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release 40--Ten streets from hundreds on a list the Council won't publish


Dated 04-03-2011


  • The pollution hit list the council haven’t published


  • The Council’sown maps and figures  can be used to show tie and CEC which streets will get hit next -- if they don’t come to their senses and change the plan.


  • see the list below


In 2008 a very expensive study document showed which streets would see a large increase in trafficas a result of the arrival of the Tram.


The list below shows just ten of these streets.


The data doesn’t list them in order of severity--- so the list isn’t a league table as such, more a group of streets taken from a much larger group, which will all be in the same boat as Great Stuart Street and Randolph Crescent, predictedby the council to see large increases in traffic


The only difference is that the tram hasn’t yet reached their areas so in that sense they are still just predictions; for streets like Great Stuart Street, and indeed and others in the West End the +200 vehicles per hour increase, and the pollution and noise this brings, is now a reality thanks to the closure of Shandwick Place, and has been for well over a year.


But the people in the streets on the list, and many more streets we could have named, can be certain of one thing --- they too will start seeing more than 200 vehicles an hour as well once the tram comes down their way.

Ten of Edinburgh Council’s streets of shame

(Just ten streets facing increases of over 200 vehicles per hour each day because of the tram)


1)         Lindsay Roadin Newhaven

2)         Cables Wynd, Leith

3)         Bonnington Road

4)          London Road

5)         Douglas Crescent

6)         Broughton Road

7)         East Claremont Street

8)         Bellevue

9)         Dundas Street

10)        Ravelston Dykes



Background Bullet points:


  • The objectors have created a map based on data from the TIE VIsum Traffic Model produced in 2008.  The assertions in this release are based entirely on TIE/CEC’s own Visum 2008 traffic model. This shows where the traffic displaced by the tram is expected to go.


  • We know the figures of 134,500 households worse off in terms of NO2 pollution and 139,000 households worse off in terms of PM10 particulates is particularly hard for people to believe in.   It comes from the Council’s own predictions however, based on the introduction of the tram.


  • It is specifically not the case that these worse-off figures ‘ would have happened anyway---the traffic modelling experts predicted them because of increased congestion produced BY the tram requirement for empty roads to operate on.


  • The council second line of defence has been to say that the households would be worse off but only by a small amount.


  • This has been demolished by increasing scientific knowledge of the effects of traffic created pollution, by the fact that Edinburgh have consistently wilfully underestimated this problem and finally, by the fact that Edinburgh Council, because of a mathematical calculation they applied to raw measurements of pollutants incorrectly, have already been underestimating real pollution now by up to 40% for a long time.


  • Their final line is that some streets will see more traffic and some less; it’s a winners and losers situation!


  • The streets with less traffic are Leith Walk, Shandwick Place, Princes Street and similar, and recognising this goes to the heart of our case.  These streets are less residential and the overwhelming number of visitors and tourists spend relatively little time in them, they are the traditional through routes of the City.  The streets on the list, and the many others that could be are predominantly residential and so the people exposed there are exposed for many more hours on many more days, increasing by many hundreds of times the possibility of them getting health effects when compared to a few hours a week for an Edinburgh shopper, or the few hours a visit for tourists and visitors.


  • The winners therefore win little and are few…the losers are many (over 250,000) and lose a lot, in some cases everything. 


  • The trade off now involves 3 stops in Shandwick Place, Princes Street and St Andrew’s Square—prominent locations but without any real great economic advantage in Tram Business case terms.  In reality senior figures at TIE and the Council are trading residents’ health against the vanity aim of having trams ‘on Princes Street’, without which, they fear the project will be seen as an abject failure.


  •   It already is an abject failure and trading resident’s health against a few hundred yards of tram line will make it more of an abject failure not less.


This is a serious and indeed extremely grave situation; the Council seem to feel that any acknowledgement of the problems may provide a final nail in the coffin of their plans to build even a fragment of the original network.   


Objectors say that is to put the cart before the horse and the real question is to decide that knowingly making people ill can never be an acceptable element in planning, after having accepted that, then see how the tram can be altered to remove that threat.


The first step is to conduct a proper, scientific and sober assessment:  The ‘Health Impact Study’ that ought to have been done at the beginning of the project but wasn’t.  That will give them, for the first time, the clear picture of the health effects likely to be produced by noise, and physical accidents as well as air pollution coming from the increases in vehicles of all types.