Future Streets

Why we need to plan our streets differently

Edinburgh has well-used public transport and some very walkable areas, including the city centre and local high streets. But, as set out in our City Mobility Plan 2030, we are facing a rapidly growing population and unsustainable levels of private car use which is increasing demand on our limited street space. 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.

What our research has told us

According to representative market research on our City Mobility Plan

  • 64% supported looking at more restrictions to traffic coming through the city centre
  • 82% supported making junctions and crossings easier and safer to walk or wheel, even where this may result in impacts to other ways of travelling
  • 71% thought redesigning major junctions was important
  • 74% agreed with taking action to protect vulnerable road users at major junctions which may impact motorised traffic.

This will all help us reach our target of zero fatalities on our roads by 2030.

You can read more about how we consulted and engaged on our City Mobility Plan. This links to a downloadable pdf which is not accessible. If you need any help with this, please email the Future Streets team.   

How we improve travel around the city

To improve travelling for everyone, we need to change the layouts of some of our streets over the coming years. We will need to carefully consider the approach to providing space on

  • main roads
  • shopping streets
  • the city centre
  • residential streets
  • streets around schools

Making it fairer for everyone

Our future streets must improve travel in a way that is fairer 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 fairer ways of reducing the volume of traffic travelling through the city - by switching to more sustainable modes, which will also help us to improve public transport journey times and service reliability
  • provide safer conditions for walking, wheeling 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 to improve the ‘liveability’ of neighbourhoods by providing ready access to key services such as

  • shops
  • schools
  • greenspaces

and reduce the volume of traffic which travels through them.

Edinburgh’s Accessibility Commission will help us do this, providing independent advice to the Council on the challenges, opportunities and actions needed to ensure make sure our streets and spaces are as accessible as possible to disabled people. It was established in March 2024 and will operate for an initial two-year period. 

Find out more about Edinburgh's Accessibility Commission.

How Our Future Streets will help us deliver our City Mobility Plan

To deliver our City Mobility Plan, we have developed the Our Future Streets approach to how we plan and design our streets for the future.

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

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 a more thriving economy and community life. This will also help us address climate change and meet our net-zero 2030 target.

You can read more about how we developed our City Mobility Plan.


The City Mobility Plan love heart with travel options

City Mobility Plan

Find out more about how we are taking on the challenges of climate change, poverty, exclusion, inequality, and improving safety, health and wellbeing.

Read our City Mobility Plan