In autumn 2020, we carried out some surveys of pedestrian crossings in Edinburgh to see how long people walking had to wait for a ‘green man’ signal, and how long they had to cross the road when the ‘green man’ was on. We found that, at many busy junctions, people have to wait far too long to cross the road safely and often have only seconds to get to the other side.
We have sent this report to the Council and asked them to introduce more pedestrian priority at signalled junctions as a matter of urgency under the Spaces for People scheme to aid social distancing, and also make longer-term changes to give more priority to pedestrians, rather than motor vehicles.
We have now expanded and updated this report (March 2021), adding many more pedestrian crossings across the city, and also adding the comments of volunteers who carried out the timings. We will keep pressing for not only for improvements to the worst crossings where the waiting time to cross the road is quite unacceptable, but also to crossings generally across the city. We are looking for a culture change that puts pedestrians before traffic!
Living Streets Edinburgh volunteers carried out an audit in late October 2020 on the ‘Spaces for People’ schemes from Tollcross to Morningside Station. These aim to improve conditions for pedestrians on ‘shopping streets’. The report concludes that there are significant improvements for people walking as a result of the scheme and also makes many detailed suggestions on how it could be improved further, which have been sent to council officers. You can read the full report here: (PDF 9mb)
We have also sent the report to councillors and asked them to widen pavements on other busy streets. We also want to see much more done to reduce the time people have to wait to cross the road at pedestrian crossings, and to remove pavement clutter. We estimate that less than 30% of the £5 million budget has been allocated to these kind of ‘walking measures’ (compared to over 70% for cycling) and we want to see much more emphasis in ‘Spaces for People’ put on encouraging walking and social distancing.
Some good examples