Edinburgh Spaces for People: The closure of Waverley Bridge to traffic has been a huge success – Steve Cardownie
Credit where credit’s due, the closure of Waverley Bridge to traffic as part of the Spaces for People programme (now re-packaged as Travelling Safely) was a masterstroke that has been welcomed by both residents of and visitors to the city.
Closed since June 2020 under the emergency decision powers conferred on the council, it has proven to be a popular venue for street musicians.
The days of airport and tour buses clogging up the bridge, spewing out exhaust fumes, affecting all and sundry are of the past, hopefully never to return.
Now providing a safer pedestrian link from the Old Town to the New, it has attracted a host of street performers, out to entertain the public, taking advantage of the friendly environment that has been newly created.
This is a clear example of how the Spaces for People programme can be used to benefit city-dwellers and visitors alike and it is a pity that it has been overshadowed by the more controversial aspects of the programme.
Other parts of the city lend themselves to similar consideration for pedestrianisation and George Street will be the subject of a transformation befitting a modern, European, capital city, enjoyed by throngs of shoppers and pub/restaurant goers.
Edinburgh is slowly emerging from the effects of Covid-19 restrictions and people are emerging from their homes to take in the delights that the city has to offer. The improvements to the city centre streets not only make it a more attractive proposition, but also make it a safer one!