Other Matters including roads and public transport

Bus Lanes – extended hours of operation

Between 31 October 2019 and 22 November 2019 Edinburgh City Council are consulting on extending the hours of operation to 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm.  There are currently 2 bus lanes in Blackhall between Blackhall Dip and Telford Road junction in the 3-lane section outside Blackhall St Columba’s Church and also on Telford Road.  View can be expressed on the City Council’s consultation page at the consultation hub.

Additionally City Council Transport officials are examining the implications of extending the bus lanes along Queensferry Road in both directions.  A report to the Transport and Environment Committee in October 2019  stated :-  “The A90 is the main access route into Edinburgh from the north and it currently suffers from significant congestion and vehicle delays during peak periods.

“To relieve this congestion and improve conditions for Public Transport, a study is required to collect data and to identify intervention measures to aid public transport movement along this corridor.

“With ongoing housing expansion in West Lothian and Fife, this congestion is expected to increase. This study should, therefore, take account of future traffic resulting from these developments, as well as traffic growth anticipated from within Edinburgh.

“Whilst these measures will be refined through this study, there is potential for some short term improvements through implementing more efficient traffic control at Blackhall, Drum Brae North and Barnton junctions.

“Longer term measures that are being considered such as junction layout revisionsand introducing new bus lanes, would require additional funding and Traffic Regulation Orders.  Further information will be reported to Committee when this study has been completed.”

Annual Report 2019

Planning Applications – the Community Council has once again reflected residents’ concerns where major developments would have an detrimental impact on local amenity.Objections to planning applications submitted:

Orchard Brae House – 7-storey block of flats

184-186 Queensferry Road -proposed industrial shed

46 Craigleith Road – proposed infill house

Applications to which objections had been submitted in previous years were closelymonitored. These included Craigleith Road former petrol filling station – proposed 8 houses and a proposed care home in Hillhouse Road Woods (Queensferry Road) – thirdapplication in 3 years. The latter was the subject of an appeal to the Scottish Governmentto which there were 150 objections. The decision in February 2019 was to dismiss the appeal and refuse planning permission.  The Community Council attended a public exhibition on the redevelopment of the Western General Hospital and has noted the preparation of a design brief for the Royal Victoria Hospital site on Craigleith Road. It also participates in the review of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan regarding future changes in the city including Blackhall and Craigleith.

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – while we welcome the reduction in anti-social behaviour events, the regular attendance of Police Scotland at Community Council meetings enables exceptions to be brought to their attention. This has enabled regular patrolling of the Maidencraig Crescent and Roseburn Path area and Ravelston Woods.The trend towards a general reduction in crimes in the area is welcome althoughunfortunately there continue to be exceptions including bicycle thefts. The presence of CCTV cameras including Maidencraig Crescent and Ravelston Park assists Police Scotland in addressing these problems.

Traffic, transport and safety issues – the introduction of the 20mph scheme has resulted in concerns from local residents regarding the speed limits being ignored and excessive speeds. The issue has been discussed with Police Scotland and Inverleith Ward Councillors at Community Council meetings. Edinburgh City Council is assessing how the scheme is working and a report is expected later in 2019.

The frequent build up of traffic on Strachan Road and Craigcrook Road in peak hours because of traffic problems on Queensferry Road is of concern to some local residents and was discussed with traffic officials in the City Council in August 2018. A review of Queensferry Road is being carried out.

Other issues discussed have included poor quality road resurfacing, the changed lane arrangements at Telford Road / Groathill Road North / Groathill Avenue junctions. Blackhall Dip Christmas event – the Community Council once again provided £250 funding for the Christmas tree.

Community Engagement – the continued use of social media has resulted in greater awareness of the community council and other local issues, alongside more traditional means such as information on noticeboards and in EH4 magazine as well as e-mailing interested residents . Using Blackhall St Columba’s Church, has resulted in more local residents attending monthly meetings.

Message from Neighbourhood Watch Regarding Blackhall and Davidsons Mains

Cold Caller ALERT – Edinburgh

The following message has been received from a Neighbourhood Watch member in the Edinburgh Area.

In West Davidson Mains, Edinburgh yesterday, 21 November 2018 a family had a cold caller from an alleged wall and roof coating company in Forth Valley who tried to pressure them into allowing access to their home to give a free estimate.  The individual was quite determined to gain access. They had to be firm in refusing him access but he became increasingly difficult.  It was pointed out that this was a no cold calling area, but he said that his visit was not a cold call.

As the individual had no Identification, was persistent, pushy and acting inappropriately the family concerned called the police.

The person is described as male, aged mid twenties, around 5’8 with dark hair and some beard growth, dressed in a track suit. The brochures were of poor quality.

A further resident reported that his elderly mother in Hillpark, Edinburgh had also been visited and an appointment arranged to go back to give her an estimate.

Understandably, there is concern that this company may be targeting vulnerable home owners in the area.

Residents are reminded:

  • Keep front and back doors locked
  • If you’re not sure don’t answer the door
  • Don’t buy services or goods at the door
  • Don’t feel pressurised into making a decision
  • Don’t worry about seeming rude. Genuine callers expect you to be careful – SAY NO.
  • You should always receive at least 2 quotes for work you require carried out
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in the house
  • Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at the door.
  • Residents are reminded not to contract at the door and to look out for vulnerable neighbours.
  • If in doubt – keep them out
  • If concerned that something isn’t right, contact your local trading standards office or Police Scotland on 101 or 999 if you feel threatened and unsafe.

Queensferry Road and Craigleith Road Junction –

To facilitate carriageway resurfacing and traffic light upgrading, the Council has made a temporary restriction during the period 23 October 2018 to 1 February 2019.  This provides for road closures and parking restrictions.

Note – The upgrade has been delayed but commenced on 7 January 2019.

City Council Consultation on roll out of 20mph scheme:-

Community Council response  – 20mph consultation Jan 19

Annual Report 2018

Traffic, transport and safety issues – carried out an Active Travel Survey, prepared report on local problems and issues and subsequently working with the City Council to come up with solutions. Also voiced concerns to City Councillors about the poor standard of resurfacing on some local roads in 2017

Bus services – campaigned for a reprieve for the 42 bus service to Blackhall, but disappointingly the Community Council was unsuccessful.  Continue to stress the importance of City Council funding for service 13.

Blackhall Dip Christmas event – provided £250 funding for the Christmas tree

2017 local council elections – hosted a hustings ahead of the local elections in Blackhall St Columba’s Church

Assisted Blackhall School parents association in putting in a bid for new library and worked with local parents about getting better play facilities in Ravelston Park as the result of our Parks Survey

PlanningRepresented resident interests with objections to planning applications or potential applications such as:

Craigcrook Castle Care Home

Hillhouse Road Woods Care Home

Nursery on Craigcrook Road

Craigleith Road former petrol filling station – proposed housing

A public meeting was held in Blackhall Bowling Club in October 2017 to consider proposals for a care home in Hillhouse Road Woods (Queensferry Road), second potential planning application in 2-years.  Over 50 local residents attended; there was overwhelming opposition to the proposal and the potential damage to the woods and the impact on local amenity.

The Community Council participates in the review of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan – it will be important to ensure Hillhouse Road Woods and the ‘horse field’ on Craigcrook Road remains open space.

Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – we welcome the attendance of Police Scotland at Community Council meetings. With their support raised awareness around the spate of bicycle and motorcycle thefts, thefts at houses where building works are underway, shoplifting at Craigleith Retail Park. Successful in getting the cycle path at Maidencraig Crescent CCTV enabled.  Continue to express concerns about speeding vehicles, particularly on Queensferry Road

Meeting Venue – change of location to Blackhall St Columba’s Church has made meetings more accessible to local residents.  Likewise the increased use of social media has resulted in greater awareness of the community council and other local issues.


Traffic, Transport and Safety

Following a survey of residents concerns in 2017 , a report on traffic and transport problems was prepared and agreed by the community council in early 2018:

Traffic and transport Sub group issues vers 2 Jan 18 copy

The report was subsequently discussed with Edinburgh City Council road officials on 4 April 2018 :-

Traffic and Safety – meeting with City Council 4 April 18

A Blackhall resident has recently submitted a petition to Edinburgh City Council :- “Traffic in the residential area of Blackhall , around Strachan Road, Craigcrook Road has become unacceptable. The regular queuing of traffic in an area designated as residential requires urgent action.”  Details of the petition which closes on 31 July 2018 can be found via the link :-


Details of the petition have not been endorsed by the community council  and are included here for information.

Hedges and Trees

Some footpath widths in Blackhall are reduced by overgrown and expanding hedges, which at junctions can also restrict sight lines for drivers.  Overhanging trees can also restrict the effectiveness of street lights and traffic lights.  If your hedges or trees are having an unintended impact, it would be helpful to prune and cut them back.

Edinburgh City Council has powers under Section 91 of the Roads (Scotland)  Act 1984 where hedges or trees cause an obstruction problem for pedestrians/cyclists/drivers.
Ideally foliage should be cut back and maintained to:
• the line of the back of the footway
• 2.3 metres above the footpath
• 5.4 metres above the carriageway
• provide a clear view of any traffic signs, street lights or traffic signals