Edinburgh roads: 'Residents in Morningside's Braid estate fear council will ignore their views again'

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Residents in Morningside fear their views on controversial traffic measures will be ignored again, a councillor has claimed.

Tory transport spokeswoman and Morningside councillor Marie-Clair Munro said she had been "inundated" with emails about the latest consultation on the future of the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route, part of the Spaces for People scheme covering Braid Road and nearby streets.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council's transport and environment committee will discuss the issue on Thursday. Three options were outlined in the consultation and the one with which emerged with most support was to lift the traffic ban but install a segregated cycleway on Braid Avenue and Hermitage Drive.

The planters in Braid Road would disappear if the option backed by residents is adopted.The planters in Braid Road would disappear if the option backed by residents is adopted.
The planters in Braid Road would disappear if the option backed by residents is adopted.

Officials have made no recommendation about which option should be adopted but have said all three would fulfil the aim of providing safe walking and cycling routes. Convener Scott Arthur has indicated he believes the committee should accept the option backed by residents, saying: "I think we have to respect what local people are saying and go for option three, a fully segregated route through the area."

However, Cllr Munro said: "I've been inundated with emails from residents deeply concerned about the consultation and on the back of Scott Arthur's comments.  They're saying 'What's going on because in the last administration Labour and the SNP were working together?' and they're concerned they're going to try and blend the options rather than going for the option that is the preferred one that the residents want, option three.

"Most of the people who have contacted me really wanted things to go back to the way they were before Covid.  They are concerned the previous consultations - about the opening of Braid Road - were not listened to because the majority in the consultation wanted it reopened but it didn't happen.  Residents are concerned, are we going to get a repeat of what has happened before?"

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr Munro said she would prefer the roads to go back to the situation before Covid, but would back option three as the one with most support in the consultation and "the best of a bad bunch". But she said the cycle lane should be indicated by painted markings on the road rather than with a kerb.

Morningside Lib Dem councillor Neil Ross is also backing option three. He said: "The current set up hasn't been working as it should. A majority of residents in the Braid state are not happy with it - it has been directing traffic from previously busier routes onto previously very quiet streets - so it's not having the desired impact of making it quiet for everyone.

"The options presented give a better way forward . Option three with a segregated cycle lane is probably a safer option for cyclists, being a cyclist myself. I think we have to listen to residents, given the history of residents' surveys where the council didn't listen last time. It has to listen this time."

But Morningside Green councillor Ben Parker is backing option one, which would modify the current scheme by introducing additional filters to remove through traffic from all streets internal to the Braid Estate, requiring through traffic to route via Hermitage Drive and Midmar Drive.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In a blog, he argued the evidence showed the exiting road closures had been successful, they had support from residents and removing them would threaten the character of the Quiet Route.

He also said: "Segregated cycle lanes are important tools for increasing cycling safety on main roads. However, they are expensive to implement and only benefit experienced cyclists who are confident cycling alongside traffic. Quiet Routes are significantly better for less confident cyclists, including children, because they allow cyclists to cycle side by side and contain less traffic which can be daunting."

Transport convener Scott Arthur said he had received emails from people supporting different options. But he said: "I still support option three." And he rejected the call for the cycle lane to be signalled by painted markings rather than a lane. "Evidence shows that simply painting a line on the road doesn't provide cyclists with the safety or confidence they need."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.