The City of Edinburgh Council is paying ‘lip service’ to the importance of walking in its transport policies, while doing very little in practice to make Edinburgh more walking friendly, says the city’s pedestrian campaign group, Living Streets Edinburgh . The group says it is ‘shocked’ that out of 44 Active Travel projects being developed by the Council in 2017-18, only seven are for walking, compared to 37 for cycling . In a letter to the Transport spokespersons for each political group on the Council, Living Streets says:
‘We have also seen over recent months other evidence of the low priority given to walking in practice, despite the lip service often given to it by the Council. During the recent icy weather, a common sight all across the city was pedestrians walking in the road because un-gritted pavements were too dangerous to walk on. We also see dozens of cycle parking racks being installed on city pavements despite the Council’s commitment in its own business plan to reduce pavement clutter’
The Group’s Convenor, David Spaven, commented: Continue reading Council Transport Delivery ‘Seriously Imbalanced’ Against Pedestrians
The detailed design of the controversial Picardy Place traffic scheme must ensure that it is safe and convenient for people to get around the area on foot, says the local walking campaign group. Living Streets Edinburgh  has responded to the City Council’s decision to back the controversial gyratory roundabout design by setting out a detailed list of measures  which they say are essential to avoid conditions getting worse for pedestrians. David Spaven, Convenor of Living Streets Edinburgh, which campaigns for ‘everyday’ walking, commented:
‘It’s unacceptable that the Council should be proposing a design which would actually make life worse for pedestrians, through more circuitous road crossings, narrower footway sections, and cycling /walking conflicts where new cycleways bisect footways. So we’ve put together a two-page list of key design principles which would ensure that it will be easier for people to cross roads using direct routes and following desire lines.
‘A fundamental principle is that the design details must comply with the Council’s own Street Design Guidance, so, for example, footways should be at least 4 metres wide, providing plenty of space for pedestrians, pushchairs and people with disabilities.
‘Another big concern is the planned ‘Floating Bus Stops’ on Leith Street, which will bisect the east side footway and make life more difficult for bus passengers, unless the Council applies the highest possible design standards to avoid conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists.’
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group is the local volunteer arm of the national charity campaigning for ‘everyday’ walking.
 Living Streets Edinburgh 2-page position statement on the detailed design of Picardy Place can be found here – Living-Streets-position-statement-Picardy-Place-detailed-design
Following the regrettable decision of the City Council’s Transport & Environment Committee on 25th January 2018 to back the traffic-generating gyratory roundabout design, Living Streets Edinburgh is now focusing on the need for significant improvements in the detailed design of the Picardy Place scheme. Incredibly, the latest Council design actually represents a net deterioration in the pedestrian environment compared to the current (pre-Leith Street closure) situation on the ground – as a result of, in particular, more circuitous road crossings, narrower pavement sections, and cycling /walking conflicts where new cycleways bisect footways. This is not acceptable.
Continue reading Position Paper On Picardy Place Detailed Design