Pencaitland’s Parallel Footpath – What next?

There have been a number of people asking what happens next now that the public consultation has happened on the parallel footpath plan for Pencaitland.

There have been a number of people asking what happens next now that the public consultation has happened on the parallel footpath plan for Pencaitland.

A mum runs up the main road with her buggy which is too wide to fit the pavement
A mum who can’t fit her buggy on the pavement races up the road hoping the lights remain in her favour, giving her enough time to get back on the pavement where it’s widens again. Click for a larger image.
Whilst the pubic consultation took place last week, boxes have been placed in the Granny Shop, Spar and Post Office to collect views from those unable to attend that event and via the one question survey which we encourage you to complete if you haven’t expressed a view already.

Those boxes will be collected later this week and all the views expressed at the public consultation or via the online survey will then be reflected in a report which will be produced by Brian Cooper, Senior Transportation Manager at East Lothian Council, no later than the 27th of November. It will then be presented to Cabinet on the 11th of December, provisionally returning to the Planning Committee on the 8th of January.

As soon as any reports go public we will share those details via this website.


Courier reports on Pencaitland’s Maya delivering her letter to Public Consultation

Maya’s story was covered in this week’s East Lothian Courier. She represents one of a number of people, young and old, unable to use the existing pavement at the bridge to get from one side of Pencaitland to the other.

Maya’s story was covered in this week’s East Lothian Courier. She represents one of a number of people, young and old, unable to use the existing pavement at the bridge to get from one side of Pencaitland to the other.

For more background read the story Parallel footpath proposal returns for more consultation and the many comments debating the pros and cons of the parallel footpath plan.

Disabled girl has path say
Click the image above to see a larger version.


Maya’s letter to the Public Consultation

One person who couldn’t attend yesterday’s public consultation was local girl Maya Coates who relies on a K-Walker for mobility.

One person who couldn’t attend yesterday’s public consultation was local girl Maya Coates who relies on a K-Walker for mobility.

Unfortunately, this meant she was unable to use the pavement to attend the meeting on foot and give her views on the footpath plans. Instead she came as far as she is able unaided and handed her letter to a member of the community council who passed it on to Brian Cooper from East Lothian Council.

Ralph Averbuch collects Maya's letter to give to the Public Consultation with her mum Nicola Dutton
Ralph Averbuch collects Maya’s letter to give to the Public Consultation with her mum Nicola Dutton. Photo courtesy of East Lothian Courier
Her letter:

“I am writing to you to see if it’s possible to widen the pavement on the A6093 in Pencaitland between the church and the Spar – especially the narrow bit before the bridge.

I am 12 years old and I like hanging around with my friends and going to the Spar. I have to use the K-Walker to help me walk and be independent. The pavement is so narrow that it’s not safe for me to walk on it because my walker is too wide, this means I can’t go to the shops with my friends. My sister also has a disability and loves to use her red bike, but this is too wide to fit on the pavement.

My mum says there is going to be a meeting about the narrow pavement. I hope that my views will be considered.

Thank you,

Maya”

Remember, if you still want to participate because you missed the consultation and haven’t had the opportunity to air your view through other means, you can still take part in the one question survey here.


Good turnout for consultation and paper/online community survey

Whatever your view a big thanks to all those who made the effort to come along to the Public Consultation on the parallel footpath today or participated in the survey.

Whatever your view a big thanks to all those who made the effort to come along to the Public Consultation on the parallel footpath today or participated in the survey.

There was a pretty good turnout in terms of numbers at both the actual event in Trevelyan Hall and from those taking part in both the paper and online surveys.

An artist's impression of the footpath when completed going up tothe church
An artist’s impression of the footpath when completed going up to the church. Click above for a larger version.
Generally the impression was that the majority are in clear support of the footpath with the odd vehement exception.

However, Glebe residents asked the quite reasonable question of how and why the additional parking became part of the footpath plan and en-mass felt they had no choice but to object, despite not having issue with the core intent of a safer footpath.

Meantime, so far we have received 61 online and 31 written notes of support with 5 online responses against the plan .

Working with ELC officials we will now collate the rest of the comments gathered today and report back.

Remember, if you still want to participate because you missed the consultation and haven’t had the opportunity to air your view through other means, you can still take part in the one question survey here.

Results of the online survey
Results of the online survey


Parallel footpath proposal returns for more consultation

After ELC’s Planning Committee delayed decision on plans agreed by a number of Pencaitland’s community groups & transport officials, villagers now get a second chance to review the proposals.

Villagers are to get another opportunity to express their views about Pencaitland’s narrow main-road footpath. In September, plans agreed by a range of community groups and ELC transport officials were expected to be passed by ELC Planning Committee. But Planning delayed its decision, saying it wants to ensure villagers have another chance to review the the same plans.

July 2010: Local mums highlight the dangers of the narrow main road pavement which led to the parallel footpath plan.
July 2010: Local mums highlight the dangers of the narrow main road pavement which led to the parallel footpath plan.

A letter to villagers explains that a public consultation is being offered to all interested locals in Pencaitland’s Trevelyan Hall between 2pm and 8pm on Tuesday the 30th of October. Transport officials and local councillors will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have about the proposed parallel footpath before a final decision is taken by ELC councillors on whether to complete the partially done footpath or drop the plan with no alternative solution on offer. Can’t make it? You can still make your views known.

The plan boils down to building a wider footpath running parallel to the main road from the bridge, through church grounds and directly into the school, thus avoiding the main road pavement which is 75cm in places and too narrow for two people to pass without stepping onto the road, or to allow someone using a wheelchair or pushing many makes of baby buggy to safely get across the village on foot.

BACKGROUND

It was the footpath campaign, made up of concerned parents, dog-owners and other locals, that originally took issue with the ELC over the dangerously narrow footpath in 2008. This came to a head in February 2011 when ELC councillors and officals vetoed an earlier plan to extend the lights and widen the main road pavement.

Subsequent community talks were held at the direct request of ELC councillors. This led to the parallel footpath plan which was the end result of 18 months of discussion between members of the church, ELC transport and planning officials, ELC councillors, the Community Council and the Fatal Footpath Campaign.

Click above to view a PDF of the proposed changes
PROs & CONs

The community now has a second opportunity to review the same parallel footpath plan later this month and express a view on whether they wish to see the parallel path proceed to completion or, effectively, drop it entirely. Currently this is the only footpath plan acceptable to ELC’s transport officials.

So what’s good and bad about the parallel footpath plan which is being re-presented to members of the community on the 30th?

PROs

  • The parallel footpath provides an alternative and more direct route to and from Pencaitland Primary School.
  • It is a wider footpath which, unlike the existing pavement, can take wheelchairs and buggies.
  • It separates pedestrians from cars, buses and lorries.
  • Parking in the Carriage House car park will be improved for all users of this community facility.
  • An overflow carpark, part of the school’s existing parking, will be accessible via a footpath to church-goers, thus potentially reducing the need to park on the main road which can cause problems of its own each Sunday.
  • With a more direct and safer walking route there will be less reason to drive kids to school from Wester Pencaitland

CONs

  • This plan is more elaborate and costly than simply moving the lights and widening the footpath (though this is no longer an option open to the community after this was rejected by ELC councillors in July 2011 on the advice of transport officials).
  • Some residents of the Glebe are concerned that this plan may make parking worse in the cul de sac. (there were six objections when this plan went to planning consent).

HAVE YOUR SAY

We would encourage everyone with a view on these plans to make the time to go and see for themselves what’s being proposed and to consider what it will mean for the community as a whole. ELC officials are going to be on hand from 2pm through to 8pm to try to give everyone a chance to see, and have explained, what is being proposed.

However, if you are unable to come along on the day but want to express a view we would encourage you to leave a comment below, email us, and/or take part in our mini survey.

If you don’t see the survey question above you can click here


Scottish Water promotes winter code to protect homes

Scottish Water is launching a winter campaign to encourage customers to be prepared and ensure homes and businesses are protected as winter sets in.

watersignScottish Water is launching a winter campaign to encourage customers to be prepared and ensure homes and businesses are protected as winter sets in.

Communities like ours are being urged to follow Scottish Water’s winter code – a set of simple steps to protect your pipes, be prepared and heat, insulate and protect your home and business.

Be Prepared For Winter. Tips for looking after your pipes.[/caption]The campaign will be communicated through advertising, leaflets, posters, videos and, of course, social media channels.

Visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter where you can find winter information, films and advice. If you would like hard copies of leaflets email customermarketing@scottishwater.co.uk.

Further information can be found online about everyone’s pipework responsibilities by visiting www.scottishwater.co.uk/responsibility.

Here are some Scottish Water top tips in the meantime… Continue reading “Scottish Water promotes winter code to protect homes”

ELC proposes traffic calming measures for Pencaitland

Traffic plays a big part in the concerns of many locals. In an effort to have a number of issues addressed the Community Council sought the recommendations of East Lothian Council’s Transport department. Here’s the suggestions it came up with in response to this request. Tell us what you think?

Traffic plays a big part in the concerns of many locals. In an effort to have a number of issues addressed the Community Council sought the recommendations of East Lothian Council’s Transport department. Here’s the suggestions it came up with in response to this request.

Beech Terrace - moving speed sign and adding rumblestrips - click to view full PDF plan1. Easter Pencaitland Roundabout: Entering Pencaitland from the Haddington road ELC is proposing a roundabout with a proper central island. The current recommendation would necessitate relocating the war memorial and seating to a different corner. Additionally speed restrictions would be extended so that the 30mph limit would not cease until after leaving the village and would come into force before entering.

2. Pencaitland village road (Easter): After entering the village ELC is proposing traffic calming measures which are a combination of road narrowing and forming parking bays to the south side of the road in two locations.

3. Wester Pencaitland: Entering Wester Pencaitland ELC is proposing to move the speed restriction signs further west so that they come into force before vehicles arrive at houses. Additionally, in the run-up to the 30mph speed sign there would be 3 sets of rumble strips.

Community Comments to date Continue reading “ELC proposes traffic calming measures for Pencaitland”

Floodwaters fill bend into Wester Pencaitland (Video)

Downpour causes A6093 into Pencaitland to flood. Without better roadside drainage it will happen again. An accident waiting to happen?

Some locals will already be familiar with a bend on the way into Wester Pencaitland that tends to flood badly with heavy rain. This morning was no different, at one point covering three quarters of the road’s width.

The problem stems from the large field to the immediate north. It forms a large catchment for any downpour which then inevitably works it way down to this poorly drained bend at one point on the road.

If you’ve experienced problems with this stretch of road we’d like to know about it. Comment below or email website@pencaitland.org.

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Pencaitland traffic nears 4,000 vehicles daily

A recent road survey on the A6093 through Pencaitland shows average speeds just over the speed limit and nearly 4,000 vehicles passing through the village per day.

Residents of Pencaitland may have noticed the recent appearance of a pair of black wires running across the main road in the village near to the entrance to the Carriage House.

ELC carried out a new Traffic Survey in Pencaitland in March.

This was part of a recent road traffic survey being carried out by East Lothian Council over the course of a week in March.

Here are some of the interesting stats to come out of the survey which ran from the 2nd to the 8th.

The average speed of vehicles was 31.1mph which is generally good news. However, this is an average so some would have been travelling faster, whilst others would be slower.

Of course, the location is fairly close to the lights at the bridge which may be an influencing factor in terms of speed measured at this point.

The percentage of heavy goods vehicle traffic remains fairly constant at 11 percent out of a total 5 day average count of all vehicles of 3,900. This counts traffic travelling in both directions and isn’t hugely different from the measured numbers in 2009.

Nevertheless it’s hard to believe the reality of a daily figure just shy of 4,000 vehicles per day travelling through Pencaitland in both directions.

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Parallel footpath plans published on ELC website

Drawings and documents have been submitted seeking planning approval for a parallel public footpath to run through Pencaitland Parish church grounds and provide a safe alternative route to the narrow main road pavement. It’s your chance to see what’s planned and voice your support or your concerns.

Anyone interested in the recent preliminary work in and around the grounds of Pencaitland Parish Church can now view detailed planning application information on the East Lothian Council website.

These plans stem from safety concerns originating in 2008 over the narrowness of the main road footpath and are the culmination of many years of discussion and debate amongst interested parties, including the Church, the Community Council, East Lothian Council, the school, Pencaitland’s Fatal Footpath Campaign and other interested parties.

There are two applications:

  • Formation of hardstanding areas and part demolition of wall – link
  • Resurfacing of existing footpaths, formation of new footpaths, car parking area, erection of fencing, gates, wall, installation of lighting and a change of use from domestic ground to public ground and public ground to domestic ground – link

The first application relates to the creation of an opening to a wall to the eastern perimeter of the church grounds, but it is the second application where the bulk of the changes which affect the community are explained. There are a number of supporting documents — 25 in all.

Click above to view a PDF of the planned changes

A good overview of what is planned can be gained from viewing the PDF file plan of the whole section of works, running from the school car park to the east, to the stone roadbridge to the west.

Making a public comment on the plans

We would encourage everyone with a view on these plans, whether for or against, to leave a comment on the ELC website. It is only through airing your support or concerns that they can be addressed, so it is in everyone’s interest to do so.

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