Edinburgh parents in Morningside persuade council to look at reimposing Canaan Lane road closure near schools
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Canaan Lane in Morningside had been closed to through traffic since August 2020 due to construction work in the narrow street, but it reopened to traffic last week. The road is home to the Royal Blind School as well as Canaan Lane Primary, which currently also hosts classes from South Morningside Primary. And pupils at St Peter's Primary also use the route to get to school.
In a written submission to the council's transport committee, South Morningside parent council said the street felt safer while it was closed to through traffic because it stopped motorists rat-running. The submission said: "Every day hundreds of children walk, scoot, or cycle along Canaan Lane to get to school. It’s an extremely narrow street, with pavements that are only 60cm wide at some points, and those pavements become unusable when obstacles such as bins are put out. This forces children onto the road, creating unnecessary danger as they mix with cars at closer quarters. Many parents have told us they find it extremely worrying how many near misses they’ve witnessed where children were almost hit by cars.
"The route is also used by families at the Royal Blind School, some of whom are wheelchair bound and are often forced onto the road with their carers. The street setup as is simply cannot cope with that volume of foot, bike and scooter traffic coupled with non-local vehicular traffic cutting through to Morningside Road."
All four Morningside ward councillors – Green Ben Parker, Tory Marie-Clair Munro, Lib Dem Neil Ross and Labour's Mandy Watt – backed a plea to the transport committee for officers to seek options for closing the road as a matter of urgency until the results of the school travel survey are finalised and permanent alternatives are proposed.
Cllr Parker told the committee it was frustrating that the road had reopened when there was no plan in place and serious road safety concerns had not been dealt with. He said Cllr Ross had been cycling through the area a couple of days earlier. "He observed a lack of signage, drivers driving two ways down the one-way street, a crane blocking the road at the development site and a lorry unloading something there too - this was all before 9am as children made their way to school. This is a clear road safety issue, which needs to be addressed."
The committee approved their request unanimously.