Transport Leader welcomes funding boost to transform Leith Walk

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Convener of the Transport Committee, responds to today’s announcement by Keith Brown, Transport Minister, to allocate £3.6m of the additional £20m recently allocated to cycling, to the Leith Programme.

“Today’s announcement means that we can now deliver on our commitment for an enhanced design from the Foot of The Walk to Picardy Place. This will prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and sustainable modes of transport as well as creating a vibrant and lively thoroughfare which will benefit local residents and businesses as well as those visiting the area. The design was developed following extensive consultation with the local community and I welcome the opportunity to deliver on the aspirations expressed by locals during the consultation process. 

 “We have draft designs and we will work over the next few weeks to finalise them.  As well as working with Sustrans we will ensure our stakeholders are updated with our plans.”

John Lauder, National Director of Sustrans Scotland, said:

“Sustrans warmly welcomes the announcement made today by the Transport Minister Keith Brown that £3.6 million of Scottish Government funding will go towards revitalising Leith Walk.  This money, together with substantial additional funding from the City of Edinburgh Council, will be used to rejuvenate the street by providing much improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure along its full length.

“The plans that will be progressed are innovative and importantly they observe the Scottish Government’s ‘Designing Streets’ policy.  We think that when implemented they will be extremely popular, not least with the many people who live and work on Leith Walk.  Creating such an attractive and permeable public space is vital to people’s quality of life and also to the economy of the area.

“Sustrans looks forward to continuing to work with Edinburgh City Council’s multidisciplinary team to make the pedestrian and cycling experience on Leith Walk the best it can be.”    

Key features of the design

  • Cycle lanes from Foot of the Walk to Picardy Place.  There will be significant sections of uninterrupted cycle space including sections of dedicated on and off road cycling. Cycling will be largely segregated from Pilrig Street uphill towards the Omni Centre.
  • Improved pavements and junctions to benefit pedestrians and more frequent crossing points along Leith Walk. 
  • Redesigned, simplified junctions that are much easier and simpler for pedestrians to cross.
  • Replacement of London Rd roundabout with a signalled junction to significantly enhance conditions for both pedestrians and cyclists.
  • A simplified streetscape more conducive to community activity, trading and business.
  • Improved connectivity for sustainable forms of travel between the waterfront and the city centre.

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