Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Blether Bus for older residents proposed for the axe - a sad tale #dundeewestend


I have today slammed a recommendation that will come before the council’s City Development Committee on Monday 25th October that, if approved, will axe all the Blether Bus services in Dundee that assist elderly residents who have difficulty accessing the main bus routes. These include services in the West End but also services in Stobswell and Lochee.

If approved this would be a really bad decision for the elderly folk who rely on the service. There are older residents in streets in my own ward who cannot manage uphill to the main bus services and, after the SNP axed their supported proper bus service, the Blether Bus has been all they were left with. Now they will have nothing at all – a real disgrace.

I have been promised by the council for months that the Blether Bus would return once COVID positive cases dropped as this was allegedly necessary as the bus is a minibus. These promises have proved worthless and I am furious about this. It would leave elderly folk in parts of the West End with no access to public transport – and I fear the SNP administration will simply rubber stamp this dreadful recommendation.

There is something ironic that Dundee City Council was seeking to reduce public transport and thereby increase private vehicle use as the affected residents would have to rely on family and friends running them about by car if they are to get out at all. At a time of COP26, it is bizarre that the council would be reducing public transport and increasing reliance on the private car – what a dreadful signal to be sending.

I would suggest that the better way forward with the Blether Bus service is to consult communities on making the routes more attractive to increase usage, rather than axing the service. 

I will be strongly opposing the axing of these older people’s bus services when this comes before councillors next Monday.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 18 OCTOBER 2021

Blackness Avenue – closed for 2 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Hazel Drive) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Eton Street (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Hawkhill (Horsewater Wynd to Session Street) – eastbound nearside lane closure from Monday 18 October for one week for Scottish Water work.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Invergowrie Drive), Eton Street and Elliot Road (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) – closed from Thursday 11 November for 10 days for facilitating City Fibre duct installation works.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

'Drawn' exhibition at the Lamb Gallery #dundeewestend


From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

We’re pleased to announce that now that semester has started, our main museum venues are re-opening! The Tower Foyer & Lamb Galleries are open Monday to Friday 9.30am-7pm (we hope to resume Saturday openings in the future) and we’ve just created a new exhibition for the Lamb Gallery, entitled Drawn.

Drawing is often seen as the fundamental basis of art, as well as being an important tool in other forms of creative thinking.     This exhibition presents highlights from the University’s wide-ranging collection of around 2,000 drawings. 

It includes rarely seen work by many renowned artists including Thomas Gainsborough, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, W Q Orchardson, David Foggie, James McIntosh Patrick, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, David Mach, Will Maclean, Stephen Sutcliffe, Annie Cattrell and many others. 

Come along to see portraits, life studies, topographical drawings, scientific diagrams, drawings for sculpture, fashion illustrations, comics art and much more!

The exhibition is on until 21st January but will be closed on Fri 22nd October and for Christmas Monday 20th December until Tuesday 4th January. 

Further information, and details of COVID safety, can be found at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/drawn-an-exhibition-of-drawings-tickets-178684499147

Saturday, 16 October 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Riverside Avenue


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 SSEN cable diversion works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Riverside Avenue (between Apollo Way and A90 Kingsway), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Monday 25 October 2021 for 2 nights (7.30pm to 6.30am).

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available Apollo Way / Explorer Road / South Road / Myrekirk Road / A90 Kingsway.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Friday, 15 October 2021

Getting things done - Seymour Street #dundeewestend


I have received residents' complaints that the pathway at the south end of Seymour Street (section from Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) is overgrown.

The section north of the car park is council maintained and I raised this with our local environment manager who has asked a supervisor to get the foliage cut back.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Window replacement programme for council housing in the West End #dundeewestend


I recently raised at the City Council's Neighbourhood Services Committee the need to upgrade the windows in council housing in a number of parts of the West End, including the Corso/Abbotsford area and Logie.

I asked for an update from housing management on this and have now been advised as follows - from the council's Head of Housing and Communities :

"The Housing Asset Management Unit team firstly establish when the windows in a development were last replaced. This data is given a 30% weighting in terms of the decision on when they will require to be replaced, with the remaining 70% weighting going on the average cost per house on window repairs over the past 10 years.

Housing investment works are done on a development, rather than street by street or indeed estate, basis.

The windows in different developments throughout the City are made of a range of materials, including upvc, timber, aluminium etc. The type of material has an impact on the lifecycle of the windows and, therefore, when we programme their replacement.

As part of our Windows For All programme, all Council houses were double glazed between 1992 and 2002. Given the volume and relatively short length of this programme, we cannot prioritise purely on lifecycle dates as the impact on the Capital Programme of a repeating 10-year programme would be unsustainable.

However, given the impact on Covid-19 and the slippage in some programmes, the service is looking into the feasibility of speeding up our window replacement programme."

I will continue to press for windows upgrades for all council housing in the West End Ward that is in need of this.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Tenant Grant Fund

There is a new Tenant Grant Fund the City Council is administering to help prevent evictions as a result of COVID-19 related rent arrears between March 2020 and August 2021.

This fund enables local authorities to prevent homelessness and sustain tenancies by assisting tenants with rent arrears problems where a tenant is in either in the social or private rented sectors, and has faced difficulties due to Coronavirus.  

More details are in the poster below :

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Getting things done - Glamis Road #dundeewestend


The southern section of Glamis Road was "surface dressed" some time ago to prolong the life of the road surface.

To be honest I am not a fan of surface dressing (tar and chippings on top of the existing surface) and proposed at the budget this year an increase in the roads capital programme of £2 million this year, which could have been funded and would have increased the amount of "real" quality resurfacing.    Sadly I did not win the vote at the budget but continue to campaign for greater funding for roads and pavements improvements.

Many residents have contacted me in recent months about the surface dressed surface of Glamis Road, south of the roundabout with Blackness Road and Glamis Drive.    

One resident recently described the surface as "dreadful" and I again raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership.

The partnership's Senior Engineer has now sent me the following helpful feedback :

"At the tail end of this month, I will be looking over next years carriageway programme.

I will have a look at the section you have highlighted

If it is indeed "dreadful " then I am sure it will move up the programme."

Monday, 11 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEEK WEST END WARD - COMMENCING MONDAY 11 OCTOBER 2021

Blackness Avenue – closed for 3 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Logie Street/Ancrum Road/Lochee Road/Loons Road – 4 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Glamis Drive (Glamis Road to Hazel Drive) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Eton Street (Blackness Road to Cambridge Street) - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Riverside Drive (at the Airport) – temporary traffic lights on Monday 11 October (off-peak) for loop cutting.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Hawkhill (Horsewater Wynd to Session Street) – eastbound nearside lane closure from Monday 18 October for one week for Scottish Water work.

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Scotland's Garden Scheme - next weekend! #dundeewestend

 


Next weekend again sees Frances and John Dent in Glamis Drive open their beautiful garden to residents, as part of Scotland's Gardens Scheme.

Not only is a visit to the garden a pleasure - it also helps raise funds for charity.    This time, John and Frances are supporting Dr Graham's Homes in Kalimpong, West Bengal.

The homes were founded more than 100 years ago as an orphanage for Anglo-Indian children.   Since then it has developed to be a successful boarding school for children from Nursery to Senior ages, with an additional hostel in Kolkata for school leavers progressing to higher education. 

The pupils now come from a range of socially deprived families rather than as orphans.   Approximately half of the boarding pupils are partially or fully sponsored by an international group of supporters especially from the UK.    As Dr Graham was a Moderator of the General Assembly in the 1940s, the Church of Scotland has a long-standing interest in the homes.

So, please visit next weekend - a lovely garden to see and a very worthwhile charity being supported.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Bus timetables at bus stops - or lack of them!


There's been a large reaction from residents to the articles in the Courier and Evening Telegraph last week in which I highlighted that, although real time bus information is working at bus shelters, paper timetables have been out of date since the bus companies altered services at the start of the COVID-19 health emergency.

There has been an attempt to remove erroneous and out of date timetables but bus stops across Dundee still lack correct timetables - some 18 months since the pandemic started.

I think everyone accepts that during the 2020 lockdowns there was significant change and understandable volatility in bus services but some stability has returned - just not the timetables at bus stops! It is unhelpful for passengers who do not have access to apps on their mobile phone.

I have repeatedly raised this with the City Council over many months and the most recent feedback from the Team Leader, Parking & Sustainable Transport advised :

"The commercial bus network in Dundee has still not stabilised so we continue to push passengers towards apps, websites or Traveline (phone service) for the most accurate and up to date bus information. The real time displays in our bus shelters are updated with each change."

I have made clear to the City Council that I think this line has run its course particularly as other authorities are restoring timetables, such as in Perth and Kinross.

There are repeated requests from constituents and bus passengers about this. The lack of timetables at bus stops impacts on older passengers in particular where a higher proportion of people do not use or have access to mobile apps.

I have said to the council's transportation team that I do think we really do now need a timeframe for restoration of timetables after consultation with the bus operators. We should be making it as easy as possible for people to use public transport and Dundee City Council's current position on this simply is not helping.

Friday, 8 October 2021

Harris Education & Recreation Association - Autumn classes #dundeewestend


The HERA autumn term enrolment night is on line from next Wednesday (13th October) at www.heradundee.org.

There's a great range of evening classes to sign up for!

The next block of courses will start on the week commencing 25th October.

Details of courses are available on the HERA website mentioned above and also on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HERAdundee.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

West End parking improvements – more delays concern


I have today heavily criticised Dundee City Council for yet further delays in bringing forward proposals for residents’ priority parking in the West End – a year and a half after the council undertook consultation meetings with local residents over the issue.

I have been continually asking the City Development Department to bring the outcomes of the consultation with the public to committee together with recommendations to improve parking for residents. 

There is clearly good support for a residents’ priority parking permit scheme as long as it is reasonable and affordable as it would make it much easier for local residents to get parked. However, the council is taking an absolute age to bring proposals forward and there is a total lack of momentum on the part of Dundee City Council to get this issue resolved.

Well-attended consultation meetings took place in March 2020 just before the onset of the COVID-19 health emergency but there has been absolutely no progress by Dundee City Council since. In October 2020, the council said it hoped for progress in the first half of 2021. 

It later said a report to committee would come forward by the end of 2021 and now it is kicking the ball even further down the road. This is apparently because separate consultations in two other wards are not complete but I see absolutely no good reason to further delay progress in the West End where the consultation meetings are long completed, a year and a half ago.

The council’s Head of Sustainable Transport and Roads has this week advised me :

“We previously advised of a December reporting target earlier in the year when the Covid transmission rate was supressed, and we were scheduled to recommence consultations in person. Following the re-emergence of high transmission rates these consultations were suspended which has resulted in a delay to the reporting programme.

Once we have identified with communities a preferred route for remote engagement, and scheduled the remaining consultations, we will update stakeholders with a revised timescale for reporting on the consultation.”

For some reason best known to itself, the council is further delaying progress on this important issue in the West End because it has still to do consultation in some in other parts of Dundee that have unrelated parking issues.        I fully agree that the other areas should have their consultation meetings and their issues properly tackled, but delaying the West End proposals further because of consultation meetings in other areas that are unrelated to the issues in the West End makes absolutely no sense.

The council is losing public confidence in the West End over its snail’s pace approach to the parking problem and I am calling on the council to finally put some momentum behind this and bring forward proposals to help local residents and give concrete assurances as to timescales.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Friends of Wighton event today!


From Sheena Wellington :

Today - Wednesday 6th October at 1.15pm - Friends of Wighton will be delighted to present on Zoom the wonderful Robyn Stapleton, one of the finest singers of her generation. 

The reviewers have said :

‘Rich, characterfully lilting, warm and clear’ The List

Robyn is an award-winning singer and song leader who shares her talent and passion for traditional music with audiences and communities throughout Scotland and internationally.

‘Her warm sweet voice has a depth and colour that belies her youthfulness’ fROOTS

Don't miss it - link below :

Sheena Wellington is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Lunchtime Recital with Robyn Stapleton

Time: Oct 6, 2021 01:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 865 5568 8317

Passcode: 653876

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Blackness Library - hours extended #dundeewestend


Leisure and Culture Dundee has advised that, with the further easing of restrictions, library hours at Blackness Library are being increased from this week.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 4 OCTOBER 2021

South Tay Street – temporary traffic lights for one week for footway works.

Ancrum Road - temporary traffic lights from Wednesday 29 September for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Blackness Avenue – closed from Monday 4 October for 4 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Logie Street at junction with Ancrum Road – 3 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Glamis Drive - road closure from Monday 11 October for 6 days for City Fibre works.

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Riverside Avenue (A90 Kingsway to Apollo Way) – closed overnight (7.30pm - 6.30am) on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 October for SSEN Cable Diversion work.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

Getting things done - Park Place - an update #dundeewestend


As residents will recall, over some months, I have raised numerous concerns from residents about the state of the bins in Park Place, near to the junction with the West Port.

These are not all council bins for residents' use but there are also commercial bins there for business use and the Enforcement Officer in the council's Community Safety and Protection team has been very helpful on the issue and liaising with business users.

She has now updated me as follows :

"I again visited Park Place and visited several of the businesses that store bins at Park Place.

As a result of these visits it was discovered that there was excess bins at Park Place due to a change in business ownership.

The excess bins, of which there were 5, have now been uplifted and I have asked a street cleaner to attend to remove any spillage/littering from the overflowing bins."

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Lochee Road and North Marketgait


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 retaining wall repair works. The Order is expected to be in force for 15 months from 11 October 2021. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all pedestrian traffic in North Marketgait and Lochee Road from Parker Street to a point 100 metres or thereby west of Dudhope Roundabout.

An alternative route for pedestrians will be available via Lochee Road, West Marketgait and North Marketgait.

If you have any queries, please contact the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Dundee House, 50 North Lindsay Street, Dundee, DD1 1LS - phone 433082.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Bus diversions - Blackness Avenue #dundeewestend

With the impending resurfacing of Blackness Avenue from next Monday (4th October), Services 17 (Xplore Dundee) and 73 and 204 (Stagecoach) will be temporarily re-routed as follows :

XPLORE DUNDEE :

🚧 Roadworks on Blackness Avenue (phase 1)

4th Oct onwards

  • Affected routes:
  •  
  • 17

Due to roadworks on Blackness Avenue (between Blackness Library and Seymour Street) for two weeks from Monday 4 October, service 17 will be diverted as follows:

Towards Whitfield: Normal route to Blackness Avenue, then via Hyndford Street and Perth Road. Normal route resumes from Perth Road.

Towards Ninewells Hospital: Normal route to Perth Road, then via Perth Road and Hyndford Street. Normal route resumes from Blackness Avenue.

🚧 Roadworks on Blackness Avenue (phase 2)

18th Oct onwards

  • Affected routes:
  •  
  • 17

Due to roadworks on Blackness Avenue (between Seymour Street and Blackness Road) for two weeks from Monday 18 October, service 17 will be diverted as follows:

Towards Whitfield: Normal route to Balgay Road, then via Blackness Road and Seymour Street. Normal route resumes from Blackness Avenue.

Towards Ninewells Hospital: Normal route to Blackness Avenue, then via Seymour Street and Blackness Road. Normal route resumes from Balgay Road.


STAGECOACH :

Road closure Blackness Avenue, Dundeefrom Monday 4th October


Due to resurfacing works, Blackness Avenue, Dundee will be closed in two phases from 4 October 2021 for 4 weeks.

During the first phase the diversion for services 73 and 73A will be Perth Road - Hyndford Street - Blackness Avenue. Service 204 will divert Perth Road - Hyndford Street - Blackness Road.

During the second phase services 73 and 73A will divert from Blackness Avenue - Seymour Street - Blackness Road. Service 204 is unaffected during the second phase.


Thursday, 30 September 2021

Plant sale at the Botanic Garden #dundeewestend


The Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden will be holding a plant sale this Saturday - 2nd October.

It will take place from 12 noon to 3pm and will take place in the Botanic Garden car park.

The Friends add :

"We are grateful for any donations on the day, but please can you split clumps into smallish chunks for ease of sale.   Also we'd be grateful if plants can be clearly labelled with the name.   Colour is also helpful.

As before, plants will be priced in units of £1, so come with your real money if you are buying, and bring a box or a bag to carry home your treasures."

All welcome, as always!

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Old Hawkhill, West Port and South Tay Street


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 road safety measures during Dundee Dance Event being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Old Hawkhill / West Port / South Tay Street (between Hunter Street and Nethergate), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Sunday 3 October 2021 for one evening (5pm to 11pm).

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Access will be maintained where possible.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via Hawkhill / Perth Road / Nethergate.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Monday, 27 September 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 27 SEPTEMBER 2021

A90 Kingsway (at Invergowrie roundabout) – lane closures for 2 weeks for third party works.

South Tay Street – temporary traffic lights for 1 week for footway works.

Lochee Road (at Balgayview Gardens) – temporary traffic lights from Friday 24 September for one week for SGN work.

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Tuesday 21 and Tuesday 28 September for Scottish Water investigation work.

Ancrum Road - temporary traffic lights from Wednesday 29 September for 4 days for City Fibre work

Forthcoming Roadworks

Blackness Avenue – closed from Monday 4 October for 4 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Logie Street at junction with Ancrum Road – 3 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Grosvenor Road (Shaftesbury Road to Perth Road) – closed from Monday 25 October for 2 days for carriageway resurfacing works.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Blackness Avenue


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 carriageway resurfacing works.  The Order is expected to be in force for 4 weeks from 4 October 2021.  Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months. 

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Blackness Avenue for its entire length.

The works will be completed in 2 separate phases: Phase 1 – Perth Road to Seymour Street (west side) and Phase 2 – Seymour Street (west side) to Blackness Road.  The entry to and exit from Seymour Street at its junction with Blackness Avenue will be prohibited during Phase 1 of the works.

An alternative route will be available via Hawkhill, Peddie Street, Blackness Road and in reverse. 

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 433168.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Road safety in Logie #dundeewestend


At a recent meeting of the council's City Development Committee, future 20 mph zones were discussed.    

On the proposed list of new zones to be implemented in the period to 2027, I was disappointed to note no new proposals for the West End and I highlighted during the meeting that I regularly raise with roads officers residents' requests for further 20 mph zones in residential areas.

The area I have had most requests for is the Logie area where there is a large elderly population given the northern part of the estate is sheltered housing.    Having very narrow streets, Logie meets the criteria for a 20 mph zone so, after the meeting, I wrote to officers to again press the case for Logie to be considered in the future.

I have had a positive response from the Senior Engineer – Traffic & Road Safety - at the City Council as follows :

"With regard to your concerns raised, please be assured that the council is committed to logging and assessing all requests for 20 mph limits and although this year's Committee Report did not have the Logie area listed in the five-year programme, this list is not in a priority order and sites can and will be added.

I can confirm that the Logie estate area will be added to the 20 mph five-year programme list in next year's annual Road Safety Committee Report."

This is good news and I will continue to raise other parts of the West End where residents make requests for lower speed limits in highly residential areas.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Nethergate


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 Scottish Water investigation works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Nethergate (westbound between West Marketgait and South Tay Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 28 September 2021 for one day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via West Marketgait / Hawkhill / Perth Road / Nethergate.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Road safety at Balgay Hill - an update #dundeewestend


As residents may recall, some time ago, I discussed with officers in environment management at the City Council measures to improve safety on the roadway at Balgay Hill going up to the observatory. This included better signage of the 10 mph speed limit and better traffic management to protect pedestrians.

Progress with this has been delayed due to the COVID-19 health emergency but I recently asked for an update on the matter and have been given the following helpful feedback from the Service Manager - Environment at the City Council :

"I appreciate your understanding throughout the covid 19 emergency and would confirm that we remain outwith our normal service provision due to ongoing measures. Nevertheless, we have made some progress since we last exchanged emails. Our discussions with the City Engineers have led to a costed design for traffic calming measures in the form of speed bumps and additional signage along the road.

It is our intention to progress the above works this financial year.

In the meantime, we will be arranging for the road to be swept again, to reveal the white paint is fully visible before the observatory is opened and traffic is permitted passed the gate.

We will also ensure the rock armour placement is correct which can be moved if necessary."

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

West End parking charges to unfortunately return #dundeewestend


As residents know, I have consistently opposed the imposition of car parking charges at seven West End car parks - Roseangle, Pennycook Lane, Miller’s Wynd, Ryehill Lane, Mid Wynd, Union Street North and Bellfield Street North.

In advance of bringing in a residents' priority parking scheme, these are simply an unfair tax on local residents, having to pay for the 'privilege' of parking near their homes.

The charges have been suspended during the COVID-10 health emergency but, with the start of the University of Dundee’s first semester, are being reintroduced from Monday 27th September.   I view this as not acceptable, particularly as so many residents are still working from home.

However, I have been assured that the City Development Department intends completing the residents' parking consultation in parts of the West End, Coldside and Maryfield Wards by the end of 2021 and will bring a report of possible options for residents' parking to committee - hopefully in December.

I will, of course, continue to keep residents updated.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Getting things done - Arnhall Drive #dundeewestend

Residents have recently contacted me about the deteriorating state of the road surface in Arnhall Drive, including potholes - see below :

I raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have received the following helpful feedback :

"We have inspected the road and found a couple of Category 3 potholes (repair within 30 working days). 

Many parts look worse than they are due to it being a concrete road that has been surface dressed.

 However, on checking the carriageway programme it was due to receive an overlay in 2023/24, this is under review so this may move. 

We should have a better idea in the next few months when the review is complete."

Monday, 20 September 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2021

A90 Kingsway (at Invergowrie roundabout) – lane closures for 3 weeks for third party works.

South Tay Street – temporary traffic lights from Monday 20 September for 2 weeks for footway works.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Tuesday 21 and Tuesday 28 September for Scottish Water investigation work.

Lochee Road (at Balgayview Gardens) – temporary traffic lights from Friday 24 September for one week for SGN work.

Blackness Avenue – closed from Monday 4 October for 4 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Logie Street at junction with Ancrum Road - 3 way temporary traffic lights from 11 October for 4 days for City Fibre works.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Temporary Traffic Order - Nethergate


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 Scottish Water investigation works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Nethergate (westbound between West Marketgait and South Tay Street), Dundee.

This notice comes into effect on Tuesday 21 September 2021 for one day.

Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained.

Alternative routes for vehicles are available via West Marketgait / Hawkhill / Perth Road / Nethergate.

For further information contact 433082.

Executive Director of City Development
Dundee City Council

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Ninewells Hospital parking charges - a further update #dundeewestend


As residents will be aware, I welcomed the final abolition of parking charges at Ninewells Hospital, having campaigned against them for many years.      

The charges have acted as a tax on ill-health - as Ninewells is a hospital serving a large region and for many patients and visitors, particularly from outwith Dundee, public transport options to Ninewells are often limited or non-existent.

Additionally, however, the charges have resulted in many vehicles parked on adjacent residential streets.

Scottish Government made a promise to abolish all hospital parking charges back in 2007.   It may have come 14 years late, but the decision to not reimpose charges after their initially temporary suspension due to the COVID health emergency, is welcome.

I did raise a number of questions with the Head of Soft Facilities at NHS Tayside as follows :

1. That there will still be an enforcement presence within the hospital grounds/car parks?

2. How NHS Tayside will try to ensure no further spillage of vehicles onto adjacent streets?

3. Question 2 above really arises from staff member concerns about what they perceive to be inadequate staff spaces.     Can you give reassurance on capacity for NHS Tayside staff at Ninewells going forward?

He has since responded as follows :

"I can confirm that there is a parking control system in place which has been enhanced over the years in conjunction with staff-side colleagues and external partners to support effective management of our car parks.  Furthermore, we are now arranging a further review that will ensure that the free parking regime continues to operate efficiently and effectively for maximum benefit for all patients, visitors and staff.
 
At Ninewells we have 2383 car parking spaces on site and we are regularly at full capacity during peak periods.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how people travel and it is also predicted that with the permanent removal of charges, car parking at Ninewells could become more challenging.  I would like to give you reassurance we are taking all reasonable steps to manage parking within the Ninewells campus.
 
The vast majority of spaces are available for NHS staff, however we have recently reintroduced dedicated short stay car parks for patients and visitors to help ensure turnover of cars so that spaces are available throughout the day. The initial feedback has been very positive and we will continue to monitor to ensure that parking continues to be managed efficiently and effectively to benefit patients, visitors and staff.
 
NHS Tayside will continue to engage with local authority, other NHS Boards, travel planning and public transport organisations to ensure that best solutions are adopted wherever possible to support access to hospital facilities.
 
I hope the above provides you with assurance that there are plans in place to effectively manage parking on the Ninewells site."

I will, of course, continue to keep a close eye on this and resopnd to any residents' concerns around the Ninewells parking issue. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Dundee Green Walk tomorrow! #dundeewestend


Friends of the Earth Tayside is organising the Dundee Green Walk tomorrow - Saturday 18 September - in conjunction with the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, where it will start (at 10 am) and finish.

It is being held to highlight the Climate Emergency in the run-up to the COP26 UN Climate Conference in November, and is supported by the Tayside COP26 Coalition.

It's free to take part and is 6 km (3.7 miles) with only a couple of gentle slopes.

There will be speakers to welcome you to the Ninewells Community Garden and the Riverside Nature Park, and tell you something about the importance of Dundee's green spaces for biodiversity and tackling climate change.

You can go to hear the talks without walking the whole route, if you wish, at the times indicated.

There will also be a "walk-and-talk" at 2pm at the Botanic Garden, where you can spend the rest of the day, at no cost, other than any refreshments at the cafe.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Getting things done - Union Place #dundeewestend


Residents have highlighted with me the overgrown foliage around the Union Place car park and the need for a tidy up of the car park and surrounding area.

I have raised this with the car parking and environment teams at the City Council, calling for a tidy up.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Getting things done - Roseangle #dundeewestend


Residents have complained to me that the small lane to the east of of 29 Roseangle is so overgrown it is almost impossible to go up it. 

I raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership get the foliage cut back and this has now been done.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Ward surgeries return today!


As residents know, councillors were not able to hold their weekly ward surgeries at schools and libraries since the start of the COVID-19 health emergency, but I am pleased to advise of the one new weekly ward surgery I am now able to start.

From today - Tuesday 14th September - and during school term times, my new surgery time and location is :

Tuesdays at 3.30pm prompt at Blackness Library

All welcome and no need to book.    The library has appropriate safety measures in place to ensure a COVID-safe environment, including hand sanitisers and use of face coverings.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-related restrictions and venue availability, my very long-standing surgeries at Blackness Primary School’s staff room and at the Mitchell Street Centre will no longer be possible.

However, once access to school premises for councillors’ surgeries is again permitted with COVID restrictions easing, I hope that, later in the autumn,  I will be returning to a surgery at Harris Academy.   I hope to also run one at Ancrum Road Primary School. 

Both will also take place on Tuesdays – with details to follow.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Weekly Road Report – West End Ward #dundeewestend


DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT

REPORT FOR WEST END WARD – WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2021

A90 Kingsway (at Invergowrie roundabout) – lane closures for 4 weeks for third party works.

Glamis Road (at Elliot Road) – temporary traffic lights on Monday 13 September for BT work.

Forthcoming Roadworks

Lochee Road (at Tullideph Road) – temporary traffic lights from Friday 16 September for one day for advertising board installation.

South Tay Street – temporary traffic lights from Monday 20 September for 2 weeks for footway works.

Nethergate (West Marketgait to South Tay Street) – closed on Tuesday 21 and Tuesday 28 September for Scottish Water investigation work.

Lochee Road (at Balgayview Gardens) – temporary traffic lights from Friday 24 September for one week for SGN work.

Blackness Avenue – closed from Monday 4 October for 4 weeks for carriageway resurfacing.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Getting things done - school crossing patroller - Milnbank Road #dundeewestend


The school crossing patroller on Milnbank Road near Milnbank Gardens recently retired.

Tayside Contracts, who provide the service for the City Council, has not replaced the patroller, saying the crossing does not meet its criteria for allowing a crossing, in terms of pupils using it and vehicle movements.

I am very unhappy about this decision becuase the crossing is at a crucial location as vehicles come down the hill at City Road towards the site and I feel strongly that a crossing patroller is needed here.

I have therefore put in a formal objection to the removal of the patroller at this location.