Concerns raised over new tarmac laid in Lamberton Court & Bruce Grove

Last week contractors came to lay fresh tarmac at problem hotspots around Pencaitland. But some locals were concerned.

Last week contractors came to lay fresh tarmac at problem hotspots around Pencaitland. But some locals were concerned.

Locals have been making greater use of services such as FixMyStreet to alert the Council to problems.
Locals have been making greater use of services such as FixMyStreet to alert the Council to problems.
That concern centered around the belief that the new looking tarmac did not appear to have been compressed with a roller, leaving what looks a little like a black cake mix that hasn’t been given the rolling pin treatment to smooth it out.

The Community Council subsequently contacted East Lothian Council with these concerns, receiving a quick and detailed explanation from Stuart Baxter, Senior Area Officer West, highlighting why the newly covered roads look so different from traditional tarmac. We have reproduced the explanation below:

The process carried out in Lamberton Court and Bruce Grove this week is a Carriageway Microasphalt, this process is widely used by local authority road maintenance departments throughout the United Kingdom and is an excellent, preventative maintenance process that will seal a surface against the ingress of water and prevent further disintegration of the existing surface.

This process is often used on the UK wide trunk road network and can extend the life of a road by up to ten years or even longer depending on the location and is an excellent cost effective means of prolonging the life of a road.

The process involves 2 stages, the first stage is the application of the Microasphalt, during the second stage ironwork is raised to the new surface level , the second part of this process is still to be carried out at these locations.

All works carried out by sub-contractors on behalf of East Lothian Council are supervised by an engineer and any defects detected during the construction or subsequent 12 months after construction are notified to the contractor for remedial works at their cost.

Mr Baxter also gave preliminary dates for when tarmac work is expected on both Woodhall Road and the main road through Pencaitland, from the crossroads at the eastern village entrance to the junction with Lempockwells Road.

The proposed resurfacing works on Woodhall Road and A6093 in Pencaitland are included in this year’s 2013-2014 programme of resurfacing works, Woodhall Road is currently programmed to be complete by the end of November 2013, however work to the A6093 is dependent on the successful completion of a proposed new gas supply to Glenkinchie which is currently due for completion late January 2014.

All programmed dates are however subject to change due to other works and changes to priorities.


ELC upgrades speed signs entering Wester Pencaitland

East Lothian Council’s transport team have almost finished making upgrades to signage coming in and out of Wester Pencaitland.

East Lothian Council’s transport team have almost finished making upgrades to signage coming in and out of Wester Pencaitland.

The 30mph speed signs have moved out from the start of Wester Pencaitland to try to reduce cars entering the village over the speed limit. Speed is an issue here as there is little room for error with cars parking on one side effectively making the road a single lane.
The 30mph speed signs have moved out from the start of Wester Pencaitland to try to reduce cars entering the village over the speed limit. Speed is an issue here as there is little room for error with cars parking on one side effectively making the road a single lane.

As part of the upgrade to signage there are also plans to add three sets of yellow rumble strips before reaching the newly installed 30mph signs. This gives cars and their drivers notice that they are coming to a slower section of road.

This is part of wider plans, some of which are still under discussion, to improve road safety throughout the village. The main road through Pencaitland is also due to be resurfaced, most likely later this year.


Work on worst Pencaitland roads slated for 2013/14

As reported recently on this website, a number of residential roads around Pencaitland have fallen into very poor repair over the years. The good news is that some will shortly be tackled.

As reported recently, a number of residential roads around Pencaitland have fallen into very poor repair over the years. Some will shortly be tackled.

FixMyStreet helps raise awareness of pothole problems in PencaitlandAnyone going to the FixMyStreet website will see that there are quite a few problems listed on the service when you search for Pencaitland. Whilst not all of them can be addressed immediately, due to budget limitations at East Lothian Council, we’re pleased to report that one of the worst, on Woodhall Road, looks like it will finally be addressed after local residents complained that it had never been properly resurfaced in over 40 years.

As a council official explains in a response on the FixMySteet website, “All roads are inspected as part of the Council’s Needs Assessment Policy whereby individual locations are assessed and rated for comparison against other locations in East Lothian so that the funding the Council is able to allocate to such works is targeted where the need is greatest. Roads are currently being assessed to be included in the proposed programme of maintenance works and I am pleased to confirm that Woodhall Road has been included in the 2013/2014 programme of Urban surfacing renewal. In the meantime any necessary temporary repairs will be carried out.”

Other pot spots slated for a fix include a crumbling drain/pothole on a bend of the A6093 and temporary repairs of potholes on Bruce Grove and on Huntlaw Road.

Remember that if the Council does not know about a problem it cannot get on its list of road repairs. There are a number of options for reporting either directly or via FixMyStreet which we’ve covered in the past.


ELC begins moving speed signs in Pencaitland

Following consultation last year, East Lothian Council’s transport team have begun making improvements to signage coming in & going out of Pencaitland.

Following consultation last year, East Lothian Council’s transport team have begun making some improvements to signage coming in and going out of Pencaitland.

A car approaches Pencaitland with 30mph signs now placed outside the village entrance, to encourage drivers to slow before arriving at houses.
A car approaches Pencaitland with 30mph signs now placed outside the village entrance, to encourage drivers to slow before arriving at houses.

This is part of wider plans, still under discussion, to improve road safety throughout the village. However, it is unlikely that any major changes will take place until after the main road through Pencaitland is resurfaced, most likely later this year.


Reporting road problems to East Lothian Council

The last few days of freezing temperatures have taken their toll on the main roads through Pencaitland with tarmac breaking to form fresh potholes.

The last few days of freezing temperatures have taken their toll on the main roads through Pencaitland with tarmac breaking to form fresh potholes.

A section of pavement in the centre of Pencaitland broken up by heavy vehicles parking wheels over edge. A child tripped over the rubble caused by this damage.
A section of pavement in the centre of Pencaitland broken up by heavy vehicles parking wheels over edge. A child tripped over the rubble caused by this damage.
On both sides of the Tyne Bridge there are rapidly growing potholes which could damage a vehicle or, as happens in wet weather, splash pedestrians, particularly whilst they walk on the narrow section of pavement.

The good news is that in this digital age it really couldn’t be easier to report problems to the Council, both directly or via other means. Here’s one method…

Fixmystreet.com is a fantastic concept from the mySociety team, which in turn is a charitable initiative from the UK Citizens Online Democracy. All you need to do in order to report a local issue is enter your postcode, supply (optional) contact details, upload a picture (it’s better if you have one). Then just hit the send button.

You then receive a confirmation email with a link from FixMyStreet. Click the link to confirm and you’re done. Your local council, in this case East Lothian, will been alerted courtesy of Fixmystreet.com.

Contact the Council

Alternatively, you can go directly to East Lothian Council with reports of road problems by filling in an online form. You can choose to register or submit problems anonymously.

It then asks for the street and town plus details of the fault. There doesn’t seem to be a way to send in a picture with the submission unfortunately. Once submitted you are given a reference number for follow up and you receive an email confirming the submission has been received.

If it’s an emergency or particularly urgent you can call:

  • 01875 824305 during office hours (Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm or Friday 8am-4pm)
  • 01875 612818 out of office hours


New Flood Alert for Edinburgh and Lothians – October 17th/18th

It’s just a few days since the last flood alert was issued and we already have a new one covering Edinburgh and the Lothians. Avoid travel wherever possible.

It’s just a few days since the last alert was issued and we already have a new one covering Edinburgh and the Lothians. Avoid travel wherever possible.

A new flood alert for the lothians was issued on the 17th October 2012
A new floodline alert for the Lothians was issued on the 17th October 2012
The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency issues three levels of threat on flooding. A ‘Flood Alert’ is the most basic, followed by a ‘Flood Warning’ and finally a ‘Severe Flood Warning’.

Here’s the latest from SEPA on the new alert for the Lothians:

“Heavy and persistent rain during the first half of Wednesday has caused some rivers to rise in the region. Heavy showers during the afternoon and evening may cause some smaller watercourses to respond quickly and levels in larger rivers to rise further. Isolated instances of flooding are possible and flood warnings may be issued. Particularly at risk are rivers in the Edinburgh area. High river flows, in combination with high tide levels around 4.30 on Thursday morning, could cause disruption in Musselburgh and other areas where the tide can influence river levels. Intense showers could cause some surface water flooding impacts particularly if the heaviest rain falls in urban areas and on impermeable surfaces, such as the road and rail network. Ponding and standing water may occur in low lying areas. The risk of flooding is expected to extend into Thursday. Members of the public are advised to check the Traffic Scotland website before traveling. SEPA will monitor the situation closely and provide further information when available.

Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property. Advice and information is available through Floodline on 0845 9881188. This FLOOD ALERT is now in force until further notice and was sent by phone and sms free of charge to registered customers of our Floodline direct warning service. If you haven’t already signed up to receive free flood messages, please call Floodline or register online at sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup.”

Keep your community informed

If you have to travel and spot a dangerous section of road please tweet details to @pencaitlandcc or to the Pencaitland Facebook page. This way the information will automatically be passed on to others.

Example Twitter message:

@pencaitlandcc Bend of A6093 coming into Wester #Pencaitland water over both lanes on final bend. #flood #eastlothian

You can use the same text whether sending to Twitter or posting to Facebook or Google+… whichever you prefer.

the # symbol is often placed in front of keywords on Twitter in order to help people discover relevant updates. If you have room, by adding #eastlothian and #flood to your message it is more likely to be found by those looking for information on areas under water around in the county. Try to be specific, using, for example, #ormiston or #pencaitland hash tags to help geographically pinpoint where the problem is.


New flood warnings issued – Share your knowledge

We have recent video of flooding in Pencaitland plus fresh reports that further floods may occur today. If you spot problems tell others. Here’s how…

flood alert logoWe have recent video of flooding in Pencaitland plus fresh reports that further floods may occur today. If you spot problems tell others. Here’s how…

If you plan to travel today and spot a flooded section of road please tweet details to @pencaitlandcc or to the Pencaitland Facebook page. This way the information will automatically be passed on to others.

Twitter example message:

@pencaitlandcc Bend of A6093 coming into Wester #Pencaitland flooded both lanes on final bend. #flood #eastlothian

You can use the same text whether sending to Twitter or posting to Facebook or Google+… whichever is your preferred social tool of choice.

the # symbol is often placed in front of keywords on Twitter in order to help people discover relevant updates. If you have room, by adding #eastlothian and #flood to your message it is more likely to be found by those looking for information on floods in the county. Try to be specific, using, for example, #ormiston or #pencaitland hash tags to help geographically pinpoint where the problem is.

LOTHIANS FLOOD ALERT

Here’s the latest from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency:

“A FLOOD ALERT has been issued for Edinburgh and Lothians.

A period of heavy and persistent rain is forecast to affect the area on Thursday through until Friday. Flooding to low lying areas from rivers and small watercourses is possible. The intensity of the rain may also cause some surface water flooding, particularly in built up areas or on low lying roads. SEPA will continue to monitor the situation and further updates will be provided when new information becomes available.”

VIDEO

More heavy rain was predicted over night and we got it. So much so, that the notorious final bends into the western edge of the village of Pencaitland were already half flooded with run off from the neighbouring field. (Can’t see the video below? Go to Pencaitland Community on YouTube.)

We recently saw the Tyne burst its banks at Pencaitland and it’s done it again today. But the problems will be more acute for Haddington further downstream which already suffered flooding during the last heavy downpour. (Can’t see the video below? Go to Pencaitland Community on YouTube.)


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.

Pencaitland Community Council
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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.

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 LTS@eastlothian.gov.uk. Please submit views by Wednesday 20 July 2011.

HAVE YOUR SAY

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…