Making Woodhall Road Safer for Everyone

(My wife took this image of me for my recent newsletter in the summer. As she was doing so a resident stopped to raise concerns about the speed of vehicles on a route to school).

People will be aware that a young girl was hit by a car near 100 Woodhall Road on the 9th of November. I understand she will make a full recovery and is now back at school, but her parents and their neighbours remain concerned about general road safety in the area.  

I met with a resident on the 11th of November to discuss his concerns. Following this, I met with more residents (inc a parent of the injured child) on the the 14th of November.

Below is a response from Edinburgh’s Road Safety and Active Travel Manager in relation to matters which arose from the 11th of November meeting – a number of actions are detailed. The 14th of November meeting generated further questions which I am awaiting a response to:

  1. The speed of vehicles on Woodhall Road is too high (data at the foot of this blog), and the Council is due to bring forward plans to try to deal with this. Would it be possible to set up a community meeting to allow the residents to see the plans and provide feedback?
  2. The residents are keen to get involved in dealing with the issue. Are there any schemes available to support residents who want to run their own road safety campaign?  
  3. Is the Council able to provide A4 20mph signs for residents to put on their bins?

The Road Safety and Active Travel Manager has acknowledged receipt of these questions, and has promised a response.

Although there is nothing to suggest to me that vehicles accessing either CitiDogs or Tiphereth were involved in the accident, I have contacted both these organisations. Both are committed parts of the local community, and have confirmed that they were already acting to remind people accessing their sites to drive carefully.

Although I understand vehicle speed was not the cause of the incident, I have spoken to Police Scotland and asked that they increase enforcement in the area.

I will update this blog as I learn more about how matters are progressing.

Response from Edinburgh’s Road Safety and Active Travel Manager
I refer to your email of 12 November 2021, forwarding correspondence from your constituent [name redacted] regarding a girl hit by car on Woodhall Road.  Specifically, you referred to progress with our efforts to address excess speed in Woodhall Road.

I can advise you that a desktop study has been completed; it identified that Woodhall Road presents some specific challenges because of its differing characteristics and overall length of some 2.63kms.  Consequently, it has three designations in terms of Edinburgh Street Design Guidance – the section from Bridge Road to Bonaly Road is termed as a Retail/High Street, Secondary, the section from Bonaly Road to a point west of the City Bypass is termed as a Low Density Residential Street, Secondary and the section from there westwards from the Bypass to its conclusion is termed as a Rural Road/No Frontage Street, Secondary.

Therefore, it currently has a mix of 20mph roundels on rural sections and 20mph repeater road signs elsewhere to manage vehicle speeds.  The developing plan is to introduce more roundels to support the road signs and introduce locations for Vehicle Activated Speed Signs, to provide consistency along Woodhall Road.  However, the proposed speed management measures do not include reducing the road width at any point.

[name redacted] suggested that traffic calming was required at the junction of Woodhall Road and Torphin Road.  The Council’s current approach to the installation of speed reduction measures, including physical traffic calming measures, was set out in a report to the

Transport and Environment Committee on 11 October 2019, titled Evaluation of the 20mph Speed Limit Roll Out.  Further details were provided within a subsequent report to the Committee on 27 February 2020, titled Approach to Extension of 20mph Limits.

The use of physical traffic calming measures will generally only now be considered where there is either a significant history of speed related collisions or where average vehicle speeds remain excessively high following the use of other speed reduction measures.

The Council’s Road Safety Team undertakes regular collision investigations into all streets within the city, using the collision details supplied by Police Scotland; which is responsible for the collection of all personal injury road traffic collision data within its force area.  From this analysis, it is possible to determine locations where the collision rate is giving cause for concern and where road safety remedial works may require to be implemented.

In the latest available three year period (to the end of June 2021) there were no personal injury collisions reported to the Police in Woodhall Road.  Please note that the collision retrieval undertaken and any data provided is accurate as of 18 November 2021 and will not yet include the collision to which [name redacted] refers.  The current collision history does not support the introduction of physical traffic calming measures in Woodhall Road.

[name redacted] also referred to challenges crossing Woodhall Road, near its junction with Torphin Road.  Each year the Council receives a far greater number of requests for pedestrian crossings than we are able to provide.  In order to manage these requests, we have developed a priority system to evaluate locations and the crossing type most suitable for each location.  This priority system was approved by the Council’s Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee on 28 July 2009.

The base data which is used to assess if a location is suitable for a crossing is known as the PV2 value.  This is a nationally recognised value that indicates the number of passing vehicles and crossing pedestrians.  Pedestrian and vehicle counts are taken over the peak hours of a weekday, from 7am to 10am and 3pm to 6pm, and avoiding school holidays or any other factors which might cause an abnormal result.

This base PV2 value is then adjusted to take account of local factors such as the age of those crossing, the composition and speed of passing traffic, the road width, the number of pedestrian accidents and the presence of nearby trip attractors such as schools, doctors’ surgeries, shops etc.

A location with an adjusted PV2 value of 1 or higher (2 or higher on a dual carriageway) would be considered for a puffin crossing, locations with a value of 0.3 or higher would be considered for a suite of measures that includes a zebra crossing, refuge island or pavement build-outs.  If a very low PV2 value is achieved, no additional crossing facilities may be recommended.

Locations are batched and assessments are carried out when a suitable number are required.  The next batch of assessments are programmed to be undertaken in Spring 2022.  I will add Woodhall Road, at Torphin Road, to the list and I will advise you of the results as soon as they are available.

You subsequently raised a question regarding Woodhall Road being a cul-de-sac beyond

Torphin Road.  All of the streets beyond the junction of Woodhall Road and Fernielaw Avenue are “No Through Roads” and I will therefore ask my colleagues in our Traffic Signs team to investigate this further and respond to you on potential signs to highlight this.

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