Getting things done : Wilkie’s Lane

Last August, I had a site visit in Wilkie’s Lane with Rev Leszek Wiecaszek, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, the Chair of St Josephs Parish Pastoral Council and two representatives of the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership.   
I had raised concerns from residents including members of the church about the state of the footpath at the south end of the lane and at the site visit, the council representatives agreed to progress improvements.
I am pleased to say the path has now been fully resurfaced (see right).

Last couple of days …

On Tuesday evening, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH) that took place at the Riverside Pavilion.   We had a hugely productive meeting, discussing future management of the pavilion and further improvements to assist sporting activity in the West End.
Yesterday afternoon, I firstly had a site meeting in Wilkie’s Lane with Rev Leszek Wiecaszek, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, the Chair of St Josephs Parish Pastoral Council and two representatives of the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership.   I recently raised concerns from residents including members of the church about the state of the footpath at the south end of the lane.   We had a useful discussion about the need to improve the state of the path.
Later yesterday afternoon, I chaired a meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge with residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street.   Around 40 residents attended and we had a good discussion about numerous local issues.   Judith Clark of Solar Cities Scotland was guest speaker and gave a very interesting presentation on carbon reduction and steps to reduce your heating bill.
And, talking of well-attended meetings, last night I attended the AGM of WestFest, that took place at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   It was a great night with an informative and interesting talk by Stewart Murdoch, City Council Director of Leisure and Communities, on the Dundee bid for UK City of Culture 2017.   Co-chair of WestFest, Paola McClure, gave a comprehensive and entertaining resume of WestFest’s past year and a new committee was elected.
With thanks to Peter Menzies at the Vine for hosting the AGM and the photography on the Facebook page, here’s a photo (right) from last night with me pictured bottom right in the photo!

Wilkie’s Lane

I have received complaints from constituents that the footpath that runs from Hawkhill along Wilkie’s Lane past the old St Joseph’s school building and meets the main part of Wilkie’s Lane at the church is in a really poor state – see photo below:
The path is well-used by people attending the church and also as a route to/from the housing in the Larch Street/Blackness Road area to the north.
I have reported the poor conditioned pathway to the Roads Maintenance Partnership and have been advised that an inspection will take place.   It is clear to me that repairs are needed to improve the path’s condition.

Welcome removal of double yellow lines to help St Joseph’s Church

I have welcomed Dundee City Council’s agreement to my request, on behalf of parishioners of St Joseph’s Church, to remove double yellow lines in Wilkie’s Lane, following the impending relocation of St Joseph’s Primary School.
The double yellow lines in Wilkie’s Lane create difficulties for local people attending the church from parking.   At present there is parking allowed on a “glazed pitch” at the south of the lane but this will be lost when the Al Maktoum Foundation starts construction of their new facility.   Also, the church car park is very small.
The amount of traffic in the street will be much less with the school moved and I made the point to the City Council that it would benefit church goers if they could legitimately park up the lane.
I am pleased at the positive response from the council which will benefit visitors to the church and the priests resident in Wilkie’s Lane.
Sent: 05 October 2012 10:08
To: Fraser Macpherson
Subject: Re: Wilkie’s Lane
Councillor Macpherson,
Thank you for your e-mail dated 3 October 2012 regarding prohibition of waiting in Wilkie’s Lane.  I have discussed this matter with the Network Management Team Leader.
The double yellow lines were instigated by the Education Department due to the approach to the school.  This would have been part of the improvements for Safer Routes to Schools.   However there is no Traffic Order currently in place for this enforcement.
With the closure of St Joseph’s Primary School due to the relocation to Glenagnes Road, there will be no longer the requirement to restrict parking or concern of parked vehicles leading to a school at this location.
Therefore in order to provide sufficient parking for people attending church, I will arrange to make arrangements to remove the double yellow lines.   I will however retain the double yellow lines at the junction with Blackness Road.  
The promotion of the TRO to create enforceable parking restrictions will no longer be progressed and we will email you (along with all ward members) formally.
Head of Transportation
City Development Department

Tree work undertaken in Wilkie’s Lane

Back in August, I highlighted concerns that I and representatives of St Joseph’s Church had about the badly overgrown trees in Wilkie’s Lane :  
Following my request, the trees were trimmed back earlier today – the work programmed during the school holidays when there’s less traffic in the lane.  

The lane looks much better without several tree limbs overhanging, that were are weak and liable to fail :

Wilkie’s Lane lighting

Last night, along with the Parish Priest and another representative of St Joseph’s Church, I met with a representative of the City Council’s Street Lighting Partnership on-site in Wilkie’s Lane.

The south end of the street, adjacent to the church car park, is extremely dark at night.   We discussed the situation and I have now highlighted it with City Development Department officials.

Wilkie’s Lane

Last week, along with the Parish Priest and another representative of St Joseph’s Church, I met with a Dundee City council officer on-site to look at the very overgrown trees across the roadway of Wilkie’s Lane (see right).    

A City Council forestry officer had already confirmed that several tree limbs are weak and liable to fail and representatives from the adjacent church are naturally anxious to see necessary tree work carried out as soon as possible.

The situation relative to the roadway and the land on which the trees are situated is a little complicated given the recent re-adoption of the roadway (it having previously been a private road owned by the Education Department) and the impending land ownership changes as a result of the planned move of St Joseph’s Primary School next year to its new site, but I have taken up the matter with Director of Education, seeking early action to undertake necessary work to the trees to make them safe.

I have also asked the street lighting partnership about improving the lighting in Wilkie’s Lane at its southern end.

Improving Wilkie’s Lane car park

Yesterday, I mentioned concerns about safe parking at St Joseph’s Primary School and I am pleased today to have been advised by the Education Department that, following my request, at the car park in Wilkie’s Lane to the back of the school, Dundee Contract Services has been asked to fill in pot holes and smooth out car park surface.

It is important that the car park surface is improved here and I am pleased at the Education Department’s prompt response.

Primary School Pupil Safety

I am pleased to have been advised by the City Council that, following my raising the condition of the Wilkie’s Lane car park at St Joseph’s Primary School with the Education Department, it was agreed to remove potholes and smooth the surface.    There were concerns that the poor car park surface was discouraging use of it and resulting in a large number of vehicles attempting to park in the nearby busy Bellfield Street, raising safety concerns, and I had recently spoken with Tayside Police about these congestion concerns at Bellfield Street.

The City Council has advised me that over the in-service days that took place at the end of this week (12/13 November), the car park in Wilkie’s Lane would be scraped and pot holes filled in.   I hope that this action will make the car park a bit more usable and therefore reduce the number of cars trying to park on the very busy Bellfield Street when the school is opening in the morning, at lunchtime and at the end of the school day.

I have also had complaints about the congestion caused by vehicles trying to drop off and collect pupils at the nearby Blackness Primary School in Pennycook Lane.
In addition to parents expressing concern about the volume of vehicles in Pennycook Lane and the adjacent car park and resulting child safety concerns, residents in the nearby sheltered housing have also been in touch with me about the matter.   I have spoken with the Head Teacher about this, the local police officer and the City Council’s Depute Chief Executive.

As well as to looking at specific steps that may be taken at Blackness Primary School, the City Council has advised me that it is hoped to bring to committee next month a report on the outcome of the school parking safety pilot projects at Park Place and Eastern Primaries.

Clearly we wish to see improvements for the safe collection of pupils and road safety at all our schools and I am advised that, if this report is approved at committee, there will be discussions with headteachers across the city about specific ways to improve road safety and parking at each school.