Developing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods for communities across Edinburgh

Community engagement to help develop proposals for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in three parts of the city begins today (Monday, 8 February).

We’re proposing measures to make it safer and more comfortable to walk, cycle, wheel and spend time in Leith, Corstorphine and East Craigs. Following public engagement and subject to committee approval the schemes would be introduced under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. This provides further opportunities for public involvement in refining measures, even once they’re in place.

We’re now seeking residents’ views on travel choices and spaces for movement and relaxation in the relevant areas. Feedback will be used to inform design proposals for each of the schemes, which are the first in a potential programme of low traffic neighbourhoods being considered across the city.

In Leith, we’re also developing a protected cycle lane between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal, which will complement the adjacent Trams to Newhaven project, as well as pedestrianizing Sandport Place Bridge and creating a bus-only section at the Shore. We’re seeking people’s views on concept designs as part of the engagement.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:

As we look to make a green recovery from the pandemic, it’s important that we get back to work on our long-term plans to support sustainable, active travel and healthy communities, where children can play safely and air pollution is reduced.

There’s a range of research to show the positive impact LTNs can have on reducing ‘through’ traffic and encouraging people to walk, cycle, wheel and spend time in local areas. We want to bring these benefits to neighbourhoods across Edinburgh and to make sure the changes work for everyone, which is why we want to hear from as many people as possible.

Transport and Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said:

We envision a much safer, more relaxing and ‘people-friendly’ Capital, which is why we’re developing LTNs for different communities. By introducing them on an experimental basis we want to involve the people that live here in their evolution, and their participation begins now, as we start to develop designs.

LTNs are initiatives where motor vehicle traffic is significantly reduced in residential streets, limiting the volume of ‘through traffic’ while maintaining vehicle access for people who live there. This creates a safer, more pleasant and inclusive environment for walking, cycling, wheeling and playing, reducing air pollution, encouraging healthy, active travel and opening up space for improvements like pocket parks, seating areas and planting.

Various studies have demonstrated the positive impacts similar schemes introduced elsewhere in the UK have had on communities. In London, research has shown the ‘mini-Holland programme’, introduced in boroughs across the city, saw a trend toward reduced car use and an increase in active travel. Data collected on the Walthamstow Village LTN found a drop of approximately 50% in traffic while a scheme in Dulwich Village reported a 96% increase in cycling, including a rise in the number of children on bikes.

Each of the schemes being put forward for Edinburgh responds to needs and issues specific to the neighbourhoods, including -

Corstorphine: Creating safer routes to school, addressing issues with speed and volume of traffic in residential streets, creating new public spaces and improving cycle routes, including links to the future West Edinburgh Link

East Craigs: Protecting streets from the impact of new developments in the west of Edinburgh, creating safer routes to school, addressing issues with speed and volume of traffic in residential streets and improving cycle routes, including links to the future West Edinburgh Link

Leith: Enhancing and promoting access to public transport, improving cycling provision in the area, addressing issues with traffic volume and speed in residential streets.

Proposals being developed are entirely separate and distinct from any temporary measures being implemented as part of the Spaces for People programme.

As part of the engagement process ‘community reference groups’ are being formed of representatives from community and interest groups in each of the areas, offering additional opportunities for residents to feed back. However, this will not supersede the responses gathered as part of the consultation process.

Following community engagement, design proposals will be developed for the three LTNs, which will then be shared for further public engagement. Designs will then be refined and brought to Transport and Environment Committee in June for approval and permission to start the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO). Subject to committee approval, following ETRO consultation, changes would be implemented on a trial basis in October. For the Foot of the Walk to Ocean Terminal active travel improvements, further development of existing designs will follow feedback, with the aim of publishing Traffic Regulation Orders later this year and beginning construction in 2022.

Find out more and take part in the Leith Connections, East Craigs Connections and Corstorphine Connections consultations online.

Published: February 8th 2021