It has been revealed that the City of Edinburgh Council is planning to boost city-centre car-parking spaces by 12%, despite the local authority’s supposed aspiration to cut traffic levels across Edinburgh. The local walking campaign, Living Streets Edinburgh Group , has discovered through a Freedom of Information request by one of its members  that the Council plans to introduce 1,206 more parking spaces on city centre streets. The campaigners say that this will undermine confidence in the ability to deliver a safer, cleaner city, its Convenor, Don McKee, commenting:
‘We’ve been strongly supportive of the Council’s visionary plans for a more walking-friendly city centre. But this revelation – adding the equivalent of 5.5 kilometres of car parking space on our streets – is either breathtakingly hypocritical or it suggests that the Council’s left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is trying to do.’
‘Extra parking takes valuable public space away from walking, cycling and buses – and it means more traffic on the roads, directly conflicting with the Council’s stated vision. Yet walking is designated as the top priority in the Scottish Government’s planning policies . It’s time for the Council to properly recognise this in its programmes and projects for the city. ‘Business as usual’ – with the car as king – is simply not an option when we’re trying to tackle the climate emergency.’
Analysis of the FoI reply indicates that parking spaces in some streets will be boosted far beyond the 12% average – examples being Grove Street (30%), Mayfield Terrace (34%) and Blenheim Place (38%). Full street-by-street details can be found here: http://bit.ly/3bm3yq3
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
 Living Streets Edinburgh Group is the local volunteer arm of Living Streets, the national charity for ‘everyday walking’, see: http://www.
 The Freedom of Information request asked, in relation to Traffic Regulation Order TRO19/29 for detail of (i) number of parking spaces added and removed per street, and (ii) distance in meters of parking space added and removed per street. See: https://www.
 Paragraph 273 of ‘Scottish Planning Policy’ states that: ‘Plans should identify active travel networks and promote opportunities for travel by more sustainable modes in the following order of priority: walking, cycling, public transport, cars. The aim is to promote development which maximises the extent to which its travel demands are met first through walking, then cycling, then public transport and finally through use of private cars.’ See: https://www.gov.scot/
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