Secretary’s report for 20 November 2014

The Partnership Action Plan

The action plan which was presented at the meeting on 18 September and discussed on 16 October has been further updated following exchanges with officials in the Almond Neighbourhood Partnership. An updated version will be available for those attending and copies will be uploaded on to the CC website along with an invitation to all friends of the CC about how they can seek to influence and input into future plans .

Bus Services to Cramond

I have written further to Bill Anderson, Director of Operations with Lothian Buses about the need to consider what improvements could be made to the bus service between the city centre and Cramond. I have reminded him of the undertaking he gave in the summer that when they came to review provision in the north west of the city they would “give full consideration to the particular concept you have proposed”. I will report back when I receive a response.

The Lyle Court Development and the Barnton Junction

One of the issues on the action plan concerns the commitment to look for opportunities to address pressure points affecting traffic congestion on Whitehouse Road especially south bound approaching the Barnton Junction. In this regard I have been pursuing officials about Council plans for creating an additional lane of traffic at the south-bound exit onto the Queensferry Road. Friends may recall the commitment made by the developers McArthy and Stone for them to take the perimeter wall back to allow the Council to create the extra lane. The developers have done what was provided for in the plans approved by the Council but as yet no definitive word has come from the Council about whether and when we might see the construction of the new lane. Given the commitment to improve the pavement, lighting and area around the Barnton shops by the Spring of 2015 we believe it would make sense for the Council to address these other highways issues at the same time. At a City of Edinburgh Conference held last week in the City Chambers Percy Feketey took the opportunity to make the Leader, Vice Leader and Chief Executive of the Council aware of our concerns on this issue. They asked for a more detailed brief which has now been provided.

Report Back On Chair’s Engagements

Our Chair recently attended two meetings on behalf of the Community Council. The first was a relatively routine meeting of the Neighbourhood Partnership where the main meat of the evening was devoted to quite inspiring youth activity initiatives based on the Royal High, Queensferry High and Kirkliston High. He also took the opportunity to raise (yet again) the issues of the Barnton shops and the Barnton junction. Plans are largely complete for upgrading the shop frontage, arrangements for the bins and rationalising the street furniture. Work should start in February. Our Chair made an impassioned plea for an early study on improvements to the Barnton junction with a focus on both north and south-bound traffic. The point was robustly made that there is no justification in waiting for LDP2, the problems are upon us now! The officials will be asked to look into solutions and seek to identify affordable short term measures that could be implemented without negatively impacting on longer term actions.

The second meeting was the quarterly meeting of the Airport Consultative committee. This meeting was very routine with the exception of Managements’ explanation of the significant increases in “drop off” charges. The headline impression of this move is that the Airport are seeking to extract extra profit out of passengers. This is not what is driving the changes. The objective is to encourage speedy drop off by passengers to increase the capacity of and flow through this area. Around 80% of drivers only incur the £1 charge and the object is to move more drivers from taking undue time in drop off activities and actually reduce the fees paid.

Ian Williamson
20 November 2014