We received the following email from the City of Edinburgh Council Spaces for People Team on August 6th 2020, in response to GDCC’s letter communicating residents’ dissatisfaction with the implementation of temporary measures in Gorgie and Dalry on 23rd July 2020.
“Thank you for your letter and for highlighting your concerns around the Spaces for People measures implemented in Gorgie and Dalry. We will ensure these are relayed to The City of Edinburgh Council directly.
Sustrans are aware the constraints that The City of Edinburgh Council have been facing in delivering their Spaces for People project. In sharing our understanding of the situation over the course of this response, we hope to provide some re-assurance regarding the issues you have raised.
In terms of the cones currently installed throughout the city – The City of Edinburgh Council’s intention is to upgrade cones to ‘wands’ and other more semi-permanent solutions as soon as is feasible to do so. To the best of our knowledge, orange cones are operational in Morningside and other town centres in the same format as those in Gorgie and Dalry. In addition, the bolt-down kerbs and ‘wands’ that have been installed on Forrest Road have been implemented by the city centre team to a slightly different design.
The City of Edinburgh Council have adopted a phased approach that initially relies on temporary cones and barriers while longer term, semi-permanent schemes (based on bolt-down kerbs, ‘wands’ etc.) are currently being designed and materials ordered. This phased approach is a sensible solution given the difficulties in material supply chains and very high demand for designer resources in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Whilst admittedly not ideal, temporary short-term solutions, such the installation of cones, are preferable to having no resource in place all to protect public health.
We recognise that the pace of implementation of schemes on the ground may have been initially underwhelming for many Edinburgh residents. However, the project delivery now appears to be progressing, well with many schemes due to appear in the coming weeks.
Sustrans are fully committed to directing active travel investment to where it is most needed, particularly in more deprived communities. Over the past few years, Sustrans have been working closely with The City of Edinburgh Council to develop plans in a number of areas of multiple deprivation across the city, such as Muirhouse and Sighthill, and intend to continue doing so.
We look forward to seeing the cones being upgraded to ‘wands’ in Gorgie and Dalry in the coming weeks, and thank you for your patience in the meantime.
We hope this response has addressed your concerns adequately and please feel free to get in touch if there is anything else that we can assist with.
The Spaces for People Team
*UPDATE* On August 11th 2020 council workers have begun upgrading the cones to wands in Gorgie and Dalry, as mentioned in this letter from the Spaces for People Team and by City of Edinburgh Council Transport Committee convener at the GDCC public meeting on August 3rd 2020.