I understand a survey will go out to local people tomorrow asking their views about the future of the Lanark Road Spaces for People scheme.
Earlier this year, the Council asked residents and businesses what they thought about keeping the Spaces for People measures for a longer experimental period (or permanently) as they feel they help it achieve some of their longer-term ambitions for the “people-focussed travel network” included in the City Mobility Plan. This consultation rejected the Lanark Road scheme largely based on safety grounds, and the current mini-review aims to see if these can be addressed.
The survey going out tomorrow will seek the resident’s views on:
- measures to achieve cycle speed reductions; and,
- changes to the parking spaces which sit outside protected cycle lanes.
The Council have developed proposals which they feel focus primarily on those locations where conflict is most likely – that is where cyclists might be travelling at speed on the inside of parked vehicles. They’ve discussed these options with Community Councillors (I was not invited to this) and they say the comments have helped them inform the proposals.
I have not been given prior sight of the survey(!), but I was successful in having the area it covers enlarged and I was also given a commitment that local businesses would be included.
Below are notes from the meeting with Community Councillors – the discussion was based on the slides I shared here. The discussion sounds constructive, but it appears very little hard data informed proceedings (a concern given the recent RED Internal Audit finding SfP received).
SfP 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).
Spylaw Park (street)
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: SfP 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)
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor 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: SfP 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)
A Community Councillor 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.
SfP 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.
Two Community Councillors agreed that relocating the parking to the uphill side of the street was a sensible option. Though one 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.
A Community Councillor queried whether the bollards could be removed from the downhill parking bay to provide more manoeuvring space for people cycling.
SfP 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 SfP 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.
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor 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
A Community Councillor suggested that the ‘floating’ parking bays should be ‘bookended’ better, eg: with planters, to ensure that they are conspicuous even when lightly used. It was also noted that these bays provide a valuable purpose in traffic calming by requiring passing vehicles to reduce their speed.
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor expressed support for points made by others, 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 the Community Councillor stated that should this be considered it should be alongside further engagement.
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor 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.
A Community Councillor was unable to contribute during the meeting due to technical troubles. However, they 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