City projects to make walking and cycling easier given £3m boost

The creation of '20-minute neighbourhoods' will be a key priority for the council scheme.

Edinburgh Council projects to make walking and cycling across city easier given £3m boost City of Edinburgh Council

Edinburgh council projects aimed at transforming streets across the capital to make walking and cycling easier have been given a major cash boost.

More than £3m is set to be given to schemes including the creation of a boulevard on Lothian Road, measures to reduce traffic in the Old Town and the further development of “20-minute neighbourhoods” throughout the city.

The money, from active travel charity Sustrans, will go towards strategic planning, designs and other pre-construction costs.

The city council’s transport committee will meet on Thursday to agree the funding allocations.

Officials have put forward 12 schemes to benefit from the £3.65m from Sustrans’ Places for Everyone fund.

They have proposed £1.75m for projects contained within the ten-year City Centre Transformation project unveiled back in 2019 to make central Edinburgh more pedestrian friendly.

This includes £850,000 for the creation of a boulevard on Lothian Road with widened pavements, segregated cycle lanes connecting up with the Meadows and Union Canal and reorganisation of traffic lanes to “benefit pedestrians and cyclists”.

Concept designs for the continued pedestrianisation of some of the capital’s most iconic and busiest streets around the Old Town will be drawn up using £650,000 if plans are approved by councillors.

These would look at the re-allocation of parking spaces to provide “safer space for walking, wheeling and cycling” and reducing traffic to essential vehicles only and increased use of cargo bikes for deliveries to businesses.

The funding will be used to encourage active travel, the City of Edinburgh Council said.Google Maps

The city’s regeneration of Granton is also set to receive funding from the latest tranche to explore options to develop the ‘missing section’ of Edinburgh’s waterfront promenade between Granton Harbour and West Shore Road.

A council report said: “An already highly used section of an active travel route, this section will link the major ongoing development at Granton Harbour to the Granton Waterfront Development and with 20 West Shore Road which is currently being converted to a cultural and event space that will support small and local businesses.”

In addition, £392,000 will be utilised to explore possible improvements to active travel infrastructure around Granton’s Forthquarter Park and an east-west cycle route linking Marine Drive and West Harbour Road through the central development area.

Plans for 20-minute neighbourhoods across Edinburgh which aim to create places where key services and amenities can all be accessed locally will be allocated nearly £600,000.

These will explore options for improved walking and cycling facilities and other public realm improvements in Dalry and Portobello town centres and Niddrie Mains Road and High Street.

Using the new funds, the council will seek support from specialists in urban design, engineering, traffic modelling and architecture to progress the various schemes.

Subsequently, delivery plans for each project will be developed mapping out consultations and engagement with the public before moving forwards.

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