Update news letter from Cllr Neil Ross

Please note that all views expressed in this newsletter are the views of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Neil Ross – Merchiston Community Council is not a party affiliated organisation. This is for resident information purposes only and MCC should not be held accountable for the views expressed in this bulletin. 
Cllr. Ross can be contacted at neil@edinburghlibdems.org or on 07738 116055

The latest Coronavirus advice from the Scottish Government is available here.
The latest advice on Council services is available here.

Morningside and Bruntsfield Traders – support our local shops:

I have been growing increasingly concerned about the economic impact of the Spaces for People measures on the survivability of shops and businesses in Bruntsfield and Morningside, some of whom are back to normal trading levels but others, especially some independent shops, are finding it much harder. 
So, I organised and hosted a meeting for Morningside and Bruntsfield traders to raise their concerns directly with the Council Leader and his Deputy.  As a result, although requests for changes are yet to bear fruit, trading data has been supplied to the Council and promises to visit local shops were made.  I encourage everyone to support our local shops if they can.

More suggestions for the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route
Local residents have made some interesting suggestions to me to improve the design of the quiet route for cyclists.  Rather than close Whitehouse Loan in two places, why not close the road, except for residents, between Greenhill Terrace and Warrender Park Road for 40 minutes at the either end of the school day, making it a ‘School Street’?  This could work alongside installing cycle lanes on the rest of Whitehouse Loan.  
Another suggestion, instead of closing roads in the Braid Estate, might be to give priority to cyclists (and vehicles) going east as they cross the Braid Road crossroads from Braidburn Terrace (Braid Road traffic would have to stop) and also give priority to cyclists (and vehicles) going south up Braid Avenue and turning right into Hermitage Drive.

Newbattle Terrace redesign
A comprehensive scheme has been proposed by the Council for Newbattle Terrace incorporating road and pavement re-surfacing, planting of more trees, the addition of a pedestrian crossing near the junction with Pitsligo Road and continuous pavements (where pedestrians have right of way) over junctions with Morningside Road, Falcon Gardens and Pitsligo Road. 
It also involves traffic lights at the junction with Pitsligo Road, for east/west traffic, and makes Pitsligo Road one-way going north for a small section of the road at the south end only.  If you would like to see the detailed plans, please let me know.

Number 15 Bus re-instated
It’s great to see the Number 15 bus service has been re-instated at last – it stops at every bus stop from Easter Bush to Waterloo Place, providing a direct bus to and from Waverley Station. This is a victory for the 200+ local residents who signed my petition in February earlier this year to have the ‘stop everywhere’ service re-instated after it was withdrawn in July 2019. The service runs half-hourly. Check out the service timetable here. Now that it’s back – support your local bus!

Become a member of St. Oswald’s Centre
St. Oswald’s in Montpelier Park aims to create a vibrant, family-focused, community hub which will facilitate a wide range of clubs, classes and leisure opportunities for all local residents as well as wrap-around childcare and after-school activities for local children and young people.  Following agreement by the Council for the purchase, it is hoped that St. Oswald’s Centre will open in Spring 2022 after a period of renovation and refurbishment.  
Local residents, families and groups now have the opportunity to become members of St. Oswald’s and thereby help to develop, shape and support a sustainable future for this community hub. If you would like to participate in this community initiative and contribute to a thriving, intergenerational public space, St Oswald’s invites you to complete this online form.

Rats at Blackford Pond
The proliferation of rats at Blackford Pond is causing concern amongst local residents after a young child was bitten by a rat.  The rats are, of course, thriving on the bread that visitors leave for the ducks.  Signs are to be put up advising visitors on what to feed to the birds and underground traps have recently been installed to control the rats.  Please do not feed bread to the ducks!

Braid Road resurfacing & traffic counts on Comiston Road
As part of the Braid Road, Road Safety Improvement Scheme, the road is to be resurfaced from the Braid Hills Road junction to a point near Hermitage of Braid.  It is planned to begin on 12 October for a period of three weeks and will, principally, take place within the existing road closure, although restrictions about Braid Farm Road and Braid Hills Road will also be required.
Recent traffic counts by the Council at Morningside Station show an increase for weekday traffic of 5% above 2019 levels and at the Greenbank crossroads, an increase of 10% above 2018 levels.

Road Closures for Gas Main replacements
To allow the replacement of more gas main pipes, the following roads will be closed to vehicular traffic for part of the period from 12 October to 29 November – Colinton Road between Napier Road and Merchiston Avenue; Abbotsford Park; Albert Terrace; Morningside Place junction with Morningside Road.

Colinton Road to be re-surfaced 
Part of Colinton Road, between Morningside Road and Abbotsford Crescent, is to receive a new surface.  The works are planned for some time this month.

Viewforth Bridge to be closed for repairs
Viewforth Bridge over the canal will be closed from 12 to 25 October for repairs.

Neil Ross (Lib Dem)
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