Bernard Terrace Crossing

Latest News 23rd March 2020

Despite what we were told earlier this month (see below), it seems we are to have a zebra crossing after all.

City of Edinburgh Senior Transport Team Leader Alan Dunlop says:

Itís been some time since my last update in August and Iíd hoped to have provided further information before now. I havenít been party to the Freedom of Information correspondence in relation to the earlier Road Safety proposal to provide a controlled Toucan crossing in Bernard Terrace and itís difficult to provide further comment on the apparent disparity. However, the plans for the NEP funded zebra crossing have progressed and after considering various designs, I attach details of the preferred option for a crossing that prioritises pedestrian movements over the necessity to maintain a wider carriageway and is consistent with the principles of the Edinburgh Street Design Guidance.

Youíll note that the crossing is as near to the North-South pedestrian desire line as possible and itís hoped will encourage use by those who may not otherwise have crossed at a site set further back from the junction with St Leonardís Street. This can be viewed as quite radical, but the approach sightlines are good, and St Leonardís Street is sufficiently wide to accommodate turning vehicles if they have to wait for those on the crossing.

This is being progressed at detailed design stage by our external designers and will be prepared for tender issue in due course. As you may be aware, the majority of Council officers are now working from home, where possible, and although weíll continue to maintain all the services we can, there will be an inevitable impact as the situation develops. However, itís hoped that progress on this scheme will continue as planned.

Still no firm timescales, but we do have a drawing which you can download:
Bernard Terrace Proposed Zebra Crossing General Arrangement

Here is how we think it might look:

What a long time it takes to get a zebra crossing!

Each year for the past few years the South Central Neighbourhood Partnership, the arm of the City Council that looks after our area, have alocated some money and asked us what we would like it spent on. There is usually some for roads capital projects, and we are asked to suggest schemes that are needed in the area, and they are then voted on, most recently by the "Participatory Budgeting" method. In the last round of this process we suggested a pedestrian crossing of Bernard Terrace near the junction with St Leonards Street. In the voting it came top of the poll, so it should have been completely funded, but it hasn't appeared yet.

The voting took place in January 2018, and we understood this was in the 17/18 budget, so it should have happened quite quickly. Now we hear that there is a discussion within the Council as to what kind of crossing it should be. There is a list, apparently, of all the places that pedestrian crossings with traffic lights are needed, and these are prioritised by how urgent they are, and it seems Bernard Terrace is some way down that list. However, we didn't ask for a signalised crossing - a zebra crossing would be just fine, and quite a bit cheaper. So why the delay?

We are now calling on the Council to get this crossing in place as quickly as possible. This is a busy place, with lots of school pupils and university students crossing here. We hope no-one will be hurt here before the Council gets round to putting in the crossing they have promised.

If you feel as we do that this crossing is badly needed, and soon, please write to your Councillors and ask them keep the pressure on officials to make progress with this crossing.

Update, June 2019

In an email to the SCC, a Council official says:

After clarifying that weíd progress the zebra proposal on Bernard Terrace rather than deferring until Road Safety could consider a signal controlled crossing, it had been the intention to have our Transport Design & Delivery or Active Travel team design and implement the crossing in accordance with the Councilís Street Design Guidance. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, resources are not currently available to take on the scheme, but I have had preliminary discussions with external design consultants, Capita, to design the crossing and progress through tendering to the construction stage.

I will update once I have further information and hopefully will be able to give an idea on the programme timescale.

We are disappointed that there is as yet no firm timetable for the installation of this much needed crossing.

Update March 2020

Our sister organisation, the Southside Association, put in a Freedom of Information request asking when we are going to get the Zebra Crossing.

The reply was most unsatisfactory, and didn't really answer the questions asked. It talked about a signalised crossing, saying "It is currently anticipated that the proposed crossing facility on Bernard Terrace will be delivered during the 2021/22 financial year."

Our concerns are that in this extra delay there is a strong chance of somebody being injured crossing the road, and also that a signalised crossing will be posistioned further from the junction than a zebra crossing, making a big detour for pedestrians. This means people won't use it, and will continue to cross in a dangerous way.

It would appear that the Council officials have decided to ignore our request for a zebra crossing, and plan, eventually, to put in a signalised crossing. This makes a complete mockery of local democracy and the participatory budgeting process. However the latest news indicates this is not true. See top of page.