Our draft vision for accessible, affordable and sustainable travel in Edinburgh has found support from two-thirds of respondents to a citywide consultation.
Sixty-seven per cent of respondents to the Draft City Mobility Plan consultation backed the strategy to overhaul transport and mobility over the next decade, including proposals to create a largely car-free city centre, introduce mass bike commuting on arterial routes and for seamless ticketing between different forms of transport. Seventy per cent of participants also agreed with our shorter-term 2022 vision.
Between January and April more than 1800 comments were made on the draft plan, which sets out an approach to transforming the way we move people, goods and services to and around the Capital. Engagement was carried out alongside consultation on the Choices for City Plan 2030, which sets out our proposed options for changes to policies in our next local development plan. Feedback will be discussed by Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday (1 October).
We received overwhelmingly positive responses to a range of policy measures proposed as part of the plan. Amongst these, 83% support the co-ordination of bus, tram and bike hire operations, 78% approved of introducing transport hubs in new developments while 72% agreed with reducing levels of on-street parking.
Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:
As a city we are making real headway in tackling the manifold challenges posed by climate change, poor air quality and congestion, to name a few, but there is always more to be done. It is extremely encouraging that the vast majority of respondents to our Draft City Mobility Plan consultation support our vision for sustainable, affordable and joined-up transport in the Capital.
We understand the impact Covid-19 will have on any plans but we’re also aware of the positive effect quieter streets have had on walking, cycling and wheeling, with numbers surging during lockdown. As we progress with our vision we want to maintain this enthusiasm by providing more, improved options for travel by foot, bike, wheelchair and public transport.”
Transport and Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said:
We are working towards an exciting future for transport and mobility here, with City Centre Transformation, the implementation of a Low Emission Zones and carbon neutrality by 2030 amongst our ambitious goals. The City Mobility Plan is integral to these schemes and this feedback will help us to create a final strategy which will benefit people across Edinburgh.”
The Draft City Mobility Plan addresses key challenges facing Edinburgh including rising CO2 emissions, poor air quality, congestion and issues accessing public transport, in the context of an increasing population and the threat of a climate emergency. Proposals are grouped around four themes: Enhancing Public Transport, People Friendly Streets, Planning New Developments and Managing Demand.
The latest report also addresses the significant impact of Covid-19 on the way people move around the city, and the need to review the steps to our 2030 vision in light of this.
While we received positive responses across the themes, detailed comments highlighted concerns associated with specific measures. Amongst these was a desire for public transport to be quicker, calls for safer, car-free cycle routes and the need to retain disabled parking should on-street parking be reduced. This feedback will help identify issues we can mitigate as we progress with the plan, as well as opportunities to maximise the positive impact of proposals.
If agreed by Transport and Environment Committee, a finalised City Mobility Plan will be brought back to committee early next year. This will be informed by the consultation response, as well as a survey of travel behaviour across the city, Phase Two of the Edinburgh Sustainable Transport Study and assessment of the impacts of Covid-19 on travel needs. A delivery plan packaging and phasing the implementation of actions and policy measures will be developed to support the finalised plan.
Read the full report, City Mobility Plan – Public Consultation and Engagement Key Messages and Next Steps, on the Council website.