Community Council submits response to ELC Transport proposals for road safety

In 2012 the Transport team from East Lothian Council submitted suggestions for road safety improvements. Your Community Council recently responded and we’re sharing this with you.

In 2012 the Transport team from East Lothian Council submitted suggestions for road safety improvements. Your Community Council recently responded and we’re sharing this with you.

A map showing the PCC Roads sub-committee's recommendations to ELC's Transport team
A map showing the PCC Roads sub-committee’s recommendations to ELC’s Transport team
Pencaitland Community Council, which formed a Roads sub-committee to deal with this topic, drafted a response paper addressing the original ELC suggestions, which can be seen here.

The subsequent report from the Roads sub-committee of Pencaitland Community Council, called “COMMUNITY CONSULTATION TRAFFIC CALMING MEASURES REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS”, can now be read online [PDF] and you can view a Google Map which illustrates where the sub-committee believes ELC can implement improvements and make both pedestrians and road users safer.

Below we are reproducing the covering letter which recently went to ELC along with the Roads sub-committee report.

“This is the community’s response to the plans originally presented to Pencaitland Community Council back in July 2012. Since receiving these plans we have reported on it and shared it widely via traditional methods, such as posters and suggestions boxes in the local post office and shops, as well as through the local school and online/social media.

Now, after quite a lot of consultation we’re reverting to your department with our thoughts in the attached PDF, taking into consideration the views from across the spectrum of the community.

Our primary concern is that we ensure you have time to consider our views prior to the skimming of the A6093 through Pencaitland later this year, in order that any measures we are seeking from Transport can be factored in as part of that scheduled work.

On the whole, within Pencaitland proper we are seeking road traffic measures which involve far less additional work than I think was envisaged when ELC Transport was proposing physically narrowing the road and widening the pavements. However, apart from the addition of painted cycle paths we are seeking two double D islands and a further pedestrian crossing (Zebra) at Pencaitland Park. The latter would not only slow traffic entering/exiting Pencaitland but also provide a safe crossing for children using the pick up/drop off point for school buses.

For the rest of the village we would like to see a consistency of approach in terms of positioning speed signs and rumble strips at all entrances to the village, with the exception of Huntlaw Road which is too minor. Some of this work has already been carried out but it is apparent that elements have yet to be completed, such as rumble strips and the painting of relocated 30mph white on red signage directly onto the tarmac.

Of great concern was the recent accident that put 11 year old Harry into a coma on the B6363 through Boggs Holdings shortly before school broke up for the summer. We had already extended the scope of your department’s original plan to include the Boggs, and would ask you to give serious consideration to how we improve the safety of both pedestrians and cyclists, young and old, on these stretches of road. The B6363 leads to and from many residential properties which currently lack a defined pavement or even a painted cycle lane.

Lastly, there is the big ticket issue of a roundabout over the current crossroads. Many people welcome your department’s original suggestion of a roundabout at the eastern entrance into Pencaitland. However, a significant proportion of people have expressed concern about the necessary relocation of the War Memorial that this plan would require. We would like to propose a slightly altered version of the roundabout plan which would obviate the need to relocate the War Memorial from it’s general location today.

Once you have had time to digest the views and proposals in the attached document and the associated visual on the map, we would appreciate the opportunity of having a follow up discussion with you to consider next steps and what your department can do to meet the desires of locals for safer roads and pavements for those living in and around Pencaitland.

All the best

Chair, Pencaitland Community Council”

East Lothian trials car ban near Schools

The media reports ELC’s decision to ban cars from streets near a school in Haddington. If it proves effective it could be rolled out across the county.

The media reports East Lothian Council’s decision to ban cars from streets near a school in Haddington. If it proves effective it could be rolled out across the county.

Car Chaos at the Glebe - should East Lothian Council extend its car ban to Pencaitland?
Car Chaos at the Glebe – should East Lothian Council extend its car ban to Pencaitland? Tell us what you think with a comment below.
The issue of parked cars near schools is a divisive one in many areas, especially where schools and residential homes are in close proximity. In Pencaitland’s case the main point of access to the school is via the Glebe — a cul de sac which can struggle to accommodate the volume of cars that arrive for morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up.

In the past the local school has attempted to address the problem with repeated requests for parents to avoid the use of cars to bring their children to school or, if they must, to park further away. Other efforts have included carrots such as the regular ‘walk to school’ week, or more visible policing with the local PC and traffic warden being on site.

There is some anecdotal evidence that such campaigns have alleviated problems for a period but it invariably reverts back to previous levels fairly quickly.

In light of this, it now looks as if East Lothian Council has decided to adopt a fairly radical new approach, effectively banning cars from designated streets — other than those of residents and the disabled.

The Scotsman reports that the council’s senior area officer, Peter Forsyth, said “The behaviour of these drivers, who make dangerous turning and reversing manoeuvres and contribute to congestion, cause difficulties for the majority of pupils and parents who walk or cycle to and from school.

“It is totally inappropriate to try and carry out these sorts of manoeuvres close to schools where there is a great number of schoolchildren present.

Radio Scotland had a phone-in on ELC's plans earlier today - 16th Nov 2012
Radio Scotland had a phone-in on ELC’s plans earlier today (16th Nov 2012). Just click the image above to listen now.
“Following representations from the parent councils of the three schools, it was agreed to introduce the experimental traffic regulation order. East Lothian Council may be the first council in the whole of the UK to take this 

You can read the full Scotsman report here.

On the Radio

Did you hear today’s (16th Nov 2012) Radio Scotland phone-in on this topic? If not you can still catch it using the BBC’s catch-up service for the next fortnight.

Q. What do you think of this approach? Would you welcome a ban on cars using the Glebe in Pencaitland or is it an over-reaction? Leave your comment below.

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.

Pencaitland Community Council
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Council seeking your views on local transport

East Lothian Council is going through the process of updating its Local Transport Strategy (LTS) and wants to know the views of organisations and individuals.

East Lothian Council is going through the process of updating its Local Transport Strategy (LTS) and wants to know the views of organisations and individuals.

The original 2001 Local Transport Strategy document from ELC - click to view the PDF

The current LTS was published back in 2001 and is now being revised to try to reflect the changes that have taken place since then. You can influence this process by participating in this online consultation questionnaire.

The Council’s spokesman on transport issues is Barry Turner. He says, “Transport is fundamental to today’s society whether it is for work or leisure or the delivery of the goods and services. The Council’s ‘Contract with the People’ calls for a sensible transport strategy to meet these requirements but we also recognise that transport planning is not simply about choosing and developing different travel options but considering ways of reducing the overall need for travel.”

The Council has now produced a consultation paper which is seeking your views on the priorities, scope and content of an updated LTS based on the following questions:

• What are the priorities for transport you would like to see addressed?
• What are your aspirations for sustainable transport in East Lothian?
• What would encourage to you to walk and cycle more?
• What would encourage you to use public transport more?
• Do you agree that we need to reduce the overall need to travel?

Interestingly, as far back as 2004 Alastair Guild of the Rural Design Group consulted with the villagers in and around Pencaitland, putting together a “Pencaitland Statement” [PDF], which looked at the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to wider village life from effective (or bad) planning and development.

One aspect picked up in this statement was Transport. The document states, “Traffic, and in particular the speed of traffic at the War Memorial and through the village and across the bridge seems to be another issue impacting on use and enjoyment of the public realm, and on feelings of safety. The responses make a number of suggestions for ways in which the situation might be improved.”

Under ‘Opportunities’ the 2004 statement says, “Measures are needed to control and reduce the speed and volume of traffic in, through and around the village, to extend the footpath from the bridge linking West and East Pencaitland as far as Limekilns and also to move the traffic lights further east. The condition of the kerbstone opposite the Church is evidence of the number of vehicles failing to negotiate the road safely. The removal of a length of indifferent but protected wall would improve safety for pedestrians and motorists alike.”

On public transport the 2004 statement adds, “The village would benefit from a faster, more direct bus service to Edinburgh and a more regular bus service to Haddington”.

So to help inform opinions, a consultation questionnaire is now online, together with the Council’s 2001 Local Transport Strategy [PDF] document. Give yourself between 10 and 20 minutes to complete the online questionnaire.

If you’d prefer a paper copy or have any other questions, you can email Please submit views by Wednesday 20 July 2011.


Have you got any views on transport? Fill in the above questionnaire and if you have a particular concern on some aspect of transport in either Pencaitland or East Lothian generally, please leave a comment below…