Further consultation on Leith Walk junction layout

City bosses have agreed to further consultation.
City bosses have agreed to further consultation.
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CITY transport bosses have bowed to public pressure and agreed to more consultation over the controversial road layout proposed for the top of Leith Walk.

Earlier this week cycling campaigners criticised the lack of public involvement in deciding what should replace the Picardy Place roundabout as part of the St James Quarter development.

They argued the plan for a triangle with three lanes of traffic on each side was a “lost opportunity” and looked more like a design from the 1970s, giving cars priority over all other road users.

And the Evening News revealed Sustrans Scotland, which channels Scottish Government money into transport schemes across the country, quit the project’s design working group after failing to persuade the council and developers to take a different approach.

The proposed new road layout was due to be discussed at the transport committee next week.

But now transport convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes has announced the issue is being deferred until December, and instead there will be a report outlining a further engagement process with stakeholders and the public “to better reflect on the range of views expressed during recent days”.

She said: “We have already heard a wide variety of views on the proposals but want to widen the discussion to include as many of the travelling public as possible.

“The challenge for us is to find the right, and most practical, balance between the needs of all road users, whether they travel by bus, car, bike, tram or on foot.

“This is an important and well-used gateway to the city centre – and the plans form a crucial part of regenerating the east end – so it is important we get the process right.”

Green transport spokesman Councillor Chas Booth said: “We welcome this further consultation on the proposals for Picardy Place, so long as this is a genuine effort to listen to public concerns about the proposed design, and alter the plans in light of comments received.

“The scale of public unhappiness at the plans put forward has been unprecedented, and if the council are genuinely listening and changing their plans to reflect that feedback, that’s great news.”