Edinburgh set to introduce safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists

Over the coming weeks, Edinburgh City Council will be implementing several changes to help support pedestrians and cyclists adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

Edinburgh set to introduce safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists

The City of Edinburgh Council is set to become one of the first local authorities in the UK to introduce emergency measures to help pedestrians and cyclists to travel safely while observing physical distancing guidance.

The Council has been working with Transport Scotland and Sustrans to develop an approach to re-designating road space, benefiting from the recently announced £10 million fund to help local authorities introduce temporary active travel solutions.

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, the Council stated that 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.”

The next steps will see a report brought to the Policy and Sustainability Committee in May outlining a citywide plan for more significant changes to the road network to create additional space for walking and cycling. Alongside this, the Council will also be investigating early delivery of some active travel projects which will help people to make essential journeys safely and quickly as the City moves to lift restrictions entirely.