Local pedestrian campaigners have urged the City Council to scrap the proposed gyratory roundabout at Picardy Place and replace it with a ‘people-friendly’ street layout. In its formal submission  to the Council’s consultation on the controversial traffic proposals for the Picardy Place area, Living Streets Edinburgh Group , argues that the gyratory is ‘entirely inconsistent with the Council’s own strategic transport objectives for the city centre and Edinburgh as a whole’ and should be scrapped in favour of expanded public space, wider pavements, and more direct road crossings linking bus stops and a future tram stop with the new St James Centre development. The Group’s Convenor, David Spaven, said:
‘The current Picardy Place scheme is a traffic plan – but it should be a people-friendly plan. We are urging the Council to work towards a design which is both a symbolic and very practical demonstration of the importance of walking and ‘place’ rather than ‘movement’, in this highly-visible and much-used area of the city centre and World Heritage Site.
‘The Council have an overall aim of reducing the car’s share of Edinburgh’s transport  – but sticking with a three-lane gyratory at the heart of the city around Picardy Place would simply encourage yet more car traffic. And London has a comprehensive programme for removing major gyratory roundabouts, due to their impacts on pedestrians and cyclists. It would be tragic if Edinburgh were to head in the opposite direction, endorsing dis-credited 1960s approaches to urban transport planning.’
Other measures in the group’s recommendations to the Council include:
- exploring options for bus-only access on the south section of Leith Street
- redesign of pedestrian crossings to provide high-quality connectivity along pedestrian ‘desire lines’
- ensuring that all footways meet the Street Design Guidance ‘desirable minimum’ width of 4 metres or more
- eliminating ‘shared space’ for pedestrians and cyclists, replaced by segregated provision
- moving segregated cycleways out of the centre of footways, relocating them between the footway and the carriageway.
MORE INFO: David Spaven on 0131-447-7764 or 07917-877399
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group consultation response is attached.
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group is the local voluntary arm of the national charity campaigning for better conditions for ‘everyday’ walking. See: http://www.livingstreetsedinbu
 The City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019’ refers to ‘reducing the need for motorised travel, especially car travel. Less car traffic helps make a city a safer and more pleasant place to live, as well as an attractive place to invest.’ This qualitative objective is reinforced by a specific quantitative aim to reduce the car’s share of all vehicular traffic on the city’s streets from 42% in 2010 to 29% in 2020.
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