The Open Streets 18-month trial will begin on May 5 with the initial event expected to include the Royal Mile and some side streets closing to traffic between 12pm and 5pm.
The council has determined an “aspirational loop” that could eventually close in the trial, between 10am and 5pm. The loop includes the Royal Mile, Cowgate, the Grassmarket and Holyrood Road. Changes could be made so as not to impact the busy festival season in the city centre.
The Open Streets events will be “community-led” and done in consultation with emergency services, churches, residents and groups.
Council officers say the Open Streets plans will form the first step in the city centre transformation project, which will overhaul how people move about the Capital. The authority’s preferred strategy for the city centre transformation will be tabled in May. A business case will be drawn up in August, following another round of public consultation.
An initial consultation found that 88 per cent of people want changes to how people move around the city – while 51 per cent backed a “radical” approach to the change. Only 12 per cent of people are satisfied with the current set up.
The council insists that the city centre transformation will have inclusion at its heart and will ensure disabled people and those with mobility issues will be looked after properly – while discussions will continue with businesses and public transport providers.
As well as attempting to reduce traffic, the city centre transformation, which will give pedestrians more priority, is also aiming to reduce levels of air pollution in the city.