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Pavement widening to the fore in detailed ‘town centres’ plans

DETAILED plans have been unveiled to help enable people to remain socially distanced from each other, as fears continue to surround the Coronavirus pandemic.

Pavement widening is among a raft of measures that also includes the removal of ‘street clutter’.

The plans are as follows, concern six ‘town centres’ and are being accompanied by notifications to ward councillors, community councils and other ‘local stakeholders’. It is understood that there are four more local schemes to come, sometime next week.

Corstorphine town centre

  • Retain many of the existing parking and servicing bays on St Johns Road;
  • Intervention to widen footpaths on both sides of St Johns Road where pavements and pedestrian crossing points are very narrow;
  • Areas with street clutter and unnecessary pedestrian guardrail will be removed;
  • All bus stops remain in their current locations and may be moved out to reflect the new temporary kerb line if necessary under phase two proposals;
  • Widening of narrow footway on north side from Templeland Road to Victor Park Terrace to enable suitable social distancing;
  • Widening of footway on south side from opposite Templeland Road to Farmer’s Autocare, with the retention of some loading bays, to enable suitable social distancing;
  • Widening of narrow sections of footway on both sides between St Ninian’s Road and Station Road, with areas of loading retained to provide space for deliveries to and collections from local businesses; and
  • 4.75m width running lane in either direction to provide additional space for cyclists on the carriageway.

Stockbridge town centre

  • Due to narrow pavements, intervention is required to widen footpaths on both sides of Raeburn Place, Deanhaugh Street and Hamilton Place adjacent to commercial properties;
  • Additional parking/loading/unloading facilities will be provided on Cheyne Street, and other locations may be possible;
  • All bus stops remain (with the two noted on Hamilton Place moved out to reflect the new temporary kerb line if necessary);
  • Significant footway widening along the full length of the high street from Dean Park Street to Hamilton Place, to provide opportunity for social distancing and business queuing;
  • Loading places are retained at several points throughout the area to provide space for deliveries to and collections from local businesses; and
  • Widened footway on the north side of Kerr Street, including the narrow corner at St Stephen Street.

Portobello

  • Widened footways on the north-east side between opposite Fishwives’ Causeway and Beach Lane to provide additional capacity for social distancing and to aid businesses reopening;
  • Retention of parking spaces outside the Town Hall and off-peak parking on the north east side of the High Street east of Brighton Place to support local businesses;
  • Significant widening of the south west footway from Brighton Place to Portobello surgery, including very narrow section outside numbers 225 – 251; and
  • All bus stops are retained.

Morningside

Gorgie and Dalry

  • Widened footways on both sides under the railway bridge at Robertson Avenue which is currently narrow;
  • Relocated south side bus stop to an area with wider footways to aid queuing;
  • Extended footway outside busy supermarket and pharmacy on north side between Smithfield St and Wheatfield St, with the loading bay relocated eastwards;
  • Increased footway width on both sides in the area of the railway bridge at McLeod St which is currently narrow;
  • Widened footway on the south side between Ardmillan Terrace and Gorgie City Farm which is currently very narrow;
  • Provide additional footway space at the busy crossing points at the Gorgie Road/ Dalry Road junction;
  • Widened footway adjacent to Dalry Cemetery which is currently very narrow;
  • Relocation of loading bay to widen footway on south side between Orwell Place and Orwell Terrace; and
  • Widened footways on both sides of the road from Dalry Gait to Haymarket with loading provision retained in this busy area with high density of businesses.

Great Junction Street

  • Intervention to widen footpaths where necessary adjacent to commercial properties (Great Junction Street has considerable street clutter that reduce the available width). Additional parking/loading/unloading facilities can be provided in adjacent side streets, and reintroduced where possible;
  • All of the existing bus stops will be retained;
  • Due to the limited width on the footway, and the presence of on-street queueing, significant footpath widening is necessary;
  • Footways widened into the bus lane on both sides of the road from Leith Walk to Junction Place, to enable social distancing in the area of highest density business premises;
  • Remainder of bus lane outside of widened footway to be available for cyclists; and
  • South-west footway widened from Junction Place to Bangor Road to provide additional capacity for social distancing and to aid businesses reopening.

In a statement issued by the council, its Transport and Environment convener – Councillor, Lesley Macinnes – is quoted, as saying: “We’re working extremely hard to introduce effective temporary changes as quickly as possible to help people walk, cycle and wheel safely as we emerge from lockdown.

“We’ve already implemented a range of measures in key locations, from segregated cycleways leading to our main hospitals to widened footways on East Princes Street. We’ll soon be closing Victoria Street and Cockburn Street to create a more relaxed, welcoming atmosphere for the public too.

“This next phase will focus on shopping areas around the city, with proposals for footway widening, temporary cycleways and the removal of street clutter supporting people to spend time in their local high streets as restrictions are eased.

“Many of the people who made suggestions via our Commonplace mapping platform called for more space to walk, cycle and queue outside businesses as they begin to reopen, and these interventions respond to that.”

“We’re now seeking feedback on refined designs, and hope to have them in place as quickly as we can.”

The story is reported by Ian Swanson, of the Edinburgh Evening News newspaper, here.

Pictured: The foot of Leith Walk, adjacent to Great Junction Street

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