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Traffic Regulation Order

Traffic Regulation Order (TRO)

What previous consultation have you undertaken on the project?

In 2018 the project held extensive public consultations. Feedback was sought on public realm, cycling provisions, location of tram stops and support for businesses. As part of this consultation the following changes were introduced:

  • An additional three signalised junctions at Albert Street, Balfour Street and Manderston Street were introduced to allow right turns to be made from these streets onto Leith Walk.
  • A principle was devised allowing some parking and loading to take place on the south-end of Constitution Street, within a shared space environment.

View the outcome report from these consultations.

How do I make comments on the TRO?

You will be able to make comments on City of Edinburgh Council’s traffic order pages

How long do I have to make a comment?

The consultation starts on 13 April 2021 and will be available for 28 days. 

What will happen if I make an objection?

The project will be supplied comments by the Council’s TRO team. All comments and objections will be reviewed and considered by the project team. An outcome report will be produced which will advise of the objections and if the design needs to be amended.  

When will the final designs be published?

Autumn 2021. These will be made available on our website. 

Why are you proposing to ban the left-hand turn from Leith Walk to London Road? 

The London Road junction is a key junction for the east of the city and will also play a crucial role in the successful operation of the trams. Following traffic modelling of the junction, it became clear that maintaining the left-hand turn when the tram was operational would increase congestion at the junction and adversely affect the tram timetabling. The junction would not be able to work effectively. 

In the morning peak (8am-9am), 52 vehicles turn left from Leith Walk with a further 27 turning from Elm Row and in the evening peak (5pm-6pm) it is 102 plus 32 from Elm Row. With the subsequent closure of Montgomery Street onto Elm Row, this will reduce the number of vehicles looking to make this manoeuvre onto London Road.

Banning the left-hand turn also allows the project to deliver an improved pedestrian and cycling experience at the junction. A single stage crossing point will be installed on London Road for pedestrians and the dedicated cycle lane will connect with Picardy Place and beyond. 

How will it work for drivers wanting to head east? 

There are a few options available to drivers. They can either go straight on, up to Picardy Place and then back down before filtering into two lanes that will allow the right-hand turn onto London Road. The increase in journey time would be between 1 – 3 minutes. 

Alternatively, they will come via Broughton Street, through Picardy Place and use the two lanes that will allow the right-hand turn onto London Road as described above. 

How will you enforce this ban? 

There will be a camera installed to ensure drivers adhere to this new layout, along with road marking and signage. 

What will the impact be on the side streets off Leith Walk? Will this lead to increased rat running? 

75% of the traffic currently making the left-hand turn is coming from Annandale Street. By removing the left-hand turn, traffic will be encouraged to use main arterial routes which is consistent with the Council’s plan to minimise traffic on smaller roads. 

It should be noted that Montgomery Street and Brunswick Street (heading east) will no longer be accessible for traffic following the construction of the trams. 

Monitoring of other roads such as Albert Street and Dalmeny Street will take place but the displacement onto these roads is expected to be minimal. 

Tram will also result in less traffic using McDonald Road and Pilrig Street due to the reduction in green traffic light time. 

What would be the impact of the operation of the tram if the ban wasn’t put in place? 

Failure to ban this left-hand turn would result in operational delays to the tram due to increased congestion at the London Road junction. 

Why can’t you just prioritise the lights for trams? 

The lights will prioritise the trams but if the left-hand ban is not put in place there will be increased congestion which will mean the junction will not work efficiently. In addition, modelling has shown that increased congestion leads to drivers becoming impatient and being more inclined to block streets in an attempt to speed up their journeys. 

Why are you prioritising public transport? 

Leith is one of the most populous areas in Scotland and the last census found that 51% of Leith residents don’t have a car. As a result, there is already strong usage of public transport. However, the population of the city is projected to continue to grow (almost 7% by 2026) while local authority areas around Edinburgh are also projected to grow ever faster. The Final Business Case presented to Council in March 2019 outlined the economic and social reasons for building the tram and these continue to remain valid. Greater integration between our award-winning bus services and trams will deliver the joined-up transport system that the city needs in order to flourish going forward. 

What will be the impact on the Easter Road / London Road junction? 

The majority of vehicles turning left from Leith Walk onto London Road are coming from Annandale Street, along with the subsequent closure of Montgomery Street then the impact will be minimal as these are now shown to use Picardy/Broughton.

Have you thought about banning the left-hand turn during peak times but allowing the turn out with these times? 

This would cause confusion for drivers and has therefore not been considered further as an option. 

What is the impact on Picardy Place traffic levels? 

The volume of traffic making the left-hand turn onto London Road during peak times (52 vehicles in morning peak and 102 in the evening peak) is minimal and adding an extra straight-ahead lane reduces congestion while only increasing traffic volumes on Picardy Place by a small number.

Have you done any additional traffic modelling on Picardy Place?

There is a lot of traffic modelling data for Broughton Road, Picardy Place and York Place. This has been cross referenced with the modelling for the London Road junction.

What is the impact on public transport providers and have you agreed the proposals with Lothian Buses? 

Discussions have taken place and are on-going. This change will have a minimal impact on Lothian Buses starting their morning service heading eastbound as this takes place between 5am – 7am. 

Will this result in more Lothian Buses using East London Street to bring buses into service? 

It will be quicker for Lothian Buses to use Picardy Place junction that it will be to use East London Street. It is also consistent with the Council’s policy to encourage the use of arterial routes for traffic. 

What is the alternative solution to this and why isn’t it safe? 

The alternative to banning the left-hand turn would be to create a two-phase pedestrian crossing on London Road, requiring the construction of a traffic island as a refuge point for pedestrians and cyclists. This would result in the narrowing of the junction and the island would be too small for both cyclists and pedestrians to share and would be unsafe. 

Will cyclists still be allowed to turn left at London Road? 

Yes, there will be a bi-directional cycle lane at Elm Row to allow cyclists to access London Road.