Photo of very degraded zebra crossing by Polwarth Roundabout

Well done, Polwarth: Initial survey results

We’ve had a fantastic response to the survey about the Polwarth Roundabout.  One hundred and sixty – yes, 160! – people took the time and trouble to complete the survey, whether on paper or online.  Many thanks to all of you. 

Headline Results

We have a wealth of data that we now need to examine in detail.  But here are some of the headlines: 

  • Just over 90% of respondents live near the roundabout.
  • 95 respondents – nearly 60% of all respondents – told us they use the roundabout as pedestrians every day.
  • 94% of 160 respondents said they were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about road crossings for pavement users near the roundabout.
  • Interestingly, 132 respondents said they were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about provision for cyclists near the roundabout. This is greater than the number of cyclists using the roundabout (whether daily or 1-2 times a week), suggesting that pavement users and perhaps also drivers recognise the lack of provision for cyclists in this area.
  • 81% of respondents cite traffic speeding as a key issue; and 79% identify poor sightlines for pedestrians as a main problem.  Inadequate pedestrian crossings, identified by 72%, were the third most salient issue.  Heavy traffic at peak hours drew 70% of responses.    
  • Of the 121 responses on issues affecting cyclists, 79% identified the absence of lane segregation on approach to the roundabout as a main issue. 
  • Of the 102 responses that gave an opinion on ‘other issues’, 83% pointed to dirty pavements as an issue affecting their sense of amenity in the area.  

What you said

Many of you expressed your concerns about the roundabout clearly and with force:  

‘Pedestrian crossings everywhere near there are a total terrifying mess and I am so stressed out every time I have to go near there with my 3- and 6-year olds’.

‘It’s hard to cycle with children because of the speed of motor traffic, poor sight lines and lack of cycle paths.’

‘People don’t treat it as a roundabout and cut over it. Working opposite it we see a lot of dangerous driving. The roundabout should be raised or traffic lights put in place.’

‘This terrible roundabout results in pedestrian and cyclists avoiding it completely and crossing at random places creating hazards in the wider area’

‘ is very dangerous for children walking to school in the morning and trying to cross [to] Merchiston Avenue.’

‘Unfortunately, around Granville Terrace area and the Polwarth roundabout I always need to keep my children strapped in a buggy or hold their hand to ensure walking on the pavement is safe’.

‘Poor pavement condition. Very uncomfortable to wheelchair users’.

‘Awful, risky junction’

‘My 70-year-old dad got knocked down on the zebra crossing 6 years ago’

‘Street clutter prevents easy access for wheelchair users’

Crossing at the bottom of the main stretch of Merchiston Avenue to Piece Box where the recycling bins are, is particularly demanding & hazardous. Pedestrians have to look for vehicles racing from Granville Terrace, Merchiston Avenue and both sections of the roundabout.’

… and much, much more.  

How things could improve

As to improvements, 81% of respondents said they would support measures to slow traffic down; and 79% wanted to support additional or improved zebra crossings. 

You’ve given us lots of other data on preferred options, additional suggestions for safety and amenity, and your priorities for action.  Once we have fully analysed the data, we will post further. 

We will commission visualisations of possible improvements from a landscape architect who is experienced in this kind of work and has worked with other community councils elsewhere in the city.

One piece of early good news – just a little to the north of the roundabout. Thanks to steps taken by Cllr Christopher Cowdy (Ward 9), a deep cleanse of Yeaman Place has been carried out and that street will be monitored closely over the coming weeks and months.  Many of you — some 83% of the 102 responses to this section of the survey — identified dirty pavements as a pressing issue.

Next Steps

We have commissioned traffic counts at key points along the corridor from Yeaman Place to the roundabout and up Merchiston Avenue.  Our Ward 10 Councillors, whose support for this project is much appreciated, are helping us to access earlier traffic count data obtained by the City of Edinburgh Council so that we can compare changes over time — especially in relation to the volume of commercial traffic including HGVs using the roundabout.

Already we have more than 30 residents who’ve asked for regular progress reports direct to their email. If you’d like to get information this way, or if you want to contribute more information or views, please contact us.

This project is gathering steam — and that is THANKS TO YOU!

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