Construction work is expected to start in May to implement the finalised designs, with work expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
The new layout aims to improve pedestrian and cycle access, revamp Picardy Place as a public transport interchange and ensure the area is future-proofed in the event that Council decides later this year to proceed with taking trams to Newhaven.
Enabling works at Picardy Place have been ongoing since March.
Work is continuing on initial proposals for outside St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral and on the island site by Optimised Environment Ltd (Open).
A number of final alterations have been made to the design since a special meeting of the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee approved updated plans in January after a period of public consultation which generated around 1,000 responses.
The alterations include:
Reducing traffic lanes to give more space to pedestrians/cyclists
Increase in public realm space around the Cathedral
Confirmation of bus stop provision and servicing provision
Upgrade of traffic signal arrangements working closely with Council signals team
Simplification/improvement of crossing arrangements for pedestrians and cyclists
Cycle priority measures at junctions e.g. right turn on to Broughton Street
Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Since Committee approved updated plans at the start of the year, we’ve had very productive discussions with a number of key organisations and community representatives which have enabled us to finalise the road layout design for Picardy Place. I’d like to personally thank everyone who has taken part in this process for their much-valued input.
“While it is very challenging to accommodate the many conflicting expectations of different groups and individuals, we believe that these improved designs have taken on board the best mix possible of everyone’s thinking around this crucial gateway to Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns World Heritage Site. As well as being a positive place where people will want to spend time as well as travel through, it has to give the best possible conditions for people on foot, cycling, using public transport or vehicles to get to where they are going.
“It is sometimes difficult to fully envisage what designs can bring in reality but the end results will, I hope, truly deliver for local residents and everyone else who will visit this lovely part of Edinburgh.”