The City of Edinburgh Council is set to introduce ’emergency’ measures to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while observing physical distancing guidance.
It has been working closely with Transport Scotland and Sustrans to develop an approach to redesignating road space. This will benefit from support from a £10 million fund to help local authorities introduce temporary active travel solutions, announced by the cabinet secretary Michael Matheson earlier this week.
Over the coming weeks, it will be implementing several changes to help prioritise walking and cycling. Immediate actions will tackle areas highlighted as pinch points for pedestrians and cyclists and will include some road lane closures and the implementation of temporary cycle lanes.
In the medium term, as lockdown measures continue and are eventually eased, it will develop a citywide approach to more significant changes, such as expanded cycle lanes and the creation of bus gates. Longer-term, it is proposed that progress on more permanent schemes under the Active Travel Programme is brought forward.
Council leader Adam McVey said: “The way we move around the city has changed significantly over recent weeks and it’s clear that we need to respond to this. We’ve been working closely with the Scottish Government to develop measures to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while remaining socially distant, so we’re delighted that Transport Scotland has confirmed funding to support local authorities to meet this challenge.
“Our commitment to encouraging and facilitating safer, more convenient walking and cycling in Edinburgh remains as strong as ever. We want to ensure that our city can support essential journeys and let local people access their local open spaces by creating safe, accessible routes to do so.
Immediate measures will include the closure of the following roads:
– Silverknowes Road (implemented by 30th April)
– Braid Road (implemented by 3rd May)
– Links Gardens (implemented by 3rd May)