Princes Street snubbed in one-way traffic plan

Picture: Comp
Picture: Comp
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PLANS to revamp traffic flow in the city centre by creating a one-way loop involving Princes Street and George Street have been scrapped.

Instead a revised scheme, to be introduced to coincide with the launch of the tram route, will see George Street become one-way for motorists with a lane dedicated to vehicles travelling west to east and a two-way cycle lane on the other side of the street.

Parking will be retained up the middle of the road. Pavements on the northern side of the street will be widened from North Charlotte Street to Frederick Street, while south side pavements will get the same treatment from Frederick Street to St Andrew Square, meaning large venues like The Dome and the Assembly Rooms will be able to offer outdoor seating.

The changes to George Street will be trialled for 12 months starting next spring. Plans will go before the council’s transport committee on Tuesday for approval.

The decision to scrap plans to re-route most buses along George Street and create a one-way loop taking in Princes Street came after opposition from traders.

City transport convener Lesley Hinds hoped the proposed arrangements would encourage cyclists to use George Street rather than the busier Princes Street.

She said this year’s Festival, when whole parts of George Street were shut across August, had convinced people greater pedestrianisation of the area could work.

She said: “We will see how George Street develops, but the people I have spoken to all say the festival set-up had created a better atmosphere.”

The council wants to lock in the arrangements for at least five years if the trial is a success so businesses have the confidence to spend on outdoor tables, seating and other facilities.