Cars set for complete ban from Princes Street in Edinburgh

Council officials have drawn up the plans as part of a £314m city centre transformation.

Congestion: Bus stops will be rationalised <strong>© STV</strong>
Congestion: Bus stops will be rationalised © STV

By Graeme Murray

Cars could be completely banned from one of Edinburgh’s most famous streets.

Most of Princes Street can currently only be used by buses, taxis and trams.


However, new plans would see cars banned from the final section still open to them – between North Bridge and Waverley Station.

The proposals, part of a £314m project to transform the city centre, would reduce the number of cars and speed up bus routes, officials said.

Other plans would see Waverley Bridge also closed to all traffic and transformed into a plaza.

Bus stops on Princes Street, meanwhile, would be “rationalised” to speed up journey times.

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Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convener at City Edinburgh Council, said: “Currently Princes Street looks like a bus park.

“It doesn’t help us as a city so we have to find a way to make that work much better.”

Under the strategy, agreed by the council last week, Bank Street at the top of The Mound would be closed to traffic, but remain open for buses and taxis.

Traffic would instead use St Giles Street before being filtered back onto George IV Bridge from the Royal Mile

Daisy Narayanan, city centre transformation project director, said: “We would like to do it as a trial to see what the implications would be to other traffic, the junction with St Andrew Square and how it could potentially fit into our east to west cycling route.

“Ultimately we want to make sure the city keeps moving. Princes Street outside of Waverley and The Balmoral is not very pleasant at all – particularly for people with a disability or mobility issue.

“It’s about trying to solve a current problem in a way that doesn’t impact on people. We need to understand what the impacts would be first.”

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