George Street update: Cycle path on its way

An initiative to open up one of Edinburgh’s most historic thoroughfares to pedestrians and cyclists is taking shape in the city centre.

The project to increase pedestrian space on George Street has been underway since June, and will be officially launched after the Festival. 

As part of the developments, which aim to make the area more attractive to shoppers, residents and tourists, a cycle path and one-way traffic system is being installed on the street. 

The new cycle lane, which will be complete by the end of July, is currently under construction and will be open for use by cyclists in time for the Fringe.  

However, during the busy festival season, when George Street hosts some of the Fringe’s largest event venues, the cycle lane won’t be fully operational. During this time there will be temporary arrangements in order to ensure access is maintained. 

Once the Festival is over, residents will fully experience the new-look George Street for the first time, with the one way system, cycle path and increased and improved pedestrian space remaining in place until July 2015, when the scheme will be assessed. 

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener, said: “Changes to George Street will create a much more inviting and relaxing space for residents, shoppers and visitors, and it is exciting to see these coming together.

“While changes to some parts of the street may look complete, we won’t be formally launching this until early September, when we will see the full effect of the transformation.” 

Improvements will also see the installation of 68 new decorative planters, many of which have been Made In Edinburgh from traditional wrought iron by local apprentices at Inch Nursery as part of the Edinburgh Guarantee Scheme. 

Planners have ensured 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. 

Proposals to develop George Street were first agreed as part of a wider city centre vision at October’s Transport and Environment Committee and final designs were drawn up after a six-week consultation held with stakeholders and the public.

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