Getting things done – Edward Street/Forest Park Place junction

On behalf of residents, I recently raised with the City Council the poor road condition at the Edward Street/Forest Park Place junction – see below :
I raised this with the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership and thermal repairs on the defects have now been carried out :

 

Forest Park Place is currently identified for surfacing in 2019/2020.  As this is some time off, the thermal patching meantime is welcome.

Getting things done – Edward Street/Forest Park Road

I have recently had complaints from residents in Forest Park Road whose flats back onto the Royal Mail’s Central Sorting Office and Depot in Edward Street about the very overgrown foliage from the depot protruding into their back garden area.
 
I contacted Royal Mail and have had the following positive response :
 
“I have checked with the manager who had put a request in with our facilities helpdesk to get this work done and is chasing this up as a matter of urgency.”

Temporary Traffic Order – Edward Street/Brook Street/Polepark Road/Brewery Lane

From the City Council (arising out of the recent road damage at the above junction – this temporary traffic order is to allow for road reinstatement next week, following investigation by Scottish Water as to the cause of the damage) :
 
THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 : SECTION 14(1)
 
THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of emergency manhole and carriageway repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Polepark Road (at its junction with Brook Street, Brewery Lane and Edward Street), Dundee.
 
This notice comes into effect on Monday 1 August 2016 for 5 working days.
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
No access or egress to/from Edward Street or Brewery Lane will be available during these works.
 
Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Brook Street / Urquhart Street / Blackness Road / Forest Park Road / Milnbank Road.
 
For further information contact 433168.
 
Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Temporary Traffic Order – Forest Park Place, Edward Street, Brook Street, Brewery Lane, Lower Pleasance and Douglas Street

From Dundee City Council :
 
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating works for the Scottish and Southern Energy 33Kv Cable Installation Scheme.  The Order is expected to be in force for 7 weeks from 21st September 2015.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Forest Park Place between Forest Park Road and Edward Street, (2) Edward Street between Brook Street and Forest Park Place, (3) Brook Street between Edward Street and Milnbank Road, (4) Brewery Lane between Brook Street and Lower Pleasance, (5) Lower Pleasance between Brewery Lane and Douglas Street, and (6) Douglas Street between Lower Pleasance and West Marketgait (Phase (i) – Lower Pleasance to West Hendersons Wynd, Phase (ii) – West Hendersons Wynd to Blinshall Street, Phase (iii) – Blinshall Street to Brown Street and Phase (iv) – Brown Street to West Marketgait).
 
The closures are planned to be on a rolling programme and proceed as follows: Forest Park Place, Edward Street, Brook Street, Brewery Lane, Lower Pleasance and Douglas Street.  More than one road may be closed at a time.  The terms of the one-way order relating to Douglas Street between Lower Pleasance and Brook Street will be revoked for the duration of this Order.
 
Alternative routes will be available via (1) Forest Park Road, Milnbank Road, Brook Street and Edward Street, (2) Forest Park Place, Forest Park Road and Milnbank Road, (3) Brook Street, Guthrie Street, Horsewater Wynd, Hawkhill, West Marketgait, Lochee Road and Polepark Road, (4) Polepark Road, Lochee Road and Park Street, (5) Brewery Lane and Park Street and (6) (i) Ash Street, Brewery Lane and Lower Pleasance, (ii) Blinshall Street, Lochee Road and Park Street, (iii) Brown Street, Miln Street and West Hendersons Wynd and (iv) Blinshall Street, Miln Street and Brown Street.
 
Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.  If you have any queries please contact 433082.

Concern over disabled access arrangements at the Royal Mail Edward Street Collection Office

I have today expressed concern about the poor arrangements for people with mobility difficulties at the Royal Mail Edward Street Collection Office what serves Dundee people with DD1 postcodes and covers the east part of the West End.
 
A constituent recently wrote to me to advise :
 
“I had occasion to collect an envelope from here this afternoon.  I was somewhat surprised to see that not only have they removed the disabled parking space that was adjacent to the office door. They have positioned it at the entrance gate and put railings around the perimeter fence meaning that disabled people (and everyone else) now have to walk a distance to get to the office door.  They have blocked all access to the door other than via this walkway which caused me a deal of inconvenience and pain.
 
Apparently this was done because someone crossing the car park was hit by a van.”
 
I contacted Royal Mail about this and the reply is below :
 
A 44 metre walk from the access point is not acceptable in my view.   It seems Royal Mail is expecting people with mobility difficulties are having to walk far longer than is expected to receive a Blue Badge, which is simply not acceptable.   They should review their parking arrangements to make it far easier for people with mobility difficulties to get easy access to the collection depot entrance.
 
Scottish Government planning guidelines state that “car parking should be allocated convenient to the entrance of the premises”.     The Royal Mail arrangements breach that condition.
 
My constituent added :
 
“I understand the point they make regarding  need to ensure the safety of the public, but that is true of all commercial properties.    I am mobile but walking impaired and I struggled to walk from the front gate to the door of the office, never mind back again.    
It is also a very long way for someone in a wheelchair to have to push themselves, plus it involves negotiating 3 corners that have been created by the barriers and for people who use walking aids. The problem will also get worse when we come into the winter with ice or snow on the ground.  
 
The disabled spaces used to be at the front door and I did think it would still be perfectly feasible to maintain at least one space and leave the access ramp with no barrier around it at that point.  
 
It’s all very well to say that parcels can be redelivered but it’s not always possible to get someone to answer the telephone in the office and things may be required sooner than they can be sent out again.”
 
There is a clear need for Royal Mail to look again at this.   They have got the arrangements for people with mobility difficulties wrong and they really must review this urgently.     I have requested a site visit with senior Royal Mail representatives to meet to discuss possible solutions.

Temporary Traffic Order : Edward Street

From Dundee City Council:
 
THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984
SECTION 14(1)

THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Edward Street (from its junction with Brook Street to approx. 25 metres north), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 13 January 2014 for 1 day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Brook Street / Polepark Road / Milnbank Road / Forest Park Road / Forest Park Place.

For further information contact (01382) 433168.

Mike P Galloway
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Good news on free to use cash machines in the West End

Last month, I highlighted the issue of the need for more free to use cash machines across the city.
 

I mentioned that I had written to a major national retailer about an ATM at one of their stores in the West End Ward to see if the company nationally was willing to consider contributing to the costs of this particular ATM so it could offer free cash withdrawals in the future.

I am pleased to advise that this retailer – the Co-operative Group – has reacted positively and has converted the AGM in question (at their store at the junction of Polepark Road/Edward Street/Brook Street) to free to use – see new machine now installed – right.

I had a very positive discussion with a representative of the Co-operative Group about this and am very pleased at the company’s positive and speedy response.
 
Residents who live in the area around Polepark were some distance from a free to use ATM so the outcome is really good news.

City Council meeting with Royal Mail

Along with another eight Dundee City Councillors and the council’s Chief Executive, I today met with senior officials from Royal Mail in the hope of persuading Royal Mail to think again over its closure of the Crichton Street Collection Office.    Unfortunately, there was no willingness shown by Royal Mail at the meeting to reconsider the closure decision.

It is disappointing that Royal Mail is unwilling to reconsider the closure of the Crichton Street facility.   All nine councillors who attended the meeting – representing wards right across Dundee – highlighted the many concerns raised by customers that, given that the Crichton Street Office was a very central facility in the city and the alternative facilities are not located in the city centre, this closure is having a detrimental impact on customers, particularly those who rely on public transport to visit Royal Mail facilities.

It was a lengthy meeting but at the end of it, what was very clear is that Royal Mail is not going to reconsider the closure or look for alternative City Centre facilities and that’s a deeply regrettable situation.

A number of us also highlighted the ridiculous result that residents in parts of the West End who live very close to the Edward Street collection office but, because their postcode is DD2 rather than DD1, have to go all the way to the remote Baird Avenue collection centre to collect their item.    It would make far more sense that this part of DD2 did not have to travel to Baird Avenue, given the distance and the extremely poor public transport links.

The Royal Mail officials did agree to look again at the disabled access at Baird Avenue and signage at the office and also indicated that a pilot was being introduced elsewhere in Scotland that, if successful, would widen the re-delivery opportunities for customers.   However, although all the councillors present stressed the loss Crichton Street’s facility was a real loss to Royal Mail customers, it is clear that Royal Mail officials are not willing to reconsider the decision.    This will be greeted with dismay by the large number of West End residents who have expressed concern about the loss of the long-standing City Centre collection office.

Crichton Street Royal Mail Collection Office : Latest

As Royal Mail closes the Crichton Street Collection Office for DD2 and DD3 customers today and moves facilities to the remote Baird Avenue offices, I was on Radio Tay News this morning about the continuing campaign to have a City Centre facility for collections (click ‘play’ below to listen).

Dundee City Council’s Chief Executive confirmed to me this morning that Royal Mail will meet with councillors this Friday afternoon to discuss our concerns about the loss of this facility in the City Centre.

Update on the Crichton Street Collection Office closure

As reported in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, following discussions I have had with the City Council’s Chief Executive, it has been agreed that Royal Mail’s decision to close the Crichton Street Collection Office will be the subject of a debate at the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee at its first meeting after the council’s summer recess (Monday 22nd August).

I am pleased that we will have the opportunity to debate this matter at the City Council as I believe Royal Mail’s decision will be very detrimental to many Dundee customers who use the City Centre facility and the company has really failed to properly consult with local customers on the matter.

As I have already pointed out, I am particularly concerned about the problems this closure will have on local people who rely on public transport.    Although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness and Milnbank area, for many West End residents it is not a convenient location.  It is not an easy walk for an elderly person travelling by bus.   From both the 17 and 22 services’ routes, the walk is hilly in places. 

People in the large DD2 area in the West End and elsewhere in Dundee West and the DD3 area elsewhere in the west of the city will have to use the Baird Avenue facility.   Baird Avenue is utterly hopeless if you rely on public transport.
If Royal Mail felt that the Crichton Street office needed to be replaced, it should have looked for another City Centre location.   The crucial point is that this office is extremely well situated in terms of public transport and, by comparison, the alternatives are poorly served by public transport.   Its loss is a real blow to many Royal Mail customers and many of my constituents will be significantly inconvenienced by it. 
  
Unfortunately, Royal Mail has thus far been unwilling to listen to the arguments in favour of keeping Crichton Street open.     That is very disappointing indeed and I hope we get strong cross-party support at the Policy & Resources Committee that will show Royal Mail the strength of feeling across the city on this matter.

Royal Mail’s Crichton Street Collection Office closure

As reported in today’s Courier, I have condemned Royal Mail’s decision to close the Crichton Street Collection Office as this will be very detrimental to many Dundee customers who use the City Centre facility.

The decision to go ahead with the closure at the end of August contradicts assurances given to me and other councillors when we met with Royal Mail on 19th May.  At that meeting, the company said it would engage with City Councillors on the matter.   

Yesterday, I talked to Ian McKay, Royal Mail’s Director of Scottish Affairs, to express my concerns at the closure decision.  It appears that the promised “engagement” with the City Council consisted of only Mr McKay on 28th June replying to a letter from City Council Chief Executive David Dorward.   Mr Dorward had written outlining concerns about any closure and its effect on the public.

Royal Mail has failed at the first hurdle in terms of proper public consultation – no doubt because Royal Mail knew that proper consultation would have shown how vital the facility in Crichton Street is and that the public back it staying open.  

My major area of concern is that although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness/Milnbank area, for many West End residents it is not a convenient location.  It is not an easy walk for an elderly person travelling by bus.   From both the 17 and 22 services’ routes, the walk is hilly in places. 

People in the large DD2 area in the West End and elsewhere in Dundee West and in the DD3 area elsewhere in the west of the city will have to use the Baird Avenue facility.   Baird Avenue is utterly hopeless if you rely on public transport.

Royal Mail has previously claimed the Crichton Street office struggles to cope with the increased parcel business, given its limited space and claims it also fails to meet Disability Discrimination Act requirements.    But, I am convinced that the Crichton Street office could be relatively easily altered to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.  The front access is already relatively level and all it would take to comply with disability requirements is a new reception desk, repainting and provision of an induction loop.

The crucial point is that this office is extremely well situated in terms of public transport and, by comparison, the alternatives are poorly served by public transport.  

Its loss is a real blow to many Royal Mail customers and many of my constituents will be significantly inconvenienced by it. 
 
Unfortunately, Royal Mail has been unwilling to listen to the arguments in favour of keeping Crichton Street open.     That is very disappointing indeed.  

Polepark Road/Brook Street speed/safety survey

Last month, following requests from a number of residents who had expressed concern to me about the speed of some vehicles on Polepark Road/Brook Street near the Edward Street junction, the City Council undertook a speed/safety survey and I have now been given feedback as follows:


“The speed survey is now complete where the speed detection radar unit was placed on Polepark Road at the junction with Brook Street.

The speeds are recorded over a continuous seven day period and give a mean average speed of 20.25mph and an 85th percentile speed of 27.5mph.

The detailed results show very few vehicles travelling at speed greater than 30mph and I hope this gives some reassurance to your constituents regarding vehicle speeds.”

Whilst it is reassuring that the vast majority of cars are travelling within the speed limit, residents are concerned about an irresponsible minority that are breaking the limit here.    That is clearly a matter for police enforcement and I have raised this with Tayside Police on residents’ behalf.

Crichton Street Collection Office – an update

Further to my earlier reports on concerns about the future of the Crichton Street Collection Office, Royal Mail updated me this afternoon :

“I can confirm that Royal Mail are extending the lease on Crichton St collection office for a further 6 months so as to allow us to investigate the best options to provide collection services to the people in the DD1, 2, 3 and 6 areas. We still believe that the building in Crichton St is not fit for purpose for a modern postal service and will be looking at all options available.”

I welcome the decision to postpone any closure on the facility but have made clear to Royal Mail that the 6 months must be used to ensure proper public consultation takes place.   The Crichton Street facility is much better served by public transport than Royal Mail’s suggested alternatives at Baird Avenue and Edward Street.

Postal collection centre – demand for proper public consultation

Further to my meeting with Royal Mail last November, I have now called on the organistaion to postpone its planned closure of its Crichton Street Collection Office pending a proper consultation with customers and the general public.

 

This follows Royal Mail admitting that there would be “no consultation on this move as it is a business necessity change”, something that contradicts assurances given to me when I met Royal Mail in November to express my concerns about the closure.   Proper consultation is absolutely vital as it will show how vital the facility in Crichton Street is and that the public back it staying open.

I feal that Royal Mail has already made its mind up and will try to close the office in April without bothering to hold a proper consultation.   I am therefore demanding that a proper public consultation takes place.

If the Crichton Street facility closes, Royal Mail say that the Baird Avenue and Edward Street Royal Mail Centres will be the alternative available collection centres.

My major area of concern is that, although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness/Milnbank area, for many West End residents, it is not a convenient location. It is not an easy walk for an elderly person travelling by bus. From both the 17 and 22 services’ routes, the walk is hilly in places. Baird Avenue is utterly hopeless if you rely on public transport.

Royal Mail claim the Crichton Street office struggles to cope with the increased parcel business, given its limited space and it also fails to meet Disability Discrimination Act requirements.

I am convinced that the Crichton Street office could be relatively easily altered to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. The front access is already relatively level and all it would take to comply with disability requirements is a new reception desk, repainting and provision of an induction loop.

The crucial point is that this office is extremely well situated in terms of public transport and, by comparison, the alternatives are poorly served by public transport.

Post collection centre – meeting with Royal Mail

Further to the concerns I raised recently about the proposal by Royal Mail to close the ‘undelivered mail collection centre’ in Crichton Street and transfer the service to the Edward Street depot, I today met with three Royal Mail representatives regarding their proposals.

My major area of concern is that although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness/Milnbank area, for many West End residents it is not a convenient location.  It is not an easy walk for an elderly person travelling by bus (from both the 17 and 22 services’ routes, the walk is hilly).

The Royal Mail representatives did indicate that they would go through a consultation period before a final decision is made and assured me that the proposed opening times at the Dundee West depot in Edward Street would be changed to match those at Crichton Street (8pm on Wednesdays, 6pm on other weekdays and 2pm on Saturdays) and there would be accessibility and signage improvements at Edward Street should the proposal go forward.   They indicate the Crichton Street office struggles to cope with the increased parcel business, given its limited space.

I am unconvinced that the Crichton Street office could not be relatively easily altered to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (the front access is already relatively level) and the crucial point is that it is extremely well situated in terms of public transport.

Royal Mail will respond specifically to me in writing on the accessibility/access matter at Crichton Street and will also advise of developments on this matter.    This was a useful opportunity to get across the views of my constituents who want to see the facility at Crichton Street retained.

Postal collection centre closure – an update

Last month, I raised concerns about the proposal by Royal Mail to close the ‘undelivered mail collection centre’ in Crichton Street and transfer the service to the Edward Street depot, pointing out that, although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness/Milnbank area, for many West End residents it is not a convenient location.

I wrote to Royal Mail about this and have now received this response :

Dear Councillor Macpherson

RELOCATION OF SERVICE FROM THE CRICHTON STREET COLLECTION OFFICE, DUNDEE

Following recent press coverage in the Dundee Courier on plans to close Crichton Street collection office, I am writing to update you on this matter.

Royal Mail is currently intending to relocate the service we provide from the collection office in Crichton Street to Dundee Central and Dundee West Delivery Offices.

With the increase in online shopping and parcel deliveries, the office in Crichton Street is no longer fit for purpose and is not compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act. Royal Mail also needs to make sure that it is as efficient as possible in the current climate.

Royal Mail also intends to increase opening times at the Dundee West Office in Baird Avenue and the Dundee Central Office in Edward Street. We will also improve our posting facilities for business and social customers in Dundee city centre.

Planning is at the very early stages, with any move not talking place until March 2011. We have already had discussions with our four members of staff who will be affected and we will be working closely with the Communications Workers Union throughout the process. We have also informed out landlords, Dundee City Council, that we intend to move our operation into our existing sites.

I will write to you again once I have further information but in the meantime if you would like to discuss this matter please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely


Julie Morrison

Head of External Relations

Royal Mail Group

I am not convinced at all that Royal Mail has appreciated that for those in the West End who are not close to Edward Street, especially for those who rely on public transport and, in particular, the elderly, this will cause considerable difficulty.   Baird Avenue is a pretty hopeless location for those who rely on public transport.   

I am meeting Royal Mail later this month to discuss my concerns with them face to face.

Post collection centre – possible closure concern

As reported in today’s “Courier”, I have expressed concern about the proposal by Royal Mail to close the ‘undelivered mail collection centre’ in Crichton Street and transfer the service to the Edward Street depot.

Although the Edward Street depot is handy for some West End residents in the Blackness/Milnbank area, for many West End residents it is not a convenient location – especially for those who rely on public transport and, in particular, the elderly.

I have written to Royal Mail outlining my concerns about their proposal.

More on grit bins in the West End

During the recent very wintry spell, a resident in Hillside Drive asked me if the City Council would provide a grit bin at the top end of the street. The City Engineer has now responded positively to my request as follows :

“Your constituent’s request for a grit bin at the top end of Hillside Drive has been assessed by Road Maintenance and as this location meets the necessary criteria it is proposed that a grit bin be set out at a suitable location as soon as this can be arranged.”

Also, at the request of residents in Pleasance Court, I have asked for a grit bin to be placed in the courtyard area – currently, the nearest grit bin is in Edward Street.