I want to start by congratulating Colinton Community Council for having the City Council look at speeding through the village and challenging them to bring forward plans to address the issue (detailed above). Whilst there are parts of the plans we all have questions about, I don’t doubt that overall the scheme will have a positive impact.
There have been ongoing discussions at Colinton Community Council regarding the plans since May 2021. After the September CC I concluded that there were two key issues people focused on, and these related to additions sought by the Community Council (plan below):
1. The proposed roundabout at the junction of Bridge Road and Spylaw Street; and,
2. An additional pedestrian crossing or crossings on Bridge Road.
Based on this, I asked to speak to Senior Council Officers. Whilst I do have robust discussions with Officers, I do have a duty to respect their professional judgment and Council policy (the Standards Commission may be interested if I did not).
On the roundabout, they were clear that it could not fit in the junction without major engineering works which would change the area significantly (the area where the phone box is sited would be lost). They were also clear that the area did not meet the criteria for an additional pedestrian crossing and the suggested locations may be too close to the junction. They also highlighted that there is a huge backlog in delivering pedestrian crossings (See: https://tinyurl.com/yc2r7hva), and that installing one would exceed the circa £100k budget allocated to the Bridge Road speed reduction scheme.
In summary, the Council Officers raised concerns about the technical feasibility of installing a roundabout and an additional crossing. Even if this approach was technically feasible, however, the considerable funding needed would have to be sought in competition with other road safety schemes.
They did, however, give a commitment to check speed through the area after their current proposals are implemented and established. They also explained that the pedestrian crossing assessment criteria would soon be updated by the Transport Scotland, and I was given a clear commitment that Bridge Road could be used to test any revised guidance.
So whilst I understand some people may be disappointed, I think it is positive that the speed reduction works on both Woodhall Road and Bridge Road can now proceed and help make Colinton safer. I don’t doubt that once work starts the Colinton Community Council will have a part to play in collecting feedback from residents regarding any issues which arise.