This is another article in our series highlighting a variety of campaign groups in Edinburgh. This time we introduce Low Traffic Corstorphine based in the west of the city.
Who are you?
Low Traffic Corstorphine is a group of Corstorphine residents and local businesses who share a vision for an improved, healthier and more inclusive environment: a neighbourhood with quiet streets for playing, for socialising, thriving local shops and businesses, traffic-free zones around all schools, less polluted, cleaner air for everyone, and many more routes for safe walking and cycling.
We are a diverse group with lots of ideas that we want to collaborate on to improve the places we live, work, travel through and enjoy for leisure in our community. Importantly, we believe that working together, sharing our ideas and using our different strengths to campaign can help speed along changes to benefit everyone who lives and works in Corstorphine.
Low Traffic Corstorphine is a constituted voluntary association. Our co-chairs are Janis Ross-Williamson and Chris Young.
To achieve our vision we have identified a number of key aims that we support by:
- Promoting facts and evidence-based benefits of a more equitable balance between the needs of pedestrians, wheelers, cyclists and drivers.
- Responding to The City of Edinburgh Council consultations to help ensure walking, wheeling and cycling are given priority in our community.
- Encouraging local residents/businesses to respond to consultations to make their concerns known to The City of Edinburgh councillors, MSPs and Corstorphine Community Council.
What do you hope to achieve?
We aim to provide a focus and support for residents, school children, parents and carers, business owners, people who work in the area and regular visitors who want safer, healthier, less congested streets. We want to see traffic free streets around all local schools, safer and connected walking cycling and wheeling friendly streets, much improved air quality, a 20mph default speed limit throughout Corstorphine and low traffic neighbourhoods for all residential streets.
Why is this important?
More people walking and wheeling around Corstorphine would have great physical and mental health benefits through exercise and reduced pollution from vehicles. It would also mean that people are more likely to use local businesses and have improved connection with each other through incidental meetings and more opportunities for social engagement.
Poor air quality has been proven to have many detrimental health impacts and disproportionately impacts the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities. We want Corstorphine to be a neighbourhood that ensures a healthy environment, especially for our more vulnerable people.
We would like to see the streets surrounding all schools open for walking, cycling, wheeling and residents vehicles only to allow safe and healthy journeys to schools for all pupils, parents, carers and staff.
Quiet residential streets filtered to allow only people walking, wheeling and cycling along with good cycling infrastructure on arterial routes would encourage many more people to choose to walk or cycle the many short journeys that are currently taken by car. This is important not only for everyone’s’ health but also for the environment when we know we are in a climate crisis.
Arterial routes such as Glasgow Road, Corstorphine Road, Drum Brae with fast and busy traffic, create a disjointed neighbourhood and make it difficult for those walking, wheeling and cycling to visit friends, amenities and workplaces. Reducing the speed limit to 20mph on all Corstorphine streets would create safer, calmer and more pleasant environments for people using the pavements as well as those using the roads.
What form does your campaign have?
We choose to be a positive voice for change in Corstorphine. Corstorphine has a great community spirit and we want to nourish that community and help to challenge the vehicle domination that fractures our area.
As with many, due to the pandemic our meetings have been predominantly online but we have more recently met with our local MSP as well as other groups who share some of our aims face to face. As restrictions ease we intend to do more in person community meetings and activities.
One project we are we are currently working on is with the Cargo Bike Movement to create an event where people can try out different types of cargo bikes, trailers and other equipment so that they can see how they might be able to undertake different types of journeys like the school run or shopping trips without having to use a car. That will be held on
We also help to promote ‘Playing Out’ and similar intergenerational community events where people can see the benefit of having informal outdoor spaces to meet and connect with neighbours and friends.
How can people reading this article help?
Join us in whatever way you can. Share your ideas, however big or small, if you are interested in reducing motor traffic in Corstorphine to improve the area for our health, our community and the adverse effects of climate change.
We are a friendly bunch and always very keen to hear new ideas and positive contributions. Look out for our latest news updates or sign up for our newsletter for prompts on how you can help.
You can get in touch with us at https://lowtrafficcorstorphine.org.uk/contact/