Pedestrianised streets: Cockburn Street and Victoria Street would close to traffic
As well as plans to open up Waverley Bridge as a plaza, the council has published proposals to permanently close Cockburn Street and Victoria Street to traffic – while the Royal Mile will be shut between North Bridge and St Mary’s Street.
Bank Street will be closed, except for buses and taxis while Candlemaker Row will only remain open to buses.
Closure of the Old Town Streets are likely to be one of the first visible interventions in the strategy – with a draft time-scale putting it between 2021 and 2023. Lothian Road would remain open to traffic but be transformed into “an urban boulevard”.
Project director Daisy Narayanan said: “There will be a network of car-free streets, essentially Victoria Street, the Royal Mile from Lawnmarket down to St Mary’s Street, down Cockburn Street and Waverley Bridge.
“This is the essence of what Edinburgh should be.
“It’s a medieval heart of a city centre and it’s a pedestrian wonder of the world – it’s a jewel.
“We are not doing a car-free city centre because that is not deliverable.
“What we have is the historic core of the city centre will be car free and a zone where cars have access but very much as a guest.”