Update to the Polwarth Pavements Improvement Project

Remember this?

MCC has been busy trying to influence key people in the City Council & elsewhere to take up the proposals in our Polwarth report. There’s some disappointing news, but also some encouraging developments. Here’s a short update.

  • Sustrans have told us that they will not be running their Street Design programme in 2024. This is because of negotiations between the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and Sustrans about how to move towards higher levels of investment in active travel from 2025-26. For us, this is a setback: Sustrans had shown real interest in our proposals and had encouraged us to see the Design programme as a way to develop them into a credible and operationally viable proposition. That will not now happen.
    On the other hand…..
  • At an open meeting in October, MCC and residents had a useful discussion with the senior Council officer in charge of road safety and 20-minute neighbourhoods. She confirmed our proposals are in line with Council policies, but resource constraints are holding them back.
  • We are also in touch with Ward Councillors about the best way to make a direct approach to the City Council’s Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) early in the New Year. We also hope to brief its convenor – Councillor Scott Arthur. This will be a key opportunity for residents to make their views heard.
    If any of you would like to be involved, please write to us at : pavementproject@merchistoncc.org.uk
    We will be delighted to hear from you. TEC holds the purse-strings for many of the key programmes we’re interested in, including road safety, active travel and 20-minute neighbourhoods. If we are to achieve any progress with the Council, we need to impress this Committee.
  • We have intensified our discussions with Edinburgh Living Streets, which has warmly endorsed our project and commended it to the City Council.
  • We have prepared media articles which we will use online in January, when media outlets are generally looking for material.
  • We have expanded our membership to include 2 neighbours keenly interested in this project and we welcome their contribution. Anyone else out there willing to lend a hand would be most welcome!
  • Our message is being heard at Councillor level. The sticking point, for the City Council, seems to be money. We argue that the issue is one of priorities and choices: there is money available in Council budgets: we need to steer it towards us. That means more campaigning, including in 2024!
  • Stay tuned and stay with us, please.

MCC December 2023

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