The £314m Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy has been submitted for approval, as its estimated plans will deliver £420m of benefits over a 25-year period
The Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy (ECCT), which has been developed by the City of Edinburgh Council, already has full funding in place for the first five years.
It is estimated the ECCT will deliver £420m of benefits over a 25-year period through investment in improved public spaces, inclusive access and prioritisation of travel on foot, by bicycle and on public transport.
The Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy was originally considered by the Transport and Environment Committee in May and has been updated following a consultation held between May and July. This saw almost 80% of more than 3,000 respondents agreeing with aims to reduce the number of motor vehicles in streets, create more pedestrian and cycling space and enhance the public realm.
A ten-year Programme Delivery Plan has been developed, highlighting projects to be implemented during the first five years, which include the creation of a pedestrian priority zone in the Old and New Towns.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, transport and environment convener, said: “It’s clear that there’s widespread public support for our ambitious plans for City Centre Transformation, which will be game-changing in terms of the way people move around our city, how services are delivered and the positive impact it will have on quality of life for everyone who lives, works or visits here.
“This is a major project, which will require significant investment, but the project team have worked hard to ensure that funding for the first five years is broadly already in place. There is no doubt that its implementation is crucial considering the benefits that will be delivered – we simply can’t ignore the need to change the way we use our city.
“With our population set to expand rapidly over the next 20 years in the face of various challenges, including the increasingly urgent issue of our climate emergency response, this strategy will help us to build resilience, making sure Edinburgh’s centre continues to thrive, delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for everyone.”
John Lauder, deputy CEO of Sustrans, commented: “The City Centre Transformation is a bold, forward-looking step to reduce emissions, improve air quality and deliver a more liveable city for visitors and residents alike.
“We’re pleased to have supported the development of the City Centre Transformation, and look forward to continuing to work with the City of Edinburgh Council to make George Street and the New Town a place for everyone.”