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
  • Seafield Road shared use path to Portobello.

The project area

The area covered lies between

  • Commercial Street
  • Great Junction Street 
  • Leith Links
  • Hawthornvale path to Seafield Road

Overview map of Leith Connections project area and phasesVision of  walking and cycling improvements in Bernard Street

Project details

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.Map showing proposals for walking and cycling improvements in Leith

Phase 3 west - east proposals

This phase would introduce high quality active travel and public realm improvements along the Lindsay Road to Salamander Street corridor between the Hawthornvale Path in the west and Seafield shared use path in the east.

The Local Development Plan (LDP) has identified significant areas of new residential development in the Leith area. An action programme has been developed to look at what improvements are needed to existing infrastructure and what new infrastructure is needed to provide safe and high-quality active travel routes to enable more people to travel in sustainable ways. Proposals presented through the Leith Connections Phase 3 project will contribute to the delivery of this action programme.Picture of proposal for new cycle path in Salamander Street

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

Previous 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 phase 1 route. 

During the first half of 2021 we gathered your feedback on the concept design proposals for the Phase 1 route and feedback on travel behaviours to develop the LTN proposal. Further input in the summer then helped further develop the design of the low traffic neighbourhood and public realm improvements which we hope to introduce to reduce through traffic making the area safer and more pleasant to travel through and spend time in.

We are also in ongoing discussions with other projects in the area and key stakeholders such as the emergency services and Lothian Buses.

Engagement reports summarising feedback received can be viewed on the Consultation Hub.

Next stages

Surveys and continuing design work have been ongoing alongside the community engagement process. Proposals were approved in August 2021 at the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee to proceed with the traffic and redetermination orders required to make implement the project.

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.

Traffic orders and redetermination orders for the first part of Phase 1 route will shortly be published under the "View or comment on traffic orders" section of the council website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roads-pavements.  

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.

The procurement processes for implementation of the Phase 1 route to Commercial Street and the low traffic neighbourhood are underway. We hope to begin permanent construction on Phase 1 in Spring 2023. Vehicle prohibitions associated with the route would be introduced at the same time as the wider area low traffic neighbourhood. We are working to implement the low traffic neighbourhood measures in Autumn 2022.