Edinburgh, with its generally dense population and walkable distances, could be a European exemplar of a pedestrian-friendly city. But the many sensible walking-related policies of the City of Edinburgh Council too often don’t translate in practice into a safe and attractive walking environment on the streets. Motor traffic continues to dominate the vast majority of the city’s streets – yet there are clear economic, environmental and social benefits in prioritising pedestrian movement within a high-quality public realm.

Despite the many barriers to walking, 35% of journeys by Edinburgh residents are still made on foot, and the Living Streets Edinburgh Group is engaging strongly with the Council, pressing for the pedestrian environment to enjoy the kind of prioritisation given to cycling expenditure – now due to rise to 10% of the Council’s transport budget. Our current campaigning priorities range across five issues:

  • the need for the council to devote more resources to inspecting, monitoring and improving the pedestrian environment
  • ensuring that cycling improvements are not gained at the expense of pedestrian safety and comfort
  • bridging the gap between exemplary policies (including Street Design Guidance) and practical implementation on the ground
  • pressing for better co-ordination between council departments impacting on the pedestrian environment
  • supporting the introduction of wide 20 mph limits for all the cities residential and shopping streets and their robust enforcement.

If you would like to get involved in our busy programme of campaigns, please get in touch with Don McKee, Convener of the Living Streets Edinburgh Group, email edinburghgroup@livingstreets.org.uk