George Street trial plans open for public comment

A proposal to make one of Edinburgh’s premier shopping streets more welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists is now available for comment by the public.

Plans for a 12 month trial on George Street, which include the introduction of a two-way cycle path and additional space for pedestrians and local businesses, have been made accessible online.

The bid, which aims to make the street more attractive to shoppers, residents and tourists, was approved as part of a wider city centre vision at October’s Transport and Environment Committee and follows the success of a similar trial held during the Festival in 2013.

Members of the public can comment on a series of proposed changes, including:
  • The introduction of a dedicated two-way cycle path travelling the length of George Street.
  • An increase in pedestrian space on each of the street’s four blocks, allowing for outdoor dining facilities, exhibitions and public art, supporting an emerging café culture. Specific uses for the pedestrianised area would be subject to separate planning and licensing permissions. 
  • Minimal changes to parking for residents and visitors, with spaces in the centre of the street, separated from new cycle lanes by rubber kerbs and decorative planters, and residents’ parking maintained in the design.
  • A one-way system for general traffic and buses, which would allow eastbound traffic between Frederick Street and St Andrew Square on the north side of the street and westbound traffic between Frederick Street and Charlotte Square. The opposite sides of the street will be closed to traffic. 
Final designs for the George Street trial were drawn up after a six-week consultation held with stakeholders and the public. Results demonstrated support for change and a strong desire for Edinburgh to develop a long term strategic vision for the success of the city and its centre.

Now the public will be given the opportunity to comment on, raise issue with or object to plans for the 12-month trial, scheduled to begin shortly before this year’s festival in July, during a three-week consultation ending on April 11.

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