Bins at Riverside Drive – an update #dundeewestend

Residents will recall that I recently highlighted the need for “gull proof” bins on Riverside Drive near to the Bridgeview Café.
 
I raised this with the City Council and have received the following helpful update from our local environment manager :
 
“An update on the bins beside the Bridgeview Café. 
 
We managed to locate the 3 gull proof bins that were originally installed at this location and removed by the contractors on the building of the sea defences. These were installed back at their original locations yesterday and the other litter bins removed.
 
Hopefully this will resolve the problems we have been experiencing recently but we will continue to monitor the situation.”
 
See photo below!
 

Getting things done – Riverside Drive #dundeewestend

Recently, the traffic safety bollards in the middle of Riverside Drive, just north of the Botanic Garden, were damaged – apparently struck by a vehicle – see photo :
 
 
I reported this, at the request of residents, to the City Council and am grateful for the prompt response to put a temporary arrangement in place.
 
The council has further advised :
 
“Tayside Contracts (is) … going to replace them within the next month with new highly reflective bollards, but they’re back up for now.”

Further flooding defence works at Riverside #dundeewestend

The council’s City Development Committee agreed to further flooding defence works at Riverside.      This will cover the western section from the Bridgeview Station Restaurant to the airport;   as residents will be aware the area east of this was completed at the start of 2018.
 
The Team Leader in the council’s infrastucture team has updated me as follows :
 
“The works generally consist of repointing the existing sea wall, replacing existing damaged stone copes and resurfacing the existing car parking area directly in front of the new flood-defence set-back wall.  Works also include the installation of a new footpath and drainage directly behind the wall. 
 
Works are currently programmed to commence on-site in February 2020 and will be completed by June 2020.”
 
As I have long campaigned for car park improvements for the section of parking west of the main public car park, the inclusion of surfacing it is very welcome.
 
Details of the area of the flooding defence works is given below :
 
 

Temporary Traffic Order – Riverside Drive

From the 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 rail bridge survey works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Drive (between Tesco roundabout and Bridgeview Café), Dundee.
 
This notice comes into effect on Wednesday 2 October for 1 night (10pm to 6am).
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
Alternative routes are available via Perth Road / Hawkhill / West Marketgait / South Marketgait.
 
For further information contact 433082.
 
Head of Roads and Transportation
Dundee City Council

Getting things done – Riverside Drive #dundeewestend

Following concerns recently from residents about flooding on the rail bridge south of the Botanic Garden/Vernonholme on Riverside Drive, I raised the matter with the City Council and have received the following feedback from the environment supervisor in Neighbourhood Services :
 
“I checked the bridge … the drains are currently running clear and the road leading down to the bridge is also clear of any build up of detritus apart from half a dozen pine cones. 
 
The bridge itself and the road leading down to Riverside does have a severe build up of detritus.   This is due to the bridge having a 3.2 tonne weight limit.   We are unable to cross over it with our sweeper which is a 5 tonne vehicle.”
 
However, the Roads Maintenance Partnership has promised to monitor during rain and for build-up of debris.

Riverside Drive – road safety #dundeewestend

A number of residents who live in the Riverside Apartments just west of the roundabout on Riverside Drive at Tesco have expressed concern about the speed of some vehicles outside their homes.
 
Some have suggested the more appropriate speed limit at their homes would be 30mph, which would involve moving the start of the 30mph zone slightly westwards along the road.    The current 40mph limit here was put in place when there were no residential properties on this part of Riverside Drive.
 
On their behalf, I raised this with the City Council and the council’s Traffic and Transport Team Leader has responded as follows :
 
“I think we will need to see what the speeds are on this section of road and I will try and organise a survey to be done. 
 
History tells us that just changing speed limits doesn’t always change people’s behaviour. 
 
I will also speak to the police about this as well as they will have to enforce any new limit. A speed survey will be the starting point.”

Improvements at Riverside #dundeewestend

At the City Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee last week, we agreed improvements at Riverside as follows :
 
Central Reservation on Riverside Drive  :   Due to the nature of this island and with how busy this part of the road is, it is dangerous for staff to carry out cutting work on the grass here.  To enhance the approach to the city, removing the grass and replacing with hard standing will be not only tidier but takes away the risk of working on this narrow island.
 
Installation of bollards between the pavilion and Barnetts Motors    :    On several occasions, there have been near misses with cars (when football is on in particular) – both bumping onto the grass and coming off.   Installing bollards will not only reduce the parking here, on safety grounds, but encourage users to use the car park provided at the pavilion.    It will also keep the grass in better condition.
 
Car park at the pavilion   :    Due to ongoing complaints, this car park now requires more than being topped up with materials.  Proposals are to scrape up existing car park, re-level to ensure water run off and resurface with recycled Tar Planings, making the car park a safer area to use.    This will not have the appearance of fully resurfaced hardstanding but will substantially improve the look and performance of the pavilion car park for users.
 
As I have repeatedly raised the condition of the car park over the years with the council – see below – the improvement planned is very welcome indeed.

Concern over filthy pavement tackled #dundeewestend

I have taken up residents’ complaints about the filthy state of the pavement on Riverside Drive around the area where the Tay Rail Bridge crosses above the street.     The pavement is badly covered in a mess caused by roosting birds on the bridge and residents have expressed concern about the potential health hazard.
 
I have therefore asked the council’s Rapid Response Team if it can have the pavement jet washed.
 
However, the problem will simply return unless Network Rail improves its netting under the bridge to deter birds from roosting there so I have also raised the issue with the company.      
 
We really do need a proper resolution of this to ensure the pavement is not covered in this sort of mess in the future.

Distracted by Christmas

Tomorrow – Friday 14th December – and on Saturday :
 
Distracted by Christmas – at Platform Arts, Riverside Drive.
 
An original comedy with the highs and lows of Christmas – the lists, the shopping, the baking, the cooking, the decorating, the expectations … the distractions that can overwhelm and overtake the real meaning of Christmas.  
 
Come prepared to laugh!
 
It starts at 8pm and is free of charge but reservations recommended by emailing info@newscottish.org
 

Scotland Gas Networks work on Riverside Drive starts today #dundeewestend

As indicated in the council’s weekly road report I shared yesterday, gas network work commmences  on Riverside Drive today.
 
Scotland Gas Networks’ Stakeholder and Community Officer has advised me as follows :
 
“Following discussions with Dundee City Council, our project will start on Monday 30 July and last approximately six weeks. We’ve split the project into two phases to help minimise disruption.
 
During phase one of our work we’ll be working in Riverside Drive, near the entrance for Barnetts Mazda garage. To ensure everyone’s safety while we work, two-way temporary traffic lights will be in place around our work area. We expect this phase to be complete within three weeks.
 
Our work will then continue eastwards along the road. During phase two we’ll be working east of Tay Rail Bridge and three-way temporary traffic lights will be in place around our work area. Riverside Approach will also be closed to southbound traffic and a diversion route will be in place for motorists.
 
We’ve created a dedicated webpage for this project which can be accessed through the following link – here
 
We always aim to minimise disruption and we will make every effort to ensure our works are completed as soon as possible.”

McGonagall’s Walk to be repaired

Following concerns expressed to me by residents that McGonagall’s Walk on Riverside Drive has been damaged during recent flood prevention works, the City Council has given assurances that the walk will be repaired.
 
The council’s City Development Director has now advised me :
 
“My Officers have investigated the damage to McGonagall’s Walk art installation and established that there are seven cracked slabs and damage to one of the words which has removed one of the letters.
 
The damage to the slabs occurred during the construction of the new seawall.  This has been raised with the contractors and who have advised that they will replace the damaged slabs, including the art work.  The damage to the individual letter was not caused by the contractor and this will be replaced by the Council.”  
 
I am pleased the walk is to be fully repaired as it is part of the city’s heritage – the work will be completed in the coming months.
 
McGonagall’s Walk  is embedded in the pavement for 150 metres along Riverside Drive west of the V&A at Dundee.   It is includes an inscription of McGonagall’s poem, “The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay.”

Temporary Traffic Order – Riverside Drive

From the City Council – Note – this applies to the right turn only and does not otherwise affect Riverside Drive :
 
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 gas mains investigation works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Drive (prohibition of right turn into Riverside Approach).
 
This notice comes into effect on Monday 11 June 2018 for 5 working days.
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
Alternative routes are available via Riverside Drive / Perth Road / Windsor Street / Magdalen Yard Road
 
For further information contact 433082.
 
Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Car park at Riverside Pavilion #dundeewestend

I have received complaints that, not for the first time, the car park at the Riverside Pavilion, adjacent to the playing fields on the north side of Riverside Drive, is flooded and rutted.
 
I took this up with the council’s Head of Environment, who has positively responded as follows :
 
“I agree that this is not looking too good. 
 
I have raised with colleagues and they are going to make arrangement to have the surface restored. 
 
In the longer term and finance dependant, I would be recommending that it is completely renovated with an asphalt surface.”

Flooding work at Riverside – an update #dundeewestend

Residents contacted me recently following reports that the completion of the work to improve the flood defences on Riverside Drive was possibly going to be delayed by passing trains causing vibration that was stopping the cement from setting properly.
 
To get clarification of the extent of the issue, I contacted the City Engineer who has made clear to me that this is “a minor localised construction issue” and adds :
 
“At this particular location the traffic is currently running on the temporary lane and there is slight dip in the road and when traffic travels over this, some vibration can be felt through the carriageway.    Slow-setting traditional lime mortars are being used to construct the wall and the vibration was causing some minor localised issues with the mortar.     No additional shoring or special engineering measures were required to overcome this, merely ensuring the mortar had sufficiently cured prior to adding subsequent courses of stone.
Overall, this section of work is slightly behind programme but nothing to do with this, mainly due to the Contractors resources, outputs and adverse weather.     Just to reiterate this was a minor issue that has nothing to do with trains travelling above.    For information, it is anticipated that the traffic management will be removed from Riverside Drive by the end of January 2018.”

Parking surface improvement – Riverside Drive #dundeewestend

Earlier this year, I advised that a  positive by-product of the flooding defence works now nearing completion along Riverside Drive was that my request to have the long unmade parking area to the west of the above area would be properly surfaced for the first time, greatly increasing the amount of parking with a quality surface.
 
The council’s Head of Design & Property and City Engineer has now updated me :
 
“Half of the area has been surfaced with bituminous material and formally marked out as a car park providing 65 spaces within that area. This is in addition to the 26 spaces at the Bridgeview Café area. 
 
In the other half to the west, which is yet to be opened as a further overflow car park of a similar capacity, the surface is to be sub-base material as per the Yeaman Shore car park. If required in the future, the area to the west can be formally surfaced and marked out. 
The contractor is currently using the sub-base area to the west for storage and still has some finishing work to the sub-base to complete.”

Litter bins – Riverside Drive

A resident recently advised :
 
“I live in the flats next to Tesco in Riverside Drive. Opposite my flat there is a car parking area with waste bins. 
 
The council workers clean this area almost every day and do a magnificent job, however their task is exacerbated by the gulls, who find it easy to pull waste from the bins while looking for food. The mess they make can be awful and really detracts from this beautiful area. 
A simple solution to this problem might be to replace the bin lids to ones that the gulls cannot dip in to, could this be given some consideration?”
 
I received a positive response from the council’s Head of Environment on raising this with hi, as follows :
 
“We have modified bins at the top of the Law and we are monitoring to see how successful they are and will look to provide a solution at Riverside.”

Temporary Traffic Order – A85 Riverside Drive

From the 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 traffic management to allow works to sea wall.  The Order is expected to be in force for twenty six weeks from 12 June 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in A85 Riverside Drive for (1) a prohibition of right turn from westbound lane into Riverside Approach and Barnetts garage and (2) prohibition of right turn from eastbound lane at Riverside Approach onto westbound lane.
 
Prohibitions will only be in place when required.
 
An alternative route will be available via (1) Riverside Drive and Riverside Avenue roundabout and (2) Riverside Drive and Tesco roundabout.
 
If you have any queries, please contact the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS or phone 433082.

Temporary Traffic Order – Riverside Esplanade and Riverside Drive

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 construction works.  The Order is expected to be in force for 33 weeks from 2 April 2017.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.
 
The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all westbound vehicular traffic in the nearside lane of both Riverside Esplanade and Riverside Drive from a point 125 metres or thereby from the end of the Tay Road Bridge west off ramp for a distance of 410 metres or thereby to a point 75 metres or thereby along Riverside Drive.
 
After a period of 8 weeks lane closure will be reduced to an overall length of 290 metres or thereby.  Lane closure will then progress for a further period of 10 weeks to allow external works to be completed along North boundary.  Lane closure will then be removed for a period of 7 weeks.  Lane closure (290 metres or thereby) will recommence to allow installation of precast to elevation on building B and completion of road at main entrance for a period of 8 weeks.
 
No alternative route is required.
 
If you have any queries, please contact the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee  DD1 1LS or phone 433275.

Improvements at the Riverside area

I am pleased to report a number of proposed improvements in the Riverside area to the road surface and parking situation as follows :
 
+ Parking improvement :  On Monday evening, the council’s City Development Committee agreed to a waiting restrictions at the parking area near the Bridgeview Station Restaurant.    This will restrict parking to 2 hours meaning the car park will be used for people using the playing fields and visiting the restaurant and stop all-day parking.    I have long campaigned for this at the request of the football pitch users and residents who are patrons of the restaurant.
 
An additional disabled bay will be provided and the long unmade parking area to the west will remain without parking restriction.
 
It will not be possible to undertake the change until after the new flooding defence works take place in the summer.
 
+ Surface improvement 1 :  A positive by-product of the flooding defence works in the summer is that my request to have the long unmade parking area to the west of the above area will be properly surfaced for the first time, greatly increasing the amount of parking with a quality surface.
 
+ Surface improvement 2 :   The surface in front of the nearby Riverside Pavilion on the north side of Riverside Drive has become very uneven again, with numerous potholes, including a large one at the entrance.       I raised this with the council’s Neighbourhood Services and the Projects and Development Manager has responded positively as follows :
 
“I have … arranged the entrance of the car park to addressed and we will look to fill in more of the larger pot holes.  … We are looking to do more works down at Riverside and are looking to put an item to Committee in the Spring.” 

Footbridges in the West End

Residents have raised with me the condition of the footbridges over the rail line at Magdalen Green (see right) and further west, south of Harris Academy.
 
I highlighted this with the City Council and the Team Leader, Bridges and Structures, advised :
 
“All bridges in Dundee are inspected on a two year cycle in accordance with the Code of Practice for the Management of Highway Structures.
The footbridge at Harris Academy was last inspected on 02 August 2016 following the first phase of planned maintenance works on the structure. These works ensured that the structure is safe to use through the replacement of deteriorated timber stair and deck elements. The second phase of maintenance works is repainting of metalwork and removal of graffiti from the piers. These were intended to be complete before the new term at Harris Academy commenced but are in abeyance pending granting of suitable overnight rail possessions from Network Rail. We have meetings this morning to escalate the painterwork project and close out for site start as soon as possible.
The footbridge at Magdalen Green was last inspected on 27 July 2016. The bridge is in a safe condition for users, however I do agree that its appearance is less than desirable. The nature of its construction mean that effective, long term treatment to the deck concrete and steelwork are not considered economically viable for this structure, particularly with pressures elsewhere on the Capital Budget. However, I can investigate the potential for cosmetic painting through the Criminal Justice Team (assuming Network Rail would permit this during daytime working) although this would deal only with the internal faces of the bridge steelwork and do little to protect against corrosion.”
 
I then further asked about capital improvements to the bridges and the Head of Design & Property and City Engineer has since advised :
 
“There is currently an allowance of £550k in 2020/21 in the Capital Plan for bridgeworks and Magdalen Green footbridge is one of the higher priority bridge projects being considered against this funding. Depending on the scheme adopted, replacement costs are likely to higher than the £550k and other funding may need to found.”
 
I am anxious to see capital improvements as soon as funding can be found but meantime have asked for paint work to be undertaken.

Temporary Traffic Order – Riverside Drive

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 carriageway resurfacing works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in a WESTERLY DIRECTION in Riverside Drive (between Discovery Point and Tesco Service entrance ), Dundee.
 
This notice comes into effect on  Sunday 7th August 2016 for 5 evenings only.
 
All works (road closure) will take place between the hours of 8.00 pm and 06.00 am only. 
 
Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.
 
Alternative routes for westbound vehicles are available via South Union Street/South Marketgait/Nethergate/Perth Road/Riverside Avenue/Riverside Drive.
 
For further information contact 433168.
 
Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Walkway – Perth Road to Riverside

As part of the rebuilding of Harris Academy, it was agreed that the public walkway to the side of the school (a useful link between Riverside and Perth Road) would be re-opened.   
 
This walkway had existed years ago, but was closed in recent years.
 
With thanks to Donald Suttie of Rockwell Media for the photo (right), the walkway has now been open a few weeks and is proving popular! 

Riverside pitches – work completed

As residents are aware, I long campaigned to get a permanent and full resolution to the stones problem on the Riverside pitches on the south side of Riverside Drive, following a number of injuries to footballers in the past.
 
In June 2014, the City Council’s Environment Committee agreed to the necessary works.    
 
I recently asked for an update on progress and the City Council’s Environment Manager has advised as follows :
 
“…the capital works in terms of the replacement top soil/seeding is complete although there is a minor issue with some drainage. Hence all going well they should all be available for next football season (August).”

West End road safety improvements

The City Council agreed to two road safety improvements in the West End some months ago – at the Blackness Road/Blackness Avenue junction and at the Perth Road/Riverside Drive junction.
 
I recently asked for an update on what was being proposed and the City Development Department has advised as follows :
Blackness Road/Blackness Avenue Junction  :   Existing give way lines at Blackness Avenue to be removed and replaced further north towards Blackness Road.   This will improve sightlines with any parked cars along Blackness Road.   A requisition has been submitted for pricing to Tayside Contracts and we are currently awaiting the cost estimate.
Perth Road/Riverside Drive Junction :   Network Management is currently in consultation with activated signs suppliers to consider sign options.    This is to improve safety for road users travelling along Perth Road eastbound to highlight the junction and traffic merging from Perth Road westbound onto Riverside Drive north section/Perth Road.”