|A busy Ancrum Primary School Summer Fayre|
|At the Ancrum Road Primary School Fayre|
|Blackness Primary School’s event was equally well-attended|
|Always a good sport, Gordon Ferrier was back in the stocks!|
|City Church on Tullideph Road also had their Family Fun Day yesterday|
I have carried out an initial inspection of this location and from my initial observations there are no sight line concerns exiting Ancrum Drive on to Tullideph Road.
When exiting there is a bus stop to the north of the junction which will make reduce visibility whist the bus is stopped for a short period for pick up and drop off of passengers. Vehicles would have to pull in behind the bus until it pulls away.
To the south of the junction there are mature trees in the footway which may affect visibility but I will consult with our Environment Department to clarify if there would be a tree preservation order for these trees.
I have consulted with our Road Safety Team and there are no records of any safety issues for this junction.
I will arrange for a more detailed site inspection … for this junction.
There have been various discussions at the Community Spirit Action Group, the residents’ group for the north of the West End Ward including Tullideph, Ancrum, Cleghorn and the Pentland area, about the operation of Puffin Crossings.
This has been particularly focussed on the City Road/Tullideph Road lights, where I have met on-site with the Community Spirit Secretary and council road safety officers to discuss the operation of the junction.
The Community Spirit Secretary and I agree that the way the newer-style Puffin Crossings operate needs to be better publicised and a useful handout was available at the group’s last meeting on the subject. You can download this by going to http://tinyurl.com/puffincommspirit.
This morning, following the meeting about pedestrian safety at the Tullideph Road/City Road junction that local residents’ group Community Spirit and I had with City Council officers on 2nd February, we had a follow-up meeting at the junction.
It was a useful discussion about safety at the junction and City Council road safety officers have offered to attend a future Community Spirit meeting to discuss concerns with local residents.
I then attended a meeting with Education officers about the building programme for the replacement Park Place Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School and Park Place Nursery School.
Thereafter, I attended the Dundee House Project Board, where I raised a number of questions and concerns about that project. I then attended the City Council’s Scrutiny Committee, at which I raised questions about numerous matters on the agenda.
I am disappointed to learn about the lack of progress on the time it takes Dundee City Council to let vacant council houses. The SNP administration has gone on at length about its so-called ‘enhanced relets’ policy. This has cost council tenants a fortune and the net result appears that – thus far – the time taken to let houses has actually and incredibly worsened.
The Housing Department has given a commitment to improve on the 98.7 days it took to let houses (on average) last September (it was lower at 74.5 days in September 2009) and it has now set itself a target of 65 days – although it is not clear when they expect to achieve this. The SNP’s flagship housing policy is not delivering.
I also asked questions about ensuring that new tenants get Housing Benefit from the start of their tenancies, committee reports on revenue expenditure having better financial appraisals, customer excellence and on other matters.
Conservative councillor Derek Scott asked a very pertinent question about the lack of progress on Demand Responsive Transport (DRT). As the previous Chair of TACTRAN, the regional transport partnership, I ensured that funding was available for pilot DRT projects for Dundee and a rural pilot in Perthshire/Stirling. It is disappointing that the Dundee pilot has not moved forward under the SNP, as DRT would help elderly people, people with mobility difficulties and people not living near main bus routes get access to public transport. At my request, an update report will go to City Development Committee. This is to be welcomed.
This evening, I attended the February meeting of the Community Spirit Action Group, the residents’ group for the north of the West End Ward, including Tullideph, Ancrum, Cleghorn and the Pentland area.
There was an interesting presentation by Professor Andy Grieve on credit card fraud and identity theft and there was also a community safety update.
I updated the group about the parking pilot to improve parking in housing estates and also about the site visit Community Spirit’s secretary and I had with City Council officers earlier today about pedestrian safety at the Tullideph Road/City Road junction (see above right), following the implementation of new traffic lights late last year. This was a useful site visit at which it was agreed to increase the time length of the ‘bleep’ that sounds when pedestrians can safely cross the road.
Last month, the new traffic lights at the City Road/Tullideph Road became operational. However, since then I have received a number of residents’ concerns about the way the crossing is operating for pedestrians. This is well summarised by one resident’s comments :
“Regarding the Traffic Lights at Tullideph/City Road they are working although the time for crossing is very short as they change from Green to Red before one is half way across the road and there is no beeping sound which is not very convenient for a person who has impaired sight.”
The City Council has advised me :
“The nearside redman greenman puffin pedestrian facility at the refurbished traffic signals at City Road / Tullideph Road are designed to operate so that the pedestrian sees the greenman indication (invitation to cross) and sets off across the road.
With a puffin facility, there is no indicator at the far side of the road to confuse the pedestrian when the indicator changes from greenman to redman. And when the pedestrian sets off across the road having seen the greenman, he is guaranteed enough time to cross the road, irrespective of whether he sees the greenman return to the redman indication. But the arrangement should be that once the pedestrian sees the greenman and begins to cross, he does not see any indication thereafter to confuse him (no indicator on the far side of the road).
As to the absence of an audible indication, I will have this checked and rectified.”
A site visit with residents, myself and a City Council roads officer to look at the junction’s operation will take place in the near future.
After all the issues about safe crossing I raised during the traffic lights replacement at the Tullideph Road/City Road junction, I am pleased to see the new traffic lights are now working as of today.
Further to my recent item about concerns from residents in the Tullideph area about the temporary crossing arrangements across City Road to the shops, during the current work to replace the traffic lights, and as reported in today’s Courier and Evening Telegraph, the Managing Director of Tayside Contracts has advised me :
“Further to our telephone conversation regarding the crossing of elderly residents of the sheltered housing complex adjacent to the Tullideph Road/City Road junction I can confirm the actions we have taken since you raised the issue with me yesterday.
It is not possible to get 4 way lights with pedestrian phases as standard and the lead in time is around 4 weeks to order these. Therefore to ensure that the pedestrians are protected crossing the road I have arranged for a man to be on site from 8:15 to 16:30 whose sole duty is to assist pedestrians crossing the roads at this junction. He will be on site every day this week including Saturday and Sunday. The current plan is that the lights will be fully operational next Monday 15 November 2010.
If for any reason this is delayed then he will remain on site for the necessary days next week and will only be removed when the lights are fully operational.
I trust that this fully addresses the problem you have raised with me but should there be anything else or any alteration to the times of the man on site considered necessary please let me know.”
Residents tell me that the member of staff helping elderly residents across this busy road during daytime worked well yesterday. Hopefully the new lights will be working by next week but I am meantime grateful to the contractor for acting swiftly on this safety concern.
I have received concerns from residents in the Tullideph area about the temporary crossing arrangements across City Road to the shops, during the current work to replace the traffic lights.
Whilst replacing the lights with new (and better functioning) ones is to be welcomed, the temporary crossing is a concern as pedestrians have to cross in a more diagnonal route rather than straight across. This is a particular concern in relation to the area’s many elderly folk many of whom take a little longer to get across. There are also concerns being raised about the amount of time per day the contractor is spending on the work at the junction.
I raised the concerns with the City Council this week and have received the following feedback :
“I would agree that the works at City Road / Tullideph Road, in refurbishing the traffic signal junction have taken longer than anticipated.However, it was only Thursday that the permanent traffic signals were switched off and therefore the junction has been operating normally, including pedestrian movements, for the duration of the works to date.
I anticipate that the new signal arrangement will be operational on Monday 15th November and the temporary traffic signal arrangement utilized in the interim, will have pedestrian facilities. I agree that it is frustrating that the contractor chooses to apply this level of resource to this job which results in the timescales observed. But the improved traffic signal facility and improved efficiency of operation will hopefully make up for the short term inconvenience.”
I have responded as follows :
“… my major concern here is that the temporary pedestrian crossing facility is not really satisfactory for getting elderly folk across safely – can anything be done to improve it during the period up to the 15th?”
I will be speaking further with City Council officers regarding this matter.
Last month, I reported that there were plans for improvements at the Tullideph Road/City Road traffic lights. I am pleased to advise that the City Council has now updated me as follows :
“The City Road / Tullideph Road traffic signal junction is being refurbished at present. These works will be complete in two weeks time and all previous perceived problems associated with this junction should then be rectified.”
“I am aware of this tree and it is programmed along with similar others in the area to be removed tomorrow morning. The main reason for the time taken is the actual high number of damaged trees in last week’s wind when we had multiple trees blown against school buildings, houses and roads and we had to prioritise a programme of works, which is progressing well.”