Whitehouse Loan Closure
The closure of Whitehouse Loan originated from Gillespies primary school travel committee, via Blackford Safe Routes; so that parents and children can bicycle to and from school and so that it is safer outside the school gates as children go to and fro and when parents bicycle or drive to deliver and collect children.
Information about it can be found: Blackford Safe Routes http://blackfordsaferoutes.co.uk/
there is also information here:
https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/spaces-people-1 These policies seem relevant to quote when asking for traffic calming on Clinton Road because an unsafe situation has been created there.
More information is here:
The tab on the left of the interactive map marked “travelling safely, not yet approved” shows the “new quiet connection” in a dotted line.
As it has apparently not yet been approved this may, possibly, indicate that there is scope for adjustment and cooperation with others in the district.
It seems that:
There is no need to close the whole of Whitehouse Loan every day, all day and all night.
It is questionable whether emergency services have sufficient access.
Instead of complete closure of Whitehouse Loan, reasonable compromises that are as safe and take into consideration all road users and residents are:
● Permanently blocking off only the part of Whitehouse Loan outside Gillespie primary school entrance, only at times when children arrive and depart, and only during term time.
Examples of how to do this are:
- Timed electronic bollards embedded in the street. They rise out of the street for the duration of the arrival and departure times of children, then descend into the street, disappearing for the rest of the day and night. An example can be seen here: https://www.barriersdirect.co.uk/automatic-products-c1276/automatic-bollards-kerbs-c1280/automatic-rising-bollard-new-lux-model-great-for-residential-areas-p34502 This is usual in other countries.
- Barriers similar to this: https://www.grandgates.co.uk/road-barriers/road-barriers_2/
- Manual barriers that are lifted up and down before and after school arrivals and departures.
These will be as safe and the times of the road blocking will always be clear to everyone.
It is reasonable and fair that everyone be considered.
● Putting permanent physically separated bicycle lanes on Whitehouse Loan from the junction with St Margaret’s Road to the T-junction with Newbattle Terrace/ Whitehouse Terrace at the South end of Whitehouse Loan. It is easily wide enough for this, as well as for social distancing on the pavements.
● Creating street tables (long bumps that do not damage cars and ease access by emergency services) near the junctions with Strathearn Road and St Margaret’s Road will slow traffic all the time. Crucially this allows the important junction with Strathearn Road and Whitehouse Loan to remain open to everyone always.
The complete closure of Whitehouse Loan has generated serious problems that were perhaps unforeseen.
The consequences include:
1. An exacerbation of existing traffic problems making the opposite of “Quiet Routes” on connected roads.
Warrender Park Road, Hope Terrace and Clinton Road are busier, noisier and more unsafe. They are unsuitable for heavy modern traffic. Clinton Road is the most convenient cut-through and the narrowest thus suffers most.
2. Forcing all traffic to channel along Clinton Road and Hope Terrace makes them the main thoroughfares between the South East and the South West of the district.
3. Traffic calming measures are now essential on Clinton Road. Such as:
3.1 Installing two street tables (long bumps), one about 16 metres from East end of the street and the other about 16 metres East of the junction with Pitsligo Road.
3.2 Making two sections of the street narrower, so as to allow the width of only one large rubbish lorry to pass, each near to the entrances to Woodcroft: one East of the Eastern entrance to Woodcroft, and the other East of the Western entrance to Woodcroft. They would be properly marked, showing directional priority to traffic, so that traffic would be obliged to slow down. This can be done using cobbles, similar to the speed bumps on Warrender Park Road. Perhaps shallow-rooting evergreen tress that do not shed much, such as Scots Pines, could be planted at these points.
4. Clinton Road is a narrow curved cobbled lane, with limited line-of-sight for drivers who habitually, daily, speed far in excess of the 20mph limit. It is not safe.
5. Clinton Road pavements are narrow. It is impossible to social-distance on them. Even before covid-19, pedestrians, including children, tend to walk on the road. People have had to leap out of the way to avoid traffic that usually touches the edge of and often actually drives along the pavement. Increased traffic now makes it risky to walk along Clinton Road. It is unsafe.
6. Clinton Road is a route to five schools: Bruntsfield Primary, St Peter’s, Boroughmuir, Watsons and Gillespies and the new primary school in Cannon Lane will doubtless also use it, it’ll be six schools.
7. Cars park all along the South side of Clinton Rd all day every weekday, making the already narrow street too narrow for three cars side-by-side, meaning that when traffic moving in opposite directions meets, those on the North side drive on the pavement, daily. It dangerously disintegrates the North pavement.
8. Daily, delivery vans park on the North pavement.
9. The gutters are getting pushed out of position particularly at residential entrances because cars draw in to avoid one another.
10. Already the road surface is sinking in places, becoming uneven because of the increased traffic and cobbles are being loosened.
11. The increased amount of traffic, including large lorries, is likely to be too heavy for the weak old ceramic drains under the ground. They may crack.
12. This is a Special Conservation Area. The ancient stone walls are protected. They are part of our heritage. The whole street ought to be protected from damage caused by increased traffic.
These explanations show the need to be fair by offering safe use of the street to everyone.
People to whom it may be best to comment:
Ian Murray – MP for Edinburgh South email@example.com
Daniel Johnson – Labour MSP for Edinburgh Southern firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Balfour – Conservative Lothians regional MSP email@example.com
Mandy Watt – Labour councillor for the Morningside ward firstname.lastname@example.org
Melanie Main – Green councillor for the Morningside ward email@example.com
Steve Burgess – Green councillor for the Newington ward firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Arthur – Labour councillor for the Colinton ward email@example.com
Ian Perry – Labour councillor for the Newington ward firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Dickie – Labour councillor for the Newington ward email@example.com
Cameron Rose – Conservative councillor for the Newington ward firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Cook – Scottish Conservative councillor for Morningside ward email@example.com
Blackford Safe Routes firstname.lastname@example.org
It seems that the number of comments and the amount of recipients of comments are both relevant. I think that the more people who do so, to all those named above, the more likely that a conversation can be started with the hope of sensible compromise that takes everyone into account. It apparently doesn’t matter if comments are similar so, some people might prefer to copy some comments.
It was, incidentally, a discourtesy not even to inform far less consult residents of Clinton Road, Hope Terrace and the surrounding streets. We had no inkling that anything was even planned, till it appeared.