ELTRP held a consultation event with tenants to inform our response, which we can now share with you all! We'll let you know what feedback we get from ELC.
East Lothian Council Road Safety Plan
In response to the draft Road Safety Plan, the members of the East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel would make an overarching observation that the plan is overly reliant on charts and has little information on timescales or who is responsible for completing the actions. The charts could be simplified, some technical terms should be better explained. Clarity about when, where and who will be implementing the plan would facilitate monitoring of delivery by interested parties.
We would also like to know what the consultation process has been, beyond publication of the plan. Road safety is a vital community issue and the road safety plan should be shared with communities as widely as possible.
Our members have the following comments in relation to the Actions listed on page 13.
Action: Undertake road safety audits on any proposed changes to the local road network
ELTRP response: As with much of the road safety plan, our members would welcome clarification of who carries out audits, how residents and communities are involved and how priorities are decided.
Action: Continue to explore innovative solutions in delivering safe / more efficient services
- Introduce passively safe sign posts and lighting columns where appropriate
We would suggest that maintaining existing signs properly could be a valuable first step in improving road safety. This includes regular tree trimming to ensure signs are visible.
- Use of LED / solar powered ‘whiter’ lights to achieve safer routes for drivers and pedestrians
Action: Following the East Lothian Council Plan key actions for transport, introduce measures to reduce speeding including 20mph speed limits where appropriate and where they are supported by residents
ELTRP response: Our members questioned the enforcement processes for 20mph speed limits given that 30mph areas regularly see speeding. We would welcome further consideration of a ‘speedwatch’ programme as well as enforcement of speed limits by police.
Our members reiterate that 20mph areas are regularly proposed by tenants and residents associations, and that we would welcome East Lothian implementing 20mph speed limits as a default in all areas immediately, without the need for trials.
In the meantime, our members would appreciate information as to how they might go about applying to have areas designated as 20mph zones. A clear process should be outlined, including stipulation of conditions – for example; would it require majority support in the community? Will ELC survey residents? What support would be offered by ELC, the police in relation to signage placement etc.
We note with interest that the Scottish Government is looking seriously at nationwide 20mph zones and would be interested to know what discussion ELC has had with the Scottish Government about this.
In addition to 20mph zones, our members queried whether the use of speed bumps has been considered as a speed control tool.
Action: Improve the inspection programme in line with current best practice
ELTRP response: Members would be keen for clarification of what current best practice is; whether there is a link to the estate inspections process; and who any issues are fed back to. An explanation of exactly what the inspection programme entails, how often it is carried out, how it is monitored and prioritised would be useful.
In outlining best practice it would be useful to know for instance; how bad road or pavement surfaces have to be before they are re-surfaced; what are the requirements on utility companies to restore road and pavement surfaces after works.
Action: Annual review of ELC’s Winter Maintenance Plan
ELTRP reponse: Our members would welcome clarification on how and where the winter maintenance plan is made available, and we would urge ELC to produce hard copies as not all residents have access to or are comfortable with online resources.
We would also suggest specific training courses in driving during the winter season.
Action: Empower and engage with communities to promote ‘Self Help’ in winter
ELTRP response: Whilst we recognise the need for communities to be able to help themselves during winter weather our members would like to stress that a certain level of assistance from ELC is expected during winter weather. A clear outline of who takes responsibility for what and resources for assisting with ‘self help’ should be made available, on and off line.
Action: Actively promote and support Road Safety in education by providing information, training for school staff / pupils / partners, resources, funding and expertise in addressing safety issues
ELTRP response: As well as ensuring the wider community are offered educational opportunities, our members fully support education in schools on road safety including young drivers’ courses which we feel should be compulsory, awareness of tomorrow’s drivers is vital.
We would highlight East Lothian’s aging population and suggest that refresher courses in road safety for older drivers might also be worth considering.
We would also offer the following general comments:
We feel that cycling would be more appealing if the roads were better maintained – consideration of all areas of the road and all road users should be key to maintenance, we would especially note that drains and potholes are frequent hazards for cyclists. Road safety courses for cyclists would be welcome.
We look forward to the revised plan and your response to our comments.