Edinburgh residents get another say on Spaces for People schemes the city council plans to keep

The public is being given another chance to comment on the Spaces for People schemes which the council plans to continue for another 18 months.

By Ian Swanson
Friday, 10th June 2022, 5:18 pm

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

The city’s new transport convener Scott Arthur says he wants to listen to people’s views on the proposals before the final decisions are made.

Temporary measures introduced at the start of the pandemic, including road closures, segregated cycle lanes and widened pavements, caused huge controversy, with residents often complaining about the lack of consultation.

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Some of the measures have now been removed, but the council decided others should be retained under the renamed Travelling Safely programme. In order to continue them, the council is using Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs) which allow the schemes to be in place on a trial basis for 18 months.

The council said as it works toward its aim of net-zero carbon by 2030, it wanted to create a lasting legacy from the physical distancing put in place under temporary Covid-19 guidance.

Councillor Arthur said people had expected the ETRO process to have been under way long before now, but designs had taken longer than anticipated and he wanted to use the extra time to give people a further say on the plans.

He said: “There can be no doubt that Spaces for People, now Travelling Safely, remains a hot topic in Edinburgh. I’m keen that the new administration rebuilds trust on this issue and works collaboratively with residents to consider the future of these schemes.

Cockburn Street is one of the city-centre roads where Spaces for People measures are proposed to remain. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.

“Last year the Transport and Environment Committee agreed to move forward with a number of the Travelling Safely schemes via the ETRO process. It was also agreed that feedback from responses to the Spaces for People consultation, particularly relating to traffic restrictions, should be accommodated into the designs for these newer schemes where possible.

"Now that we have these schemes designed, this latest stage of the process will allow residents, businesses and any other stakeholders to raise any concerns that may have with the design of the schemes before a decision is taken to test them out over an 18-month period as the transport system in Edinburgh stabilises.

“We all hoped to see progress by now, but as the new transport and environment convener I want to use the delay as an opportunity to ensure the process being undertaken in a fair, open and transparent way.

“These remaining schemes all have the potential to help Edinburgh on its journey to become a more sustainable and liveable European capital city. Within that context, I am determined to work with residents and businesses to ensure that these schemes are safe and that they help encourage people to walk, wheel, cycle and use the bus more often.

Lanark Road's segregated cycle lane is also proposed to stay in place.

“I would encourage all residents to feed back where they do have concerns with the designs, and to consider how these schemes could contribute to Edinburgh’s future.”

A consultation took place last year with statutory bodies, such as the emergency services and community councils. Now the public has a chance to raise any concerns about the proposed experimental orders up until July 3. The feedback will be reported to committee in August.

These are the schemes people are being invited to comment on:

City centre

– Victoria Street

– Waverley Bridge

– Cockburn Street

Local shopping streets

Many measures in local shopping streets have been removed, but the council says some are beneficial to keep in place:

– Broughton Street: keep pavement widening at the roundabout and uphill cycle lane to Picardy Place

– St John's Road: keep the widened pavement east of Templeland Road following engagement with local school

– Gorgie / Dalry: keeping the widened pavement from Henderson Terrace to the rail bridge on Dalry Road

– Morningside: keep the widened pavement from the Merlin Bar to Cuddy Lane, including an advisory cycle lane with no segregation

– Portobello: keep widened pavements west of Bridge Street

– South Queensferry: keep the experimental scheme as a similar layout is proposed in Queensferry High Street programme

Segregated cycleways

– A1 (including London Road)

– Buccleuch Street / Causewayside

– Broughton Street

– Comiston Road

– Craigmillar Park, Mayfield Gardens and Minto Street

– Crewe Road South

– Duddingston Road

– Duddingston Road West

– Ferry Road

– Fountainbridge / Dundee Street

– Gilmerton Road

– Lanark Road, Inglis Green Road, Longstone Road and Murrayburn Road

– Ladywell Road

– Mayfield Road

– Meadowplace Road

– Meadows to Greenbank quiet connection

– Old Dalkeith Road

– Orchard Brae roundabout

– Pennywell Road, Muirhouse Parkway and Silverknowes Parkway

– Queensferry Road

– Slateford Road

– Teviot Place / Potterow

Spaces for exercise

– Arboretum Place

– Braid Road and Braidburn Terrace

– Cammo Walk

– Kings Place

– Silverknowes Road (north section)

– Silverknowes Road (south section)

– Stanley Street / Hope Street

– Seafield Street

– West Shore Road