Transport blueprint

Edinburgh plans car-free city centre over next ten years

Plan involves extending the tram lines (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh city centre will be virtually car-free within the next ten years under plans to reshape the transport network.

A blueprint drawn up by the council proposes more tram lines and pedestrianisation.

By 2025 George Street will be shut to vehicles and trams could be extended to Granton in the north, south to the Royal Infirmary and Bio Quarter, and west to Newbridge.

Seamless pricing, ticketing and accessibility will allow passengers to move between different forms of transport, from their cars to trams and local buses at these interchanges, without having to pay at different access points.

City transport planners admit that funding the proposals contained in the council’s Draft City Mobility Plan “will be challenging”. It will be discussed by councillors on 16 January.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “We’re already making great strides towards reducing carbon emissions in Edinburgh but, if we are to achieve our 2030 target, now is the time to be even bolder and more ambitious.

“The City Mobility Plan offers a radical, ten-year plan to transform transport in the capital, achieving the kind of change we need by expanding use of bus, tram, rail, walking and cycling to provide the best quality of life for everyone.

“What’s crucial to any strategy, however, is buy-in of our residents and those who travel into the capital to work and visit. Everyone needs to play their part and I look forward to engaging with the public as we progress a finalised City Mobility Plan, alongside the development of the City Plan 2030.”

The plan embraces the proposed car park tax or workplace levy, saying that by 2030 the city centre will be largely car free, with the workplace parking levy reducing in revenue as few commuters use cars to commute.

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