Leith Connections

We're developing this project to

  • make street improvements that will make roads safer for everyone
  • develop a more attractive street environment with the creation of new public realm spaces.

The design offers a more comfortable environment for walking, cycling and wheeling in Leith with better connections to

  • new protected cycle lanes on Leith Walk, planned as part of Trams to Newhaven project 
  • the north Edinburgh path network
  • the Water of Leith path
  • Quiet Route 10.

Leith Connections is being delivered in close partnership with Sustrans Scotland. Sustrans Scotland are also primary funding partners using Transport Scotland funding through the Places for Everyone grant programme.

The project area

The area covered lies between

  • Commercial Street
  • Great Junction Street 
  • Leith Links.

Phase 1 Foot of the Walk to Ocean Terminal route

We’ll develop a protected cycle lane running from the Foot of the Walk to Ocean Terminal.

Improved footways and side road crossings along with a reduction in through motor vehicle journeys will also improve overall pedestrian and wheeling conditions into and across the area.

The route will improve connections to the Water of Leith path and provide a key network link to the north of the city beyond the segregated cycle ways being developed by the Trams to Newhaven project between Picardy Place and the Foot of the Walk.

This is being delivered in parallel to the Trams to Newhaven project and was approved as a supplementary project to the final business case for the tram.

Phase 2 Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN)

Other measures being considered will bring

  • improved walking, cycling and wheeling conditions
  • general street environment improvements for all residents, businesses and visitors.

Measures to enable this may include additional bus gates and traffic filters to prohibit through vehicle movements but allow walking, cycling and wheeling whilst ensuring that vehicles can still access the whole area when required.

We’ll also create new and improve existing public spaces for the community.

Community engagement

At early development stages, workshops were held with key stakeholders to identify the key active travel movements and issues in the area. This helped us identify the preferred alignment of the route. 

From 8 February to 5 March 2021, we gathered your feedback on the concept design proposals for the cycle route and to help develop the LTN proposal.

Further consultations with the local community and key stakeholders will be held to develop proposals for public realm improvements and get feedback on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce through traffic.

Next stages

Surveys began at the end of 2020 and further utility and ground investigations will be carried out during early 2021. These surveys and enabling works are needed to allow assessment of underground utilities and ground conditions for the detailed design stages.

Following community engagement with

  • local groups
  • accessibility forums
  • emergency services

the proposal will be considered by the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee in June. If approved, the LTN layout will be implemented as an experimental traffic order to trial the measures.  We will monitor effects of the changes throughout the trial period. This will be done by surveying the number and speed of vehicles using these streets and community reaction to the changes to the streets. In line with the ETRO process, within 18 months a decision will be made on whether to make the changes permanent.

Before the Council can make changes to

  • parking and loading restrictions
  • pavements
  • roads 
  • cycle paths

we must provide an opportunity for people to comment. Statutory consultations for the traffic orders (TRO) and redetermination orders (RSO) are required to deliver the project and will be advertised in the coming months.