar Gardens and the southern end of Hermitage Gardens) of increased traffic. It is likely that, though traffic on these streets may have increased compared to when Braid Road was closed, it is still very low. We will continue to assess and review nonetheless.
It is worth noting that the level of traffic in the area is dramatically reduced compared to pre-covid baseline. Almost all through traffic in the Braids Estate must travel through the Braid Road / Braidburn Terrace junction. In 2018 levels of traffic at this junction exceeded 9,000 vpd. In the latest counts this figure was 2,308 vpd.
Levels of Cycling
Interestingly levels of cycling at all points were lower in May than in April. However I have reviewed our counter data for the nearby counter on Whitehouse Loan which suggests that: the count period in April was during a particularly high week for cycling, and; over the longer term the current levels of cycling in the area are notably higher than levels during Spring in previous years. This is shown in the below charts.
The first chart shows the weekly summary of average daily cycle traffic on Whitehouse Loan during each week since the start of 2021. The April counts took place during the week shown in blue, the May counts took place during the week shown in red.
The second chart shows the monthly summary of daily average cycle traffic at the same location since the start of 2018. Figures for March, April and May during each year are highlighted. The average daily cycle use at this location in March, April and May, is the highest on record for each of those months, and among the highest for any month (I am not sure why the figure is so high for Autumn 2019, this is spike is present in several of our counters).
Pedestrian Use of Braid Road
Levels of pedestrian use remain high on Braid Road, though figures in May were below those in April. The footway on the South-East side of the junction of Braid Road and Hermitage Drive is consistently the busiest at this junction, highlighting the importance of the footway widening at this point.
I hope that the above and attached data is of interest. I am sharing due to the high level of interest in the scheme, especially during the weeks shortly after implementation when problematic traffic movements were causing issues in certain residential streets in the Braid Estate. The data suggests that these issues have reduced, and that the scheme is now functioning largely as planned.
This data will form part of the project review for this project, which will be carried out by officers in the coming weeks.