Edinburgh city centre: Final proposals published for cycleways and pedestrian priority areas on Meadows to George Street route
Final proposals have been published for segregated cycleways, wider pavements and pedestrian priority areas on a key route through the city centre.
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The council says its Meadows to George Street project will create a safer, more relaxing space for walking, wheeling, cycling and spending time in.
The plans include some of Edinburgh’s busiest and most iconic streets. Construction is due to start in 2024 and the route – taking in Teviot Place, Forrest Road, George IV Bridge, the Mound and Hanover Street – will integrate with the George Street and First New Town scheme, which is scheduled for a construction start later the same year.
The council says the proposals draw on feedback received through various stages of public and stakeholder engagement since 2018. And it says the changes will be made in a way which respects the World Heritage Site.
The project aims to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport, reduce general through traffic and create people-friendly, inclusive and inviting streets.
Designs have been amended following the last public consultation, carried out in 2019. These include changing the two-way cycle track at Hanover Street to one-way cycle lanes on either side of the road to better tie in with plans for a revised junction at George Street. A bus gate is also introduced on Market Street at the junction with Jeffrey Street to reduce through-traffic in the area, while footways along the route have been widened further and a new safe cycle crossing over Princes Street tram tracks has been added.
The council says the proposals will make it easier and more attractive for people to choose travel by foot or bike as part of their everyday journeys and improvements to the streetscape will create a safe, vibrant place for people to live in and for all to enjoy.
It describes the Meadows to George Street measures as central to the broader transformation of the city centre. They will connect with other major schemes already underway or in development, such as the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL), Meadows to Union Canal and the Low Emission Zone. Final designs for changes to George Street itself are due later this year.
Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “The transformation of Edinburgh’s city centre will lead to a truly connected, people-friendly place to live, work and spend time in. The Meadows to George Street project is one of the first steps to achieving this, as well as supporting our net zero goals by promoting sustainable travel, so it’s really exciting to see the final designs.
“We’ve worked hard over recent years to develop proposals which balance the needs of all those who use the street while prioritising safe and accessible travel by foot, wheel or bike. These plans provide a snapshot of how the route will look and operate in the near future, as part of our broader ambitions for the city.”
And vice-convener Karen Doran added: “Our plans for Meadows to George Street are key to creating a Capital fit for the future, where healthy, active and sustainable travel is supported, and public spaces are opened up for socialising and relaxation. This is one of many projects to transform the way we use our city centre and I look forward to seeing it progress in the coming years.”