Questions and Answers

Although the current proposals are concept designs, we’ve spent a lot of time evolving them and weighing up the various challenges.

You can click on each question to expand the answer.

Project Questions

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. 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 concept design of: 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?

Our consultation on the Concept Design stage has now closed. In the next few months we will share a summary of all comments that were sent in. If you would like to contact us please use the details below.

Will I have other opportunities to respond?

Yes, engagement will also be undertaken at future stages in the design process.

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 2021/2022.

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 concept design has taken in to account the cultural and historical significance of the streets within Edinburgh’s world heritage site. The next stages of the project (preliminary and detailed design) will explore the design details, such as the material palette, which is important in reflecting 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 concept designs and are being 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. On Bank Street, general traffic is prohibited with access only permitted for buses, black cab taxis, residents who live on the streets and time limited loading and servicing. On Candlemaker Row, between Market Street and George VI Bridge, only the current number two bus service is permitted. Loading on this stretch of Candlemaker Row will be provided from Merchant Street, Forrest Road and Candlemaker Row (between Merchant Street and Cowgate). Victoria Street, which is part of the wider Edinburgh City Centre Transformation proposals, will be pedestrianised.

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 which are yet to be determined. 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. We are looking for feedback from local businesses to help us develop the detail of the amount of loading and timing of when loading should be permitted, whilst balancing the other needs of the streets.

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 concept 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 on the results of the consultation and the projects progress?

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. We will also be feeding back the findings of the concept design consultation via this website and social media. We’ll be holding further consultation on later design stages in due course as the project progresses.

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

Our consultation on the Concept Design stage has now closed. In the next few months we will share a summary of all comments that were sent in. If you would like to contact us please use the details below.

Get In Touch

Waverley Court
4 East Market Street

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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.