CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Castle Street pedestrian zone

(12 posts)
  • Started 3 months ago by ejstubbs
  • Latest reply from ejstubbs

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  1. ejstubbs
    Member

    To my knowledge, the riding bollards protecting the 'pedestrian zone' at the south end of Castle Street haven't worked for years. There are still large - but difficult to interpret - signs at the entrance to that section of the street. As far as I can tell, they prohibit access to any motor vehicle except for loading, which is only allowed between the hours of 11pm and 10:30am.

    I see motor vehicles on that part of Castle Street oustide of those hours every day. The most frequent offenders seem to be white vans during the day, and cars waiting to pick up passengers - presumably people who work in the area - during the evening rush hour.

    I've never seen the restriction being enforced, even when there are police in the area.

    What's the point of having the restriction if it's never enforced? Basically, a rule that's never enforced isn't a rule - so they should stop pretending that it is, and take the signs down. If they want people to comply with the rule then it needs to be enforced, and people who fail to comply should be dealt with rather than continually allowed to get away with it.

    If the council/police can't be bothered/afford to enforce it it would be better done away with, IMO. Otherwise it encourages a mindset that regards "brief" violations of "unimportant" traffic rules as being unimportant. This is something I see an increasing amount of in the city centre, such as people going the wrong way for a short distance along Hill St/Thistle St when they emerge from one of the lanes either side (which AFAICS aren't one way). It encourages the "I'm just..." or "I'll only be..." kind of excuse that people use to justify selfish behaviour.

    If nothing else, I'd be interested in any guidance about the right way to raise this issue with the council.

    Edited to add: the reason I posted this today is that I noticed that someone has managed to partially demolish one of the signs, presumably by reversing their vehicle into it. If the council fix it then that would imply that they believe that the restriction is valid. If they don't fix it then it further reinforces that idea that "the rules don't matter" - and further adds to the general degradation of the street environment in Castle Street, which is already showing signs of significant dilapidation eg to the granite 'benches' and bollards, many of which seem to have been damaged by - you guessed it - carelessly driven motor vehicles.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. jonty
    Member

    I saw a wrong-way driver turn on to Hill Street for the first time the other day - they began their turn, stopped as if to contemplate whether they could get away with it, and then decided they could.

    Edinburgh is simply not very good at pedestrianised areas. Rose Street is now busier than many residential streets. The High Street is the only place I've seen good enforcement on - barriers go up rather than bollards now - but it's a taxi rat run and lorry slalom in the morning.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. Frenchy
    Member

    If nothing else, I'd be interested in any guidance about the right way to raise this issue with the council.

    Obvious (but not necessarily the best) way is to bring it up with a City Centre councillor. There are four councillors for the ward, pick your favourite: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/councillors/specificWard/3/city_centre

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. wishicouldgofaster
    Member

    Edinburgh is generally very bad at enforcing anything apart from parking which is contracted out.

    Due to this long term lack of enforcement it has now became the norm for various anti-social driver behaviours such as parking on pavements, dangerous parking (responsibility of police), blocking box junctions etc.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  5. ejstubbs
    Member

    Frenchy: Thanks for that, I wasn't sure whether I should raise it with one of my councillors (I live in Fairmilehead) or one for the area concerned.

    wishicould...: I don't disagree, though I also don't think it's specifically an Edinburgh thing, or even just a Scottish thing - although the cuts imposed since Police Scotland was created can't have helped, the forces south of the border have suffered as well. For some reason it seems to be behaviour on the roads which starts to become a free-for-all first - other aspects of public behaviour don't seem to deteriorate as quickly.

    Holyrood ran a consultation about making pavement parking illegal a few years ago. I contributed, but never heard anything further. Annoying, because it is one of my biggest gripes about driver behaviour round where I live. (My short, bald next door neighbour loves dumping his unnecessarily huge Jeep SUV half on the pavement outside his house. The council resurfaced it completely a few years ago and he was back on it practically as soon as Lightways had packed up and gone. He's the sort of person who moans like anything about his council tax as well. Well you could at least have some respect for the infrastructure it pays for, you numpty!)

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. Frenchy
    Member

    @ejstubbs - there is a new consultation going on at the moment about parking, if you're interested: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/road-policy/improving-parking-in-scotland/

    Posted 3 months ago #
  7. wishicouldgofaster
    Member

    ejstubbs - parking on the pavement near my mother's house is a common occurence. For a while I phoned 101 practically every day who warned several of the offenders. As they were so far on the pavement they were causing an obstruction and could have been prosecuted - I doubt if any were though.

    I suspect no enforcement as it's the same people doing it as before.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  8. ejstubbs
    Member

    Frenchy: many thanks, I've started filling in a response to the consultation.

    Seems bizarre that the 2015 bill got as far as it did if it wasn't a devolved matter at that time. Didn't anyone notice?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  9. Frenchy
    Member

    Didn't anyone notice?

    It might be that they thought they could wiggle around it by arguing that the legislation actually fell under some other devolved area. Or perhaps they knew they couldn't succeed, but felt this was a useful way of arguing that the matter should be devolved.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  10. Frenchy
    Member

    I asked the council about enforcement of this.

    Castle Street has been visited by Parking Attendants 3380 times this year (Jan 1st to mid July, I think), 601 vehicles were "logged", 270 tickets were issued and 38 of those were in the pedestrianised area.

    "Logging" a vehicle is done before a ticket is issued. If a vehicle is parked somewhere where loading is allowed, then there is a five minute grace period to establish whether loading is taking place. If the vehicle is then moved during the grace period then no ticket will be issued, but the vehicle is still "logged".

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    So that's 20 visits a day and only 4 vehicles seen??

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. ejstubbs
    Member

    According to the one remaining sign, there's no loading allowed in the pedestrianised area between 10:30am and 11pm so there shouldn't be any motor vehicles there between those hours. There almost always are. Evening rush hour waiting to pick pals/partners up from work seems to be very popular. (When my other half worked at Debenhams I sometimes used to wait there myself if I was picking her up off a late shift - but that was before it was pedestrianised.) Vans belonging to contractors working in premises on that part of the street would appear to be exempt (they aren't - are they?)

    Posted 1 month ago #

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