In the first instance I want to extend a thank you to each of you who have taken the time to engage with us over the last 15 months. Your contributions, suggestions and often frank feedback have and continue to be appreciated, especially during these most challenging of times.
The pandemic situation remains unclear as we progress through 2021, with no certainty on how long the measures will be needed for their original purpose. With that in mind, it is prudent that we consider – while these measures do remain in place for their original purpose – whether any of the measures could be retained or improved to help achieve our longer-term priorities.
Our recent consultation and online survey allowed us to get the views of people and organisations across the city on the retention of measures. These views formed part of a four-pronged strategy that took account of:
- individual, business and stakeholder feedback
- outcomes of independent market research exercise
- officer assessment of the schemes against the criteria agreed by Committee in January
- assessment of potential to support Council priorities and policies including:
- tackling wellbeing and inequality, ending poverty and achieving net zero by 2030
- City Mobility Plan, Active Travel Action Plan and Edinburgh City Centre Transformation.
Within the report officers have made a series of recommendations that will be considered at next week’s committee. This includes:
- retention of measures on Cockburn Street, Victoria Street, Waverly Bridge and the Mound and removal from the east end of Princes Street, George IV Bridge and Forest Road,
- removal of measures on local shopping streets with small lengths of widened footways retained where there isn’t adequate space for people to walk, such as Portobello High Street
- retention of the majority of protected cycle lanes and the Meadows to Greenbank quiet connection
- retention of leisure routes except for Links Place (although this will be reconsidered as part of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood proposals)
- proposals to re-prioritise School Travel Plans, with a view to bringing forward new ‘school streets’ measures to replace the SfP measures by the end of 2021.
Councillors will consider the report on 17 June and make decisions on the recommendations for moving forward, including referral to the City of Edinburgh Council meeting on June 24. You can read more about this process and what happens next on our dedicated web pages.
Thanks again for your invaluable contributions and I shall look forward to working with each of you as we progress to the next stage of this process.
Cllr Lesley Macinnes
SNP Councillor for Liberton Gilmerton
Transport and Environment Convener, Depute Leader, SNP Group, City of Edinburgh Council
0131 529 4863