Future Streets

Delivering the City Mobility Plan

Our streets work best when they move people around efficiently and make it easier to get things done. At the same time, streets should provide a more pleasant environment for activities such as

  • walking or cycling to school
  • riding the bus to work
  • driving a blue badge holder to the shops
  • sitting outside a café
  • unloading a van of deliveries.

Cities across the world, including the UK, use strategic approaches to agree changes to their street layouts.

To achieve Edinburgh’s agreed local transport strategy - City Mobility Plan 2030 - we need to agree a new approach to how we plan and design our streets for the future.

Why we need a new approach for our streets

Edinburgh has very good public transport and some very walkable areas, including the city centre and various local high streets. But the city faces a rapidly growing population, increasing competition for limited street space and levels of private car use which are not sustainable. This results in

  • congestion
  • delays to public transport
  • poor air quality
  • challenging conditions for walking and cycling

which all impact on community life and the economy, for everyone.

To improve travelling around the city for everyone, we will need to change the layouts of our streets over the coming years. We will need to carefully consider the approaches to main roads, shopping streets, the city centre, residential streets and streets around schools as part of this work.

Our future streets must allocate space in a way that is fair for all users. At the same time, we must reduce conflicts between the different ways of getting about - known as modes of transport.

We need to

  • find ways of reducing the volume of vehicle traffic - as well as the health benefits, this will also help us to improve public transport journey times
  • provide safer conditions for walking and cycling
  • deliver integrated networks of roads, cycleways and paths
  • find ways to reduce harmful emissions to
    • provide cleaner air
    • improve our health
    • improve wellbeing.

We also need improve the ‘liveability’ of neighbourhoods by providing ready access to key services such as

  • shops
  • schools
  • greenspaces

and reduce intrusive traffic which travels through them.

By making changes to the way we design and use our street space, we will create places that are more vibrant and welcoming. They will be more inclusive people-friendly places that support the economy and community life. This will also help us address climate change so we can meet our net-zero 2030 target.