City of Edinburgh Council to introduce emergency measures for pedestrians and cyclists

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 15:07


The City of Edinburgh Council have been working with Transport Scotland and Sustrans on a scheme to re-designate road space to pedestrians and cyclists, enabling them to move around the city while observing social distancing. It will be one of the first local authorities in the UK to introduce these emergency measures. This has been made possible with support from the £10 million fund to assist local authorities with introducing temporary travel solutions, announced by Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson on 28th April. 


Over the next few weeks the Council will be implementing changes to prioritise walking and cycling, tackling areas such as pinch points for pedestrians and cyclists. This will include some road lane closures as well as temporary cycle lanes. The move follows public demand for action to help facilitate the movement of key workers and taking safe daily exercise during the lockdown period. 


As lockdown measures continue and are eventually eased, there will be a citywide approach for more significant changes, such as expanded cycles lanes and the creation of bus gates. In the long term, it has been proposed more permanent schemes from the Active Travel Programme are brought forward.


Leader of the Council, Adam McVey, commented that, “the way we move around the city has changed significantly over recent weeks and it’s clear that we need to respond to this…our commitment to encouraging and facilitating safer, more convenient walking and cycling in Edinburgh remains as strong as ever”. 


Immediate measures to be implemented include the closure of three roads (Silverknowes Road, Braid Road and Links Gardens) within the coming week, and these locations were identified through dialogue between the Council and Police Scotland, who expressed concern about these areas. Further emergency measures are being investigated, with communication forthcoming. 


A report outlining a citywide plan for more significant changes for additional walking and cycling space will be brought to the Policy and Sustainability Committee in May. The Council is also investigating the possibility of early delivery of other ambitious active travel projects to enable people to make essential journeys easily and safely.


Read the City of Edinburgh Council’s press release here.



Photo: Adli Wahid, Unsplash