Cammo Meadows; planning for public transport?

Travelling around the western edges of Edinburgh, it is difficult not to notice the housing developments springing up. Social media has been alive with commentary on some of them, but EBUG’s been looking particularly at ‘Cammo Meadows’, which may be a harbinger of more to come.

Cammo Meadows is immediately west of Maybury Road, towards its north end near Barnton Junction. Proposals to build there were approved despite strong local resistance from the local community, led by the Cammo Residents Association and the Cramond and Barnton Community Council; perhaps the Council felt it had no alternative.

The report to the Council Committee which approved plans for 655 mostly family houses in 2019 says the ‘Site Brief sets out the parameters for the…site’, including ‘Maximum accessibility to public transport’…’The proposal includes the provision of a bus turning circle in the north east corner of the site at Cammo Square…the applicant insisted on this to ensure the site was future proofed for public transport…’

Given EBUG’s previous criticisms of the Council for a lackadaisical approach to using Section 75 to fund bus improvements  ( ), it is encouraging that, of over £2,400,000 worth of transport improvements to be Section 75 funded here, £490,000 is allocated to bus infrastructure on Maybury Rd and bus capacity improvements, upgrading bus infrastructure.

In 2019 ‘The nearest bus services…within a 10 minute walk (800m) are accessible at North Bughtlin Rd, Queensferry Rd and Maybury Drive, providing approximately 20 bus services/hr to and from the city centre. The applicant is in active discussion with bus service providers to extend current public transport routes in to the site.’

So far so good; the developers evidently going much further than usual to achieve maximum public transport accessibility. They then discussed with Lothian Buses how to design the bus turning circle. The bus stop at the turning circle:
Work still to be done; notably, we hope, an enclosed shelter, as it is a terminus, consequently with extended waiting times.

But considering the site as a whole:

Some houses will be as much as 620m from the terminus. Did Lothian Buses suggest a bus-only road further into the site?

The 31 route into East Craigs is an alternative/additional service which may suit residents at the south end of the site. East Craigs has a network of paths to bus stops served by the 31; apparently accessible from Cammo Meadows only by walking to the roundabout on Maybury Road. What will the provision be for them?

We don’t know. Local sources indicate that the development is quite permeable for pedestrians. So, better than many late 20th century/early 21st century schemes, but still some way to go.

It is worth repeating EBUG’s view that the desirable aspiration for Edinburgh should be a maximum of 400m from any residence to the nearest bus stop. Not the figure of 400m BETWEEN bus stops, on which the Council bizarrely and incorrectly fixated some years ago.

Bus routes can change to meet passenger needs. But, realistically, only if the infrastructure allows them to do so.

Meanwhile Cramond and Barnton Community Council continues to engage with the new residents of Cammo Meadows to understand their bus aspirations. It is also talking to Lothian Buses and City of Edinburgh Council officials about additional service provision in the area, particularly covering the Cammo Meadows hub, with a view to securing connectivity to the new primary school and GP surgery in the area and the emerging housing developments at West Craigs and Turnhouse Road. The Section 75 development gain money is welcome, but the ultimate aim of the community is to gain a service that is sustainable in the long term.