Glasgow City Council (GCC) recently responded to the most recent query from Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) in an ongoing dialogue regarding the Spaces for People ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ scheme in Dennistoun.
Prior related posts on this can be viewed here, here, and here. Questions below are those asked by DCC on 11th May 2021 as per the third of those linked pages. Answers are those provided by GCC on 8th June 2021.
This latest GCC response was discussed by community councillors at the DCC ordinary meeting held on 8th June, with an acknowledgement that most issues raised in response to resident enquiries have now been answered one way or another. There may be merit in seeking technical clarification on a couple of matters but it was agreed that the most positive action now would be that the DCC priority is to looking ahead to future schemes upcoming in our area.
Notably, this includes the proposed Liveable Neighbourhoods consultation, the resumption of the Restricted Parking Zone scheme. See items 2 and 7 respectively on the agenda for the 08 June 2021 Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy committee meeting for further details of these. The former identifies the Dennistoun, Riddrie & Carntyne area as one of four initial ’20 Minute Neighborhoods’, and that there will be “full consultation and engagement with the local communities and key stakeholders”, to be carried out by an external consultant. The RPZ is “expected to be complete by 2023”, with an acknowledgement that the methodology and evidence base used thus far leaves room for improvement (see previous DCC information from 2019 here and here).
DCC is also involved in an ongoing process of dialogue with MSPs and Councillors to establish progress on implementation of the pavement parking legslation (not likely to come into force until 2023). DCC is additionally contributing to the City Centre Strategy workshops and consultation processes underway for the Learning Quarter and Merchant City districts which either overlap or tie in with the DCC area.
In the meantime, feedback on the Spaces for People scheme in Dennistoun can be submitted via the feedback form via the GCC Dennistoun Spaces for People webpage. More broadly, a full online Spaces for People consultation survey is open, available via glasgow.gov.uk/spacesforpeople (end date 20th June 2021), seeking views on the infrastructure introduced in response to Covid to provide additional public space for walking, wheeling and cycling.
With that noted, here is the follow-up, with DCC (May 2021) questions in black; GCC (June 2021) responses in blue.
Q: Why did the initial design and implementation leave multiple through routes open in both directions between Duke Street and Alexandra Parade?
A: At the outset it is important to understand the aims and limitations of the Spaces for People grant funding and how this impacted on the projects promoted via this route. The Spaces for People project’s primary function was to create additional space for people to socially distance and to encourage active travel as part of the response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Grant funding was specifically linked to those uses and was to be temporary in nature. Due to the need to implement such schemes faster than usual, temporary traffic regulation orders (TTRO) were permitted, but this type of order does not provide for public consultation. Under these circumstances, the measures implemented were limited to the permitted use and should be expected to be simpler and less robust than a permanent project due to their temporary nature. It was therefore not possible to implement either the range or complexity of measures which we might expect under a planned low traffic neighbourhood project. Officers tried to maximise the benefit to the area whilst staying within these limits and as in other SfP projects, were prepared to be flexible and make amendments or remove, where these measures were not successful.
Mindful of the lack of consultation in the TTRO process, we feel it is therefore better to look at a future, more permanent set of measures, in collaboration with the local community where a full consultation is able to be conducted.
Q: Why were the no-entry points on Criagpark and Armadale Street removed outright so soon after installation, with virtually no monitoring period during which the full scheme was in place, and without any attempt at improvement?
A: Following observation of the scheme at Dennistoun in practice, and in consideration of community feedback, the decision was taken to remove some of the measures per the original scheme design, whilst retaining and maintaining those which most broadly meet the aim of creating extra space for physical distancing. The other issue we encountered was vandalism of the planters, some were pushed over or moved, as happened in other areas of the country.
Moving forward we will invite the community council to discuss the possibility of more robust, permanent measures to facilitate a reduction in traffic.
Q: Why were improved no-entry points (with signs on both sides of the carriageway and no-entry road markings) not put in place?
A: The desire of traffic to leave the area directly to Duke Street or Alexandra Parade was not being achieved. High levels of vandalism were experienced during the project which meant that we could not maintain the temporary barriers and a more robust and permanent solution will be needed to deter this behaviour. This was not achievable under the limitations of the Spaces for People project. Looking to the future, I am happy to take this discussion forward with the community council.
Q: Has the additional risk created by the extended route to bypass south Armadale Street been balanced against the alleged risk of the previously proposed contraflow cycling? Should the evident increased enforcement burden at south Armadale Street be used as justification for removing the new configuration at this location?
A: As previously discussed, the Spaces for People measures are temporary in nature and will be subject to a monitoring and review process. Safety of all users is our priority and the contraflow cycling measures were removed in response to feedback from Police Scotland which highlighted the risk of collision in the narrow residential roads. It was felt that removing residents parking without prior public consultation in this densely populated residential area would not be within the spirit of Spaces for People and therefore the only other option was to remove these temporary measures early. The online questionnaire will be available on the Spaces for People website until 20th June for everyone to give their feedback on the SfP measures.
Looking forward, lessons can be learned from the SfP measures and I can assure you that this is only the start of a bigger conversation within the community to look at ways we can work together to achieve the positive outcomes we all hoped for.
Q: Is the road marking layout at the crossroads of Armadale Street and Roslea Drive confirmed as being fully compliant with legislation, or has approval for a deviation been given? Who has priority when two or more vehicles simultaneously approach this crossroads from the south/west/east?
A: I can advise that priority here is given to the main road which the two side roads are joining (Armadale Street (southbound)). As this is a busy junction within a residential area drivers should take extra caution.
Q: Does north Armadale Street outside Alexandra Parade primary school still have a contraflow cycle lane? If yes, why remove the road markings? If no, why have the temporary ‘no left/right turn except cycles’ signs been left in place?
A: I can advise that contra flow cycling has been removed from all roads within this scheme. If there is any signage which still requires removing, arrangements will be made to have these removed as soon as possible.
Comment: Works outstanding and forseeable delays.
A: I can advise that any permanent reinstatements required will be completed at the earliest opportunity using like for like materials.
The situation throughout the past year has been one of constant change with restrictions changing weekly, contractors furloughed for many months and a ripple effect throughout the whole supply chain as global conditions and demand has fluctuated. Officers have coped with these conditions, which nobody could have predicted, to the best of their ability and have implemented a large number of Spaces for People measures in a fraction of the time it would normally take to bring these projects to fruition.
That said, I can advise that your comments have been noted, and we will take on board the lessons we have learned to date, particularly about communication, and work towards identifying potential improvements to the way any future schemes are implemented.
Q: What are the safety concerns, specifically, in relation to the removal of pedestrian barrier outside Alexandra Parade primary school? Why has it not been deemed practicable to provide safe pedestrian space outside of Alexandra Parade primary school without the need for a retained pedestrian barrier running down the middle of it? Is there scope for a temporary build-out (as shown on the issued drawings) to be tried out at the Whitehill Street/Duke Street junction as part of this “agile” and “readily adjusted scheme”?
A: I can advise that the pedestrian safety barrier outside of Alexandra Parade Primary School is being retained at present as this is a protective device at the entrance / exit to the school. The LTN is a temporary measure, therefore we wouldn’t remove this permanent barrier.
I can advise that no build-out feature was proposed for the Whitehill Street / Duke Street junction.
The feature shown on the plan at this junction was not a build out but showed the new kerb layout from a previous footway widening scheme. Please accept my apologies for this oversight.
Q: Parking restrictions are, without question, not being effectively enforced in Dennistoun – why is that?
A: I would advise that, due to the current public health restrictions in place, our enforcement capabilities have been reduced, however I can confirm that our enforcement team shall attend this area as soon as possible and if any vehicles are seen to be parking in contravention of the restrictions they will carry out enforcement.
Q: What is the method of monitoring of this scheme, and will any quantitative data be published?
A: I can advise that various datasets will be used as part of the monitoring / review process such as feedback from the local community, feedback from emergency service providers, refuse collection impacts, feedback from local ward members and site observations from all immediately affected plus surrounding roads. An independent consultant has been engaged to review and assess all SfP measures.
I can further advise that feedback on the Spaces for People scheme at Dennistoun can be submitted via the Dennistoun Spaces for People webpage.
Q: If a permanent scheme to achieve all the stated Council aims is to be completed before the 18 month period for the current temporary scheme ends, it seems reasonable to suggest that a timeline or programme detailing various milestones will have already been identified such that a design can be developed for Dennistoun, including consultation and engagement with the community at a level beyond the basic statutory process for a permanent Traffic Regulation Order – is that the case?
A: I can advise that we will continue to assess and monitor the impacts of the LTN while also listening to feedback from the local community during the trial period.
Feedback on the Spaces for People scheme at Dennistoun can be submitted via the Dennistoun Spaces for People webpage.
I can confirm that the Council will take the appropriate steps to engage and listen to community feedback, in accordance with the relevant statutory process, before making any decisions on removing or making the scheme permanent, including any appropriate modifications.
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