Edinburgh launches consultations on walking and cycling improvements in areas of new housing

Consultations have been launched on proposals to improve walking, wheeling and cycling conditions, as well as public transport links, parks and public spaces in areas of new residential development across the city.

By Ian Swanson
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 4:15 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Plans have been developed for four neighbourhoods – Leith; Lochend and Easter Road; Queensferry; and Burdiehouse.

The proposed measures include upgrading walking and cycling routes in Leith; pavement widening, dropped kerbs and “placemaking” improvements around Lochend and Easter Road; and segregated cycle lanes and improved crossings in Burdiehouse.

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They have been drawn up in collaboration with the council’s public transport team and in discussion with bus operators. The council says improving access to bus stops is an important aspect of the schemes.

In Queensferry, changes in the Echline estate, the Builyeon Road development, Viewforth Road, Scotstoun Avenue and Queensferry High School are intended to make it easier and pleasanter to travel by foot, wheel or bike, especially to Dalmeny station and a planned new primary school at Builyeon Road. A new linear park would be introduced on part of the current Builyeon Road route along with “pocket parks” and tree-planting.

The council says the changes would encourage people to make healthier, more sustainable transport choices and are in line with the 20-minute neighbourhood strategy which aims to help residents meet their daily needs within 20 minutes of their homes by walking, using public transport, wheeling or cycling.

Transport and environment convener Scott Arthur said: "Over the coming years we’re going to see tens of thousands of new houses built in Edinburgh, and it’s essential that we support residents in these homes, and those living nearby, to make healthy, sustainable transport choices.

Artist's impression of the proposed pocket park at Hawthornvale in Leith.

“These proposals target areas where new developments are planned or are already underway and look to make improvements or introduce new infrastructure – like cycle lanes, widened pavements and safer crossings – to help people move around their neighbourhood, and further afield, by foot, wheel or bike.

“It’s crucial that we support travel by bus, tram and train as well as active travel, which is why we’ve worked closely with our public transport team and with providers to develop these plans – for example they will significantly improve access to bus stops and will transform travel on foot and bike from the Builyeon Road area in Queensferry to Dalmeny rail station.”

He said recent research had shown that most people would walk, wheel or cycle more if they could access local amenities more easily. “We need to encourage this kind of behaviour change if we are to achieve net zero goals, healthier lifestyles and a more pleasant city for future generations. This is how things used to be, and it is a great way of supporting local jobs. People’s feedback and ideas will be really important as the council develops these proposals, and I’ll also be working closely with local councillors to ensure your voice is heard.”

The consultations will run until July 17, with feedback helping to inform the design process in each area.

Artist's impression of proposed changes to Bernard Street in Leith.

Drop-in events, where people can view proposals and provide feedback, will be held for Queensferry at Queensferry Community Centre on June 30, 3pm to 7pm; and for Burdiehouse at Valley Park Community Centre on June 30, 3.30pm to 7.15pm. Further drop-ins are being arranged and will be announced in the coming weeks.

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