The council said that its City Mobility Plan has been inspired by forward-thinking cities around the world embracing challenges posed by climate change, poverty and inequality. Subject to approval at a special meeting of Transport & Environment Committee on 19 February, the plan will replace Edinburgh’s Local Transport Strategy.
It sets out a strategic approach to the sustainable and effective movement of people and goods to and around the city over the next decade.
Amongst measures included in the plan are a commitment to encourage a change in public behaviour towards the use of sustainable transport, the expansion of the tram and mass rapid transit network, improvements to bus routes, creating ‘mobility hubs’ in existing communities and new developments and introducing a city operations centre to monitor traffic.
In addition, the plan pledges to create more liveable places less dominated by motor traffic and to build on the city’s network of walking, wheeling and cycling routes.
The council said that the final plan follows several years of engagement with the public, stakeholders and partners. Most recently, a consultation in 2020 gathered more than 1,800 comments on draft proposals with support demonstrated for all policy measures.
“Thanks to feedback we have been able to strengthen and expand upon these policy measures, which centre around three themes: people, movement and place,” said the council. “The updated plan acknowledges the impact the Covid pandemic has had on transport demands and mobility patterns, and how a green recovery can harness the associated effects of lower traffic levels.”
The City Mobility Plan also champions ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’, an internationally recognised concept where local services are within a 20-minute walk of your front door. The council said that it goes further to envision neighbourhoods where people’s daily needs can be met within a 10-minute walk or wheel from their house.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, the council’s transport and environment convener, said: “Edinburgh is a truly unique city in terms of its heritage, architecture and striking landscape, home to some of history’s greatest innovators. Now we want to push the boundaries as we look to the future of transport and mobility here.
“The finalised City Mobility Plan recognises the need to revolutionise the way we move around the Capital if we are to tackle the host of challenges we face, both locally and on a global scale. Transport is the biggest generator of carbon emissions in Edinburgh and our commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030 depends on a step-change in the way we travel, a change which would also significantly impact on air quality, congestion and road safety.
”More than that, our approach to transport addresses poverty and the cost of travel, the barriers facing those with mobility difficulties and the economic benefits of a better-connected, liveable environment. This is a bold, forward-looking strategy, befitting of this pioneering city, which will transform our streets, neighbourhoods and connections with the rest of the world for generations to come.”