The council has been awarded almost £2m in additional funding from Sustrans to improve conditions for walking, cycling and wheeling. This will be added to the £5 million already received from The Scottish Government earlier in the year.

The £1.95m award is part of Spaces for People and Places for Everyone funding and will be used to put temporary measures in place supporting travel by foot, bike or wheelchair.

This latest boost will help the council to complete the proposed programme of temporary improvements first approved by the council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee in May. It will also allow the Spaces for People team to enhance schemes where possible, carry out more road and pavement resurfacing and increase the removal of street clutter.

Comiston Road. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam

Since May, the council has introduced many temporary changes across the city to provide safe and protected routes, helping pedestrians and cyclists to travel while physically distancing. These include widened pavements in key shopping streets, segregated cycle lanes on main roads, closures on roads leading to popular parks and beauty spots, and improvements around schools. Some of these will be removed as they have been assessed as no longer required or indeed not appropriate. These include the road closure at Warriston and the measures on Great Junction Street.

Warriston Road. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam
Great Junction Street. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “This is fantastic news and is testament to the hard work of our Spaces for People team, who are developing schemes which support people to walk, cycle and wheel while COVID restrictions are in place.

“Additional funding will help us to deliver an even better package of routes and improvements which not only create more room for physical distancing but help residents to make healthy, active travel choices whenever they can.”

Transport and Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said:“We’ve already delivered a whole range of projects – helping children to get to school safely, creating space to spend time on shopping streets and giving cyclists safer, segregated routes for travel.

“This funding will help us provide additional improvements including removing street clutter to help reduce obstacles to pedestrian movement and improving some projects already on the ground, for example by renewing surfacing, and potentially adding some new projects.”

An update report to Transport and Environment Committee last week outlined the next steps for Spaces for People in Edinburgh, including amendments to existing interventions, several more complex schemes and improvements developed as a result of public feedback. This has been referred to Full Council on Thursday 19 November for final approval.

Find out more about Spaces for People on the Council website.

Morningside Road. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam