Edinburgh Council's plans for George Street look wonderful but where will the cars park? – Helen Martin

The “European boulevard” plan for George Street, in full Edinburgh style, is filled with wonderful architecture, a cultural feel and a vast attraction for both tourists and locals, not to mention top-rate shops and restaurants.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 12:30 pm
An artist's impression of the proposed plans forGeorge Street. Cars could be largely banned to open up the historic thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists (Picture: City of Edinburgh Council/PA Wire)

With hedge-planted boxes and ranges of seats, it’s both a street and a public park. It reminds me of large traffic-free squares and, yes, boulevards I’ve seen in other parts of Europe.

With bus stops at either end of the city centre and blue badge holders permitted to park their cars, it sounds fine. Locals can access by bus.

I’m curious about where in the city people coming from elsewhere to visit us and our European boulevard can park their cars? That hasn’t been mentioned.

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And though the council is currently anti-car and hoping locals depend on public transport, walking and cycling, they don’t seem to consider the increasing popularity of electric cars.

With such pedestrianised areas, we will need multi-story car parks around the city, probably enhanced by electricity chargers. And if George Street’s a shopping outing where customers buy several or heavy items, they can’t always load them on a bus.

A walk-through “boulevard” is appealing in dry, sunny days. But some shelters will be needed with Scotland’s ongoing increase of wind and rain throughout the year when it might not be so attractive.

I still like it, but with issues over non-Edinburgh visitors, the impossibility of making cars extinct, the need to boost retail, and our city’s northern climate compared to the rest of Europe, consideration is needed.