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Fri March 22 2019

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Consultation backs changes to Edinburgh’s streets

25 Feb A public consultation has backed proposals to make changes to the streets of central Edinburgh, including reducing the amount of traffic.

The proposals include creating an urban boulevard with segregated cycling and improved public spaces for the Lothian Road, Usher Hall and Festival Square area
The proposals include creating an urban boulevard with segregated cycling and improved public spaces for the Lothian Road, Usher Hall and Festival Square area

More than 5,000 people contributed their views as part of the ‘Connecting our City, Transforming our Places’ consultation, with 88% saying they wanted to see changes to the way the city centre is managed. Three quarters of respondents supported traffic reduction in the city and town centres.

The consultation feedback is being used to inform a series of principles for changes designed to have a positive impact on the economy, environment and community. The consultation sought views on three linked projects currently under way: the Edinburgh city centre transformation, the city mobility plan and plans for low emission zones in the capital. 

Examples have been developed showing how possible interventions could be implemented in the High Street, Lothian Road and Cowgate by using before and after images. These will be reported to transport and environment committee this week.

“The examples shown in the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation report are exactly the type of changes that need to happen if Edinburgh is going to improve its transport network and return the city to its citizens and visitors, making it a pleasant and vibrant place to be,” said Sustrans Scotland national director John Lauder. “We not only want to be learning from other great cities worldwide, but to be leading the way.”

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Councillor Lesley Macinnes, who is transport and environment convener, said: “Our vision for the city’s future is ambitious and it’s clear from the recent consultation that the people of Edinburgh share that ambition. There is not only a demand for change, but recognition that this needs to be significant in order to achieve an inspiring, healthier and more inviting city in which to live, work and play.

“As one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, it is clear that doing nothing is not an option. This is reflected in our desire to embrace active travel solutions, while also building upon our award-winning public transport offering by taking the trams to Newhaven, a step forward which would contribute to a truly connected, sustainable city centre.” The report will considered on the same day as the final business case (FBC) for taking trams to Newhaven.

Public consultation responses will help shape the development of the three inter-related projects that make up the ‘Connecting our city, transforming our places’ programme: The Edinburgh City Centre Transformation, The City Mobility Plan and Low Emission Zones.

MPU

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