Everyday walking charity, Living Streets Scotland, today backed radical plans to transform Edinburgh’s City Centre; claiming the existing public realm in Scotland’s capital is unacceptable.
Ahead of a critical vote on the council’s proposals, the charity calls for the car dominated status quo to be rejected.
Commenting on the proposals to reduce access for cars and promote more space for pedestrians the Director of Living Streets Scotland, Stuart Hay said:
“Edinburgh is unique among European capitals in having virtually no dedicated pedestrian spaces. In recent years Paris, Brussels, Oslo and Dublin have made major strides forward in the amount of pedestrian space in their central cores. If Edinburgh doesn’t follow their example, the city risks being left as a 20th century air polluted backwater.
"Edinburgh could, and should, be one of the most walkable cities in the world. Every walk has a stunning backdrop but it’s difficult to enjoy this experience because of the crowded pavements, busy junctions and narrow pavements.
“All city centre transformations face opposition from vested interests who think congestion, air pollution and accidents are a price worth paying, to allow a minority of people unfettered access for their cars. Edinburgh wasn’t built for the motor car and efforts to adapt the city for traffic have been a comprehensive failure. Councillors need to make the right choice, which is pedestrian-friendly city centre for people, not cars and parking.”
A meeting of Edinburgh’s full Council will vote on plans for £314 Transformation of Edinburgh City Centre: