10 global cities that have inspired Edinburgh's 10-year transport vision

Scotland's Capital has been inspired from cities across the world for plans to extend the tram network, improve active travel and remodel bus routes in a 10-year strategy.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 5:32 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 8:49 pm

Edinburgh’s plans to overhaul how people and goods move around the city have been revealed by council transport chiefs.

The city's transport leaders have taken inspiration from a host of cities across the globe in drawing up the radical plans. The Capital has also been contacted by authorities including Los Angeles and Madrid - with planners keen to learn from Edinburgh’s city centre transformation vision.

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Copenhagen and Paris have inspired part of Edinburgh's vision


Bordeaux has radically overhauled its public transport system to address a range of issues including congestion, social isolation and lack of space for

pedestrians and cyclists.

Trams were introduced in 2003 and now run on three different lines – while buses run on a network of nearly 80 lines. Twenty-five park and ride sites, located close to bus and tram routes, allow car travel to be managed around the edges of the city.


Manchester Metrolink tram network has grown significantly through several phases of expansion since 1992 to a network of more than 62 miles and 93 stops – and is now the UK’s largest light rail system.

In 2018, Manchester set out its plans for the largest cycling and walking network in the UK. The investment in Manchester’s 10-year plan is estimated to be £1.5 billion.


The Danish capital has been reducing on-street parking in the city centre – with a pedestrianisation strategy dating back 50 years.

Changes have led to the number of people driving to work fall from 22 per cent to 16 per cent and the number of people cycling to work increase to 41 per cent.


Much of Barcelona’s 19th century city grid is being adapted to restrict traffic to the periphery of the city. Inside each “superblock”, there are one-way streets in operation for use by residents and businesses, and new public spaces to support community life.


The New Zealand city opened a new city centre train station in 2003 – encouraging more commuters to travel by rail. In 2008, the city’s northern busway was opened – a segregated bus route with six stations, some with park and ride.

An electronic fare payment card, the HOPS card, is valid on all public transport in Auckland, ensuring passengers only pay once for connected journeys.


The city’s 40-year transport strategy has identified the need for the transport system to modernise to meet the increased demand and has use of technology at its core.

The strategy includes transformed mass transit networks and enabling the use of connected and autonomous vehicles.


Through its Clean Air Plan Bristol has plans in place to become the first city in the UK to ban all diesel cars from its city centre. Part of a wider clean air zone, the ban will work alongside other transport strategies including creating a mass transit system, promotion of active travel and working with bus operators to redesign services.


The Velib bike hire scheme in Paris has a fleet of 20,000 bikes, based in 1,800 hire stations around the city and are accessed through contactless card payment.

Hire stations can be found roughly every 300 metres in any neighbourhood in Paris, ensuring that bikes are conveniently located for all residents and visitors of Paris.


The city of Bremen in Germany opened its first of 25 mobility hub in 2003 – featuring facilities for car sharing, bike parking and public transport. The 290 car share cars based at the hubs are estimated to have removed more than 4,200 private cars from the city’s streets.


The London congestion charge was introduced in 2003 and covers 21km2. Residents receive a 90 per cent discount with blue badge holders, motorcycles and emergency service vehicles exempt.

In the first year of operation congestion fell by 30 per cent and after 10 years of operation, the number of private cars entering the zone had fallen by 39 per cent.