Living Streets Edinburgh would like to see:
Recognition that walking is not simply one of several competing transport options, but is essential to almost every journey by public transport and to many car, train, tram, taxi or bicycle trips. Walking (also known as “footfall”) is fundamental to the city centre economy and creates a sense of community. It is the only universal way of moving about (‘walking’ includes people using mobility aids). It is healthy and pollution-free. Uniquely among travel modes, walking is as much (or more) about enjoying places as about movement.
Therefore, the promotion of walking as a safe, enjoyable and easy way of getting around Edinburgh should be given the highest priority across transport modes and indeed in all other aspects of the City Centre Transformation initiative.
Specifically, we want to see action to:
- Reduce the volume, speed and dominance of motorised traffic;
- Constrain the number large vehicles (coaches, bin lorries, etc) in the city centre;
- Redress the chronic lack of high-quality urban space in Edinburgh by fully pedestrianising sections of key streets, especially George Street and the Royal Mile;
- Limit the availability of on-street parking to create sufficient space for walking, cycling and public transport;
- Deliver a strategic approach to identifying and improving key walking routes in and around the city centre based principally on levels of use;
- Tackle a chronic legacy of narrow pavements, street clutter and poor maintenance;
- Provide more frequent road crossings, improve crossing times and minimise wait times on key routes, which meet the needs of people of all abilities;
- Create an effective and joined-up monitoring, inspection and enforcement system for the walking environment;
- Implement planning policies which encourage housing density and sustainable local community facilities (schools, healthcare, libraries etc.);
- Put in place sustainable traffic plans for key sites on the city centre periphery which are particularly hostile to pedestrians (Tollcross, Haymarket, etc.).