Edinburgh Council to reveal radical joined-up transport overhaul

Council chiefs will today reveal radical plans that will “significantly transform the way people, goods and services move around the city” in a 10-year vision for the Capital.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 6:00 am
Edinburgh City Council will reveal plans to overhaul transport across the Capital.

Edinburgh City Council will publish its city mobility plan today – a strategy for the authority to shift people away from their cars by making “stress-free, sustainable transport the most convenient option”.

More than one third of Edinburgh’s CO2 emissions are from road transport, as of 2017 – while almost 45 per cent of the city’s workforce, or 125,000 people, commute to work by private car every day.

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The plans are being drawn up with Edinburgh’s proposed low emission zone and city centre transformation in mind, and will be pivotal in successfully following through on a pledge for the Capital to become carbon neutral by 2030 amid a population explosion.

Writing in today’s Evening News, council leader, Cllr Adam McVey, stresses that the authority will “set out our stall clearly and emphatically” with a vision of how to transform the Capital into a sustainable and modern city.

He said: “This isn’t something any one organisation, city or even country can handle on its own. This needs to be a team effort, a pulling together of resources, a change of mindset for all of us.

“Today, we’re publishing a ground-breaking new 10-year strategy – the draft city mobility plan – to significantly transform the way people, goods and services move around the city. In short, the plan seeks to make stress-free, sustainable transport the most convenient and desirable option.”

Cllr McVey has warned that action is needed now and solutions will be focused around improving public transport.

He added: “This will not happen overnight; it’ll depend on us providing accessible and realistic alternatives, working closely with Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams to make our excellent bus and tram services even better.

“Be in no doubt, however – a lack of action now will mean more congestion, more pollution and, perhaps most importantly of all, our failure as a city to play our part in tackling the global climate crisis.”

The strategy will be considered by the council’s transport and environment committee next week – before widespread consultation is held with the city about the proposals.

Depute council leader, Cllr Cammy Day, said: “It’s an exciting time for the city. As it continues to grow, we need to come up with more sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways to manage the city. This plan sets the platform for asking the city, how do you want to see us transform in the next 10 years?

“There’s a whole range of things we are looking at to make it easier for people to get around the city more enjoyably. We also need to make sure that it connects to more suburban parts of the city.”

Edinburgh is expected to grow by a further 15 per cent by 2041 – taking the Capital’s population to almost 583,000.

Cllr McVey added: “The city is growing enormously – there are 7,000 people every year moving to the city and we are trying to make the city more sustainable and zero carbon net by 2030.

“This plan gives us an ability to marry the two – to deal with the growth that we are experiencing and will continue to experience and deal with the challenge of providing a more sustainable future.”