Edinburgh has backlog of 95 pedestrian crossings waiting to be installed - and it could take a decade to get them built

A total of 95 pedestrian crossings are waiting to be installed in Edinburgh after being approved by the council – and it could be nearly a decade before some of them materialise.

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Lib Dems said it was "unacceptable" that residents should have to wait for so long when it had been agreed the crossings were necessary for safety.

And they called for Edinburgh to get a fair share of a new fund set up by the Scottish Government to pay for such measures.

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A report for the city's transport committee says that since the last update in 2020, a total of 111 proposed new locations for crossings have been assessed, with 35 meeting the criteria.

Requests can come from members of the public, local councillors, MPs, MSPs, the emergency services or others and each is judged according to factors such as the number of passing vehicles, the number of crossing pedestrians, previous collisions and proximity to busy sites such as schools, doctors’ surgeries and shops.

The current backlog of 95 crossings compares with a queue of 75 in 2020 and just 42 in 2017.

The report includes a programme setting out the expected timing for the building of the new crossings, with the last on the current list set for delivery as late as 2031.

A total of 95 crossings have been approved but not yet installed.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.A total of 95 crossings have been approved but not yet installed.  Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
A total of 95 crossings have been approved but not yet installed. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
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Lib Dem transport spokesperson Councillor Sanne Dijkstra-Downie said: “It is unacceptable that residents could be left waiting up to a decade for road crossings which help them to get about their communities more safely. Worse still, the backlog of crossings needing installed has grown to record levels, with almost 100 sites now awaiting work.

“In my own [Forth] ward alone, we are looking at a five-year wait for the new crossing on Craighall Road near the local high school and a six-year wait for a new crossing on Newhaven Road.

“There remain real questions around how road crossings and other road safety measures are being prioritised in the city. Funding is clearly a serious issue and the cuts being imposed by the SNP Scottish Government are certainly not helping. It is vital that Edinburgh gets a fair share from the newly-created Road Safety Improvement Fund so we can speed up the installation of new crossings and make it safer for pedestrians”.

The report says funding for pedestrian crossing improvements is drawn from the council’s capital budget, with an annual allocation made for road safety improvements, which is often supplemented by external funding. It adds that the council has been awarded £3.683 million for 2022/23 from the Scottish Government’s Cycling Walking Safer Routes programme, a significant increase on previous years, with £1.1 million earmarked for the Road Safety capital programme.

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“The council has also recently been invited to bid for up to £830,000 of funding from the Scottish Government’s newly-created Road Safety Improvement Fund.”

Transport convener Scott Arthur said: "I share Cllr Dijkstra-Downey's concerns about this and I'm quite keen that within the very limited resources the council has we do more to meet the aspirations of residents on this issue. I'd be glad to work with her on that."

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