Update – comments on the Edinburgh Tram extension and buses

In December 2022, EBUG published an initial commentary on the Tram extension to Newhaven and buses https://edinburghbususers.group/ebug-comments-on-the-edinburgh-tram-extension-and-buses. At the time, construction was not complete, particularly at bus stops.

The Tram route has now been operating since June, so we revisited the sites previously inspected for an update. To recap, we had surveyed only the most southerly bus stops on Leith Walk, and the updated survey covered the same ground.

NB as previously, we did not carry out a full bus stop audit.

At Elm Row northbound, the bus stop appears acceptable. The shelter is long, and therefore spacious. It is perhaps disappointing that the opportunity was not taken to install wider end panels for better weather protection; this would have required moving the shelter onto the cycle path.

At Shrubhill, the northbound bus shelter is badly and apparently incorrectly sited. It appears that the stop and shelter were to be located on the ‘platform’ left of the cycle path in the picture below. However, they have been installed 8-9m from the kerb. At an average pace, it takes 8-9 seconds to cross the gap; more if anything impedes the passenger’s mobility. There is a cycle path between the shelter and the kerb. This poses an issue for passengers; when raining, should they a) wait in the shelter and rush out when the bus comes b) wait at the kerb and get wet? The setting back also inhibits the line of sight to approaching buses.

The two pictures below show that the bus box is not aligned with the stop. As these markings were painted before the shelter was installed, and match the ‘platform’, we conclude that they are installed correctly, and it is the stop and shelter that are not.

The two stops north of Pilrig Street (north and southbound) have not been completed.

At Shrubhill southbound, the bus shelter is shown below.

This appears to be the first of the ‘bespoke’ bus shelters acquired for Leith Walk.

  1. The shelter roof is 20cm narrower than the ‘Standard Decaux’ at 130cm compared to 150cm. The ‘Standard Decaux’ shelters are often criticised for providing inadequate shelter. This ‘bespoke’ shelter provides even less.
  2. It has no side panels, further reducing weather protection.
  3. A bin is placed in the area where passengers exit from a two-door bus, contrary to factsheet PT2 in the Edinburgh Street Design Guide https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/file/24985/pt-2-bus-stops

At Elm Row southbound, EBUG had previously (March 2022) joined other groups calling for better plans https://edinburghbususers.group/ebug-joins-other-transport-groups-with-concerns-over-public-realm-design-for-elm-row


  1. It is not immediately clear to the bus user whether to use the bus stop at the temporary sign or the flag on the shelter. (Previously there were two stops here, reflecting the high demand).
  2. There is a cycle lane immediately in front of the shelter. We observed passenger/cyclist conflicting moves in the short time we were there.
  3. The shelter is 7m from the kerb. It takes 7 seconds to cross the gap. See above regarding this (Shrubhill).
  4. The is no clear line of sight from the shelter to approaching buses.

‘Pedestrian issues’

In our December 2022 commentary, EBUG brought to the attention of Living Streets Edinburgh in particular issues regarding street clutter.

We also note now that, while conducting this updated survey, we observed a number of cases of cyclists using both cycle paths as if they were bi-directional, notwithstanding the directional arrows; particularly food deliverers.