How the street will work

The Operation Plan proposes how the George Street and First New Town area will work once we’ve completed construction. 

It also sets out the proposed access plan for all vehicles and the timings of vehicle restrictions.

From March to June 2022, we engaged with stakeholder and community groups, residents and businesses to understand the needs of those living and working there.

To help us deliver and facilitate changes to George Street and the First New Town, a package of operational and management measures will be introduced. The operation plan, will improve accessibility, encourage active travel, prioritise essential public transport and manage traffic access to the area.

Diagram: operation plan key elements shown individually

Diagram showing elements of the operation plan or how the street will work.

 

Diagram: operation plan elements combined

Graphic showing layout of combined operation plan elements

Summary of proposals for the operation plan

These will be developed further in the next stage of the project, Stage 4 Technical Design, of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Plan of Work. Current proposals include

Buses

  • remove bus services from George Street, retaining services on Frederick Street, Hanover Street and St David Street
  • reposition bus stops to minimise onward walking distances to city centre destinations for bus users
  • route diversions are being considered as part of the Council’s City Centre Bus Network Review.

General traffic, deliveries and servicing

  • remove general traffic access to George Street
  • essential vehicle access, such as daily deliveries and servicing, will be managed with a daily access window
  • outwith these times, cyclists and other exempt users such as blue badge holders will have priority use of George Street
  • loading on George Street will be consolidated into eight dedicated loading bays equally distributed along the north and south sides of the street. Additional space will also be created for large goods vehicles (LGVs) within the central, uncluttered squares.

Taxis

  • licensed taxis will have access to George Street during the daily access window, with two taxi ranks proposed in-line with the current provision
  • private hire cars will not be permitted to access George Street
  • further research will be carried out during the next stage of the programme on access to George Street for taxis carrying disabled users, at all times.

Managing access

  • control vehicle access to George Street outwith the daily access window times using physical restrictions, such as automated bollards. The design and feasibility of these will be explored further during the next stage
  • a number of vehicle types will be given exemption to enter George Street during restricted periods. This will include Blue Badge holders, emergency services, funeral or undertaker services, medical practitioners and secure cash or postal deliveries
  • other vehicles will be considered with the need to organise access permits in advance, including special events like weddings, conferences, emergency trade and utility companies and major planned construction or renovation works.

You can read more about the proposed operation plan as part of the report to Transport and Environment Committee, appendix 2