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Edinburgh council introduces emergency cycling and walking measures

The Scottish capital’s city council said it has been working closely with Transport Scotland and Sustrans to develop an approach to re-designating road space.

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Edinburgh will explore other measures to help prioritise cycling and walking
Edinburgh will explore other measures to help prioritise cycling and walking

Edinburgh is introducing a ban on traffic on three city roads to help create more space for walkers and cyclists while the Covid-19 lockdown measures continue.

 

In a statement, the council said the emergency measures were to “tackle areas highlighted as ‘pinch points’ for pedestrians and cyclists and will include some road lane closures and the implementation of temporary cycle lanes”.

 

Public demand

 

It added there has been “significant, understandable public demand for action to help facilitate safe daily exercise and the movement of essential workers”.

 

The city council said it has been working closely with Transport Scotland and Sustrans to develop an approach to re-designating road space. This will benefit from support from a £10m fund to help local authorities introduce temporary active travel solutions.

“We’ve been working closely with the Scottish Government to develop measures to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while remaining socially distant.”

Immediate measures include the closure of Silverknowes Road (north of the city), Braid Road (Morningside) and Links Gardens (Leith, implemented by 3 May). These locations have been identified in close dialogue with relevant council services and Police Scotland, which has expressed concerns in each area.

 

“The way we move around the city has changed significantly over recent weeks and it’s clear that we need to respond to this,” said Adam McVey, council leader.

 

“We’ve been working closely with the Scottish Government to develop measures to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while remaining socially distant, so we’re delighted that Transport Scotland has confirmed funding to support local authorities to meet this challenge.”

 

He continued: “We want to ensure that our city can support essential journeys and let local people access their local open spaces by creating safe, accessible routes to do so.”

 

Addressing further pinch points

 

Further emergency measures are being investigated for implementation in the weeks beginning 4 May and 11 May. The city council added it will continue to “quickly address” other pinch points and local issues, making use of temporary traffic regulation orders where necessary.

 

In the medium term, as lockdown measures continue and are eventually eased, the council plans to develop a citywide approach to more significant changes, such as expanded cycle lanes and the creation of bus gates.

 

Longer term, it is proposed that progress on more permanent schemes under Transport Scotland’s flagship active travel programme is brought forward.

 

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