Questions and Answers
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What is the project and what is being consulted on?
The Meadows to George Street project aims to transform the quality of walking, cycling, accessibility for all and public spaces on some of Edinburgh’s busiest streets: Hanover Street, the Mound, Bank Street, George IV Bridge, Candlemaker Row, Forrest Road, Bristo Place and Teviot Place.
The project builds upon the Council’s Active Travel Action plan, the Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy and integrates with the George Street and First New Town project at Hanover Street and from George Street to the west of the city via the City Centre West to East Link. Meadows to George Street is one of the winners of Sustrans Scotland’s 2017 Community Links PLUS (now called Places for Everyone) funding from Transport Scotland.
In 2018, we engaged with the public and stakeholder organisations to find out what they would like to see improved on these streets. Considering this feedback, and other surveys and modelling, we’re now proposing: a segregated cycleway along the length of the route, wider footways and crossing points for pedestrians, new public spaces and significant changes to traffic on Forrest Road, Candlemaker Row and Bank Street.
How do I have my say?
In summer 2022 we will publish the traffic orders which allow you to comment on the final changes to be made for traffic operations, parking and loading.
In advance of and during the construction period, we will continue to engage with residents and businesses to keep you up to date with progress and help plan the works to suit local operations.
How is the project funded?
The project is match funded by the Council’s Cycling capital budget, agreed annually by the Council Committee, and the Sustrans Places for Everyone Fund (which is allocated from Transport Scotland budgets).
Could this money be spent on something else?
No, the Sustran’s Places for Everyone funding has to be spent on the Meadows to George Street project. The Council funding is from a dedicated cycling budget that has been agreed by the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee.
What is the timeline for construction?
Our current timeline aims to commence construction in 2024/2025.
Why have these streets been selected?
The streets are some of the most iconic and busy in Edinburgh. Spanning the heart of the old and new towns they contain and connect to some the Edinburgh’s most popular places and key elements of the world heritage site. They are key local hubs with vibrant businesses and distinct identities for local people living and working here. For walking and cycling the streets provide some of the most important and well used links between to the city centre and southern areas of the city. For cycling, they are the key missing link to the city centre from existing routes to the east, south and west of the city. Considering all these aspects, improving public spaces, walking and cycling along these streets stands to make a significant difference to people who live, work, study and visit Edinburgh’s city centre.
Will the designs respect the cultural and heritage values of these streets?
The design has taken in to account the cultural and historical significance of the streets within Edinburgh’s world heritage site. We have worked closely with Heritage advisors to develop a material and design palette which reflects the distinct characters of the streets.
Why has the cycle lane been designed along the east side of the corridor? Why is it two-way on one side and not a ‘with flow’ cycleway on each side of the road?
An options appraisal was carried out on alternative cycleway layouts. This appraisal was informed by a number of criteria reflecting the project’s objectives, as well as cycling and walking design guidance.
The east side two-way cycle lane scored highest overall. It supports dedicated loading opportunities on the west side where the current loading demand is highest and a widening of footways and placemaking on the west where higher volumes of pedestrians have been observed. It also brings the cycleway away from the areas of crowding at Greyfriar’s Bobby and the Elephant House, where people would be very likely to stray into the cycleway causing safety issues.
Initial modelling has shown that journey times for cyclists are not significantly different when comparing an east side cycleway to a west side cycleway. With flow cycleways, on each side of the road, were considered, however there was insufficient space on the Bank Street corner to fit the cycleways without severely reducing the footway width beyond acceptable levels.
Have the impacts on traffic been considered?
Yes, the impacts on traffic have been considered throughout the development of the designs and have been assessed through modelling and surveys. The project is part of the wider Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Strategy which aims to reduce levels of traffic in and through the city centre. Modelling has shown that the changes in traffic flows will still permit the city centre to be fully functional for all key servicing and loading for businesses. It will maintain access for people who live on the streets in the project area and bus journey times will be not significantly different to currently.
Who can travel on the corridor?
Overall, the concept design and reallocation of road space on the streets prioritises the movement of people on foot, bikes and buses. The existing service buses are allowed throughout, except for Forrest Road, with bus movements diverted to two-way on Bristo Place.
General traffic will be allowed on all streets as normal except for Forrest Road, Candlemaker Row and Bank Street.
On Forrest Road, all traffic will be prohibited except for access for residents of the street and time limited loading and servicing (9.30am to 12.30pm).
On Bank Street, general traffic is prohibited via a bus gate which is to be operational between 6am and 10pm – with access only permitted for buses, black cab taxis, cycles and residents who live on the streets.
On Candlemaker Row, between Market Street and George IV Bridge, only the current number two bus service is permitted. Loading on this stretch of Candlemaker Row will be limited to the hours of 6.30am to 10.30am in the northbound direction only.
Victoria Street, which is part of the wider Edinburgh City Centre Transformation proposals, will be pedestrianised.
On Market Street, at the junction with Jeffrey Street general traffic is prohibited via a bus gate which is to be operational between 6am and 10pm – with access only permitted for buses, black cab taxis and cycles.
What will the loading restrictions be along the corridor?
Currently, the streets already have peak-time loading restrictions. The main change to loading for businesses will be the introduction of specific loading bays, with limited loading windows. Details of the loading locations and times are available on the updated design drawings. We carried out a detailed loading and parking survey in 2018 to understand loading and parking activity on the route and connecting streets, and have used this to inform the number of loading bays that we are suggesting.
How have pedestrians and cyclists been considered and prioritised?
One of the most frequent messages we heard in our 2018 engagement on this project was the desire for more space, safer space and separate space for people on foot and on bike. The final design therefore proposes widened pavements, formalised crossings, new public spaces, pedestrianised areas and a segregated cycle route (separated by a kerb from traffic and pedestrians).
How will people be updated as the project progresses?
If you would like to stay informed about the project directly, please register your email for updates using the button at the foot of each page.
Will the project be designed to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010?
Yes, the project will meet all requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
Has the project been developed in consideration with other major projects and strategies in the Edinburgh?
Yes, the project team has been working collaboratively with the following key strategies and projects (as well as other schemes and interventions):
- Edinburgh City Centre Transformation
- Edinburgh Low Emission Zone
- City Mobility Plan
- George Street and the First New Town
- City Centre West East Link
- New Waverley Station Masterplan
- Open Streets
- Summer Streets
Get In Touch
0131 469 3776
0131 529 7908
4 East Market Street
Sign up for updates
We will be sending out regular updates about the project’s progress, and as we make decisions based on your input. You can opt into these updates through the link below.