Edinburgh council warned not to force through a second Low Traffic Neighbourhood

COUNCIL chiefs have been warned not to "steam-roller through" Low Traffic Neighbourhood plans for another Edinburgh community after the furore in East Craigs.

By Ian Swanson
Saturday, 17th October 2020, 7:00 am
Featherhall Avenue in Corstophine is used as a rat-run by motorists  Picture: Jane Barlow
Featherhall Avenue in Corstophine is used as a rat-run by motorists Picture: Jane Barlow

Corstorphine/Murrayfield Lib Dem councillor Gillian Gloyer said plans for an LTN in Featherhall were being “snuck in” on the back of the East Craigs plans.

The council is facing a legal challenge over its use of emergency powers to bring in the proposed East Craigs measures, which include road closures and junction alterations designed to prevent rat-running. More than 2650 people have signed a petition opposing the scheme and all the ward councillors have called for it to be halted and a full consultation carried out.

Cllr Gloyer said if the council pressed ahead with the Featherhall plans it could expect a similar reaction, despite the need for action in the area.

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She said: "Unlike East Craigs, Featherhall Avenue really does suffer from rat-running. Indeed, this area might have been a better candidate than East Craigs for the administration's obsession with introducing the first Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Scotland.

"Corstorphine community council and ward councillors have been trying for years to find a solution. The most recent attempt was at the beginning of this year and I was one of those who supported a trial of what we were then calling 'filtered permeability' - perhaps we should have called it a Low Traffic Neighbourhood because it's the same thing.

"Unlike this administration, the community council consulted the residents about this proposed two or three week trial. It wasn;t a great consultation - it was done too hastily, I don't think the proposals were properly explained - but at least people were asked for their views. And to our surprise, given the long-standing traffic problems in the area, the overwhelming majority of the views expressed were negative.

"The community council then decided to pause the trial so different plans could be revised and then Covid intervened, no revised plans were circulated, the residents haven't been consulted again. But this makes it even more astonishing that this administration is proposing to use its emergency powers to steam roller through Low Traffic Neighbourhood plans for Featherhall despite clearly expressed opposition to them."

She said if the administration persisted with the scheme she could guarantee the same result as in East Craigs - "a huge local campaign against the proposals and bitter polarisation across the community."

She added: "I beg the administration to learn from its mistakes in East Craigs and use standard procedures with proper community consultation."

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes claimed the council had listened to the concerns of people in East Craigs, which is why the plans had been amended.

“As we develop plans for Featherhall we will be continuing to engage on the schemes as proposed with an emphasis on understanding the community’s needs.”

And vice-convener Karen Doran added: “These areas have been identified for the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods based on research by our Spaces for People team, feedback via our Commonplace engagement website, previous consultation and knowledge and comments from residents who feel that increasing levels of through traffic are becoming problematic. We do want to bring the public with us as we explore these measures though, which is why we’re enhancing our notification process.”

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