Edinburgh council plans £314m transformation of city centre
September 10, 2019 – The City of Edinburgh Council has sought approval for a £314m plan for the transformation of Edinburgh city centre over the next 10 years.
Developed by the City of Edinburgh Council, the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy (ECCT) has full funding in place for the first five years.
The strategy is expected to deliver benefits worth £420m over a 25-year period through investment in improved public spaces, including access to and prioritisation of travel on foot, by bicycle and on public transport.
The plan, examined by the Transport and Environment Committee in May, was updated after a consultation between May and July.
Based on the feedback during the consultation, the ECCT has been updated to expand the proposed city centre pedestrian priority zone to include the University of Edinburgh and parts of the Southside; and develop an operations plan for the city centre to co-ordinate maintenance, enforcement and coach and freight management.
The updated ECCT also includes plans to link the segregated cycle proposals more closely to the city centre cycle network; add the Lawnmarket to the network of car-free streets in the Old Town and additional managed access for Canongate, Cowgate, Market Street and Princes Street; and retain all core cross-city bus routes, but reduce the volume of buses on selected routes and improve services to the edge of the city centre.
A 10-year Programme Delivery Plan highlights projects that will be implemented during the first five years, including the creation of a pedestrian priority zone in the Old and New Towns.
Projects to be delivered over the first five years of the programme are already funded through developer contributions, match-funding grants from Transport Scotland through walking and cycling charity Sustrans’ Places for Everyone scheme and the City of Edinburgh Council’s capital programme.
As part of the strategy, the George Street and New Town (GNT) public realm design project and plans to transform walking and cycling provision between the Meadows and George Street have already begun.
The remaining projects in the second half of the 10-year plan will be delivered with the continuation of funding through the council’s capital programme, developer contributions and match funding applications to Transport Scotland, Sustrans and other organisations.
The Transport and Environment Committee will consider the updated proposals and delivery plan on 12 September.