Improving parking in the West End

I have been in touch recently with Home Scotland, one of the major housing association landlords in the West End, about complaints from residents that the car parks designed for them as Home Scotland tenants were being used by non-residents, simply parking there to avoid parking charges in the City Centre.

The main complaints in the past have come to me from people in Seafield Lane, Thomson Street and in Brown Street – and in the latter Home Scotland development, the housing association has piloted a residents’ parking scheme that is properly policed to ensure that only those entitled to park there – local residents – do so.

Following further complaints from Home Scotland tenants in other streets, I asked for an update on the pilot’s success and tackling the problem elsewhere and I have today received the following feedback from the Home Scotland Housing Services Manager :

“I am glad at last to be able to advise that we are now in a position to progress the roll out of the parking to other areas. Letters are being issued over the next week to our tenants at the following addresses to seek their agreement to the parking scheme in their area. (We require the agreement of the majority of the residents). This includes:

Thomson Street
Seafield Lane
Forest Park Road
Forest Park Place
Pleasance Court

I would therefore anticipate the scheme being in place within the next month.

I realise that this has taken a long time to be implemented, but following the success of the pilot in Brown Street , I hope that our tenants see the benefits of the scheme.”

I am very pleased to see progress with this – all credit to Home Scotland for taking a proactive approach to help West End residents.

On the wider issue of parking problems for residents in the West End on-street and in council-owned car parks, since the SNP took over council control last March, there has been inaction on moving forward the recommendations from consultants the council brought in to look at the issue and come forward with proposals to improve matters for residents.

I recently met the City Council’s new Chief Executive and the Director of City Development to voice my concerns at the delay in progressing parking improvements for local residents and I have been given assurances that the matter will be progressed in the near future. Needless to say, I’ll be keeping a very close eye on this!


Progress on West End Bus Shelters


As residents are aware, I have long campaigned for more bus shelters in the West End. Earlier this financial year, finance became available for an additional 16 shelters across the City and, as Planning & Transport Convener of the Council, I supported a fair dispersal of these across the city – 2 per city council ward.

The two new West End Ward ones are at Perth Road (south side near Seafield Road/Lane) and Magdalen Yard Road (north side near Servite Housing) – as you can see from the photos above taken yesterday – work is now in hand to build these.

Bus Shelters

Dundee City Council News Release

Almost £200,000 could be spent in the next few months on expanding the number of SmartBus passenger waiting shelters in Dundee.

Councillors on Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee, which meets on Monday (June 23) will be asked to approve funding for 16 new shelters across the city.
Convener of the planning and transport committee, Fraser Macpherson, said, “The demand for these shelters to be installed at more locations has been very high as passengers who have used them experience their advantages.
“The plan is for two locations in each of the council’s eight wards to have a new shelter provided during this financial year.”
The SmartBus shelters feature a covered passenger waiting area, seating, real time bus information, a timetable poster, lighting and CCTV capability. The total installation cost is expected to be around £192,000.
Installation will be carried out by a combination of contractors through an existing partnership agreement with Tayside Contracts and by specialist suppliers.

Note : West End new shelters are :
· Perth Road at Seafield Lane
· Magdalen Yard Road at Step Row

Couple of updates

A couple of updates on issues from earlier today :
  • The bin collection for part of Seafield Lane finally got done this morning – a day late – thanks to badly parked cars causing an obstruction. What residents find really annoying is the vehicles don’t belong to local residents. I’m pleased that, through the residents’ parking consultation exercise – now underway – and proactive action by Home Scotland at this particular location (Home Scotland own the residents’ car park here), there are steps in hand to resolve this sort of problem. Anyway, many thanks to the Waste Management Department for its perseverance.
  • Further problems for the Friendly Bus sheltered housing service today because of the roadworks on Perth Road – but this time for Muirlands Sheltered Housing off Seafield Road. The bus did eventually manage to get access, but the good news is that the excavation at the top of Seafield Road is almost finished, so hopefully plain sailing next week!

Perth Road latest – a few issues

Following the start of the gas main replacement works in Perth Road yesterday, there’s been three issues raised with me by local residents and businesses.

Firstly, when the road closure at the Paton’s Lane area was put in place, the lanes to the south at Paton’s Lane, Thomson Street, Seafield Road and Lane and Westfield Place were all closed at the Perth Road junction (and the one-way situation in Paton’s and Westfield altered accordingly).

Given that the actual works by Turriff won’t reach Seafield Road/Lane and Westfield Place for some time yet, both residents and I thought there was no need for the closures there and following contact with the City Council and their speaking with Scotland Gas Networks, this has now been resolved and the status quo returned. To quote the feedback from the Council :

“The City Council met SGN on site this morning and after further review, decided to re-open Westfield Place and Seafield Road to run as normal until it is absolutely necessary to close them due to works.

In other words, Westfield Place is open as normal ie one-way (North to South), therefore access is via Perth Road (from city centre side) and through the signs which say Road Ahead Closed/Road Closed/Access Maintained, etc.

Seafield Road is two way, therefore access is now from either Perth Road or Roseangle/Magdalen Yard Road.

Some signs have been taken down to allow the above change and other signs are on order to give more information for other closed side roads that access is maintained for residents at junctions with Perth Road.”

A satisfactory outcome.

The second issue is there is a clear need for additional bus stops on Hawkhill (one outbound, one inbound) between the stop near Urquhart Street and the one near the Health Centre. Having spoken to residents, I think one around Millers Wynd’s northern end makes sense. I spoke to the Sustainable Transport Team Leader in the City Council about this today and agreement has been made to provide this.

Lastly, there was a problem getting the Friendly Bus (sheltered shopping service) into Paton’s Lane today but I have been in touch with SGN, Turriff (the gas contractors) and Stagecoach Strathtay, and I’m hopeful that future journeys will be alright.

Tree branch concern in Seafield Lane

Many thanks to those residents who contacted me earlier today about damage to a tree which sits at the top end of Seafield Lane, near Perth Road.
One of the branches had snapped, but was still partially attached and resting on top of the street light on the opposite side of the lane. The street light glass casing had been broken.
As one resident put it, “Considering more bad weather is forecast, the tree branch does not look safe as it is stretching from the tree to the street light, accross the road.”
I immediately contacted both Street Lighting and the City Council’s Forestry Officer and am grateful for their immediate response. Street Lighting had taken steps to ensure no problems with the street light and the Forestry Officer has also replied saying that the tree is in the ownership of a local housing association and that the broken branch has now been made safe.

Parking – Seafield Lane and Thomson Street

I have been in correspondence recently with the Home Scotland housing association following several of their tenants expressing concern to me about parking difficulties in both Seafield Lane and Thomson Street.
Back in the days when Home Scotland was still known as Cleghorn Housing Association, it created car parks in both Thomson Street and Seafield Lane for their tenants who live locally. Unfortunately the residents are finding that others – drivers who do not live locally – are parking in the tenants’ car parks.
I am pleased to say that Home Scotland has agreed to my request for new “Residents’ parking only” signage at the Seafield Lane car park. The housing association also tells me that it is currently seeking legal advice with regard to a pilot parking project which envisages issuing parking permits to its tenants and using a company to properly enforce its car parking areas to ensure that local residents get access to spaces.
The wider issue of residents’ parking schemes across parts of the West End (and other areas of the City adjacent to the City Centre) will be subject to consultation exercise undertaken on behalf of the City Council with residents, businesses and others during the forthcoming Spring.

Magdalen Green, Seafield Lane

Again, a beautiful day! Whilst campaigning earlier on, came across bags of rubbish dumped besides waste bins and dog bins on the edge of Magdalen Green next to Magdalen Yard Road (see right) – I have reported this to the City Council.
Now trawling through my e-mails and note feedback from Home in Scotland regarding my request for a further “Residents’ Parking Only” sign residents in Seafield Lane had requested given the extent of other cars parking in the narrow lane:

“…we will arrange for a sign to be put up as soon as possible. Hopefully this will help to alleviate the problem.”

Mindless vandalism, Lights in Seafield Lane

Was in Clepington area this morning helping my brother-in-law with his FOCUS leaflet deliveries and shocked by the mindless vandalism at bus shelters (see right) – its not the part of the City I represent but I e-mailed into Planning & Transportation to advise them.
Have no doubt however that they will have been advised by more than me … the Courier called me this afternoon (i.e. with “Finance Convener” hat on) about the cost to the City Council of vandalism each year.
Although we deplore this sort of mindless vandalism and work with Tayside Police to tackle it, I am pleased to say that the overall cost of vandalism to Dundee City Council property has halved in recent years. Click on the headline above to read a report from the Audit & Risk Management Sub-Committee from May 2006 for more detail.
Been trying to sort out broken lighting in a pathway at Seafield Lane. The Housing Association initially advised it was a City Council responsibility but its actually their’s. Anyway, looking for a result from them very soon!