Ten-year plans to transform the centre of Edinburgh in a £314m project have been approved by councillors. The City Centre Transformation Plan was passed at last week’s transport and environment committee, but was referred to Thursday’s full council meeting for final approval. The overhaul will give priority to pedestrians and cyclists and see many key streets closed to traffic. Environmental campaigners have welcomed the plans. They include ambitious cycling infrastructure projects, a trial of a city “hopper” bus and car-free streets in the Old Town. As part of the strategy, Cockburn Street, Forrest Road, Victoria Street, Waverley Bridge and Lawnmarket will close to traffic – while Bank Street will be shut except for buses and taxis and Candlemaker Row will only be open to buses. The High Street is also set to be closed to traffic between North Bridge and St Mary’s Street. The strategy also includes “reallocation of traffic lanes” on a number of streets including Cowgate, the Bridges corridor, Lothian Road, St Andrew Square and Princes Street. Phase one of the project will take place over the next five years, including the closure of Waverley Bridge in conjunction with Network Rail’s Waverley Masterplan. However, more than £300m will need to be found for the final phase of the strategy, which includes creating a tree-lined boulevard on Lothian Road, integrated public transport ticketing and timetabling and a new cycling and walking bridge linking the Old Town and New Town.
BBC News 19th Sept 2019 read more »
The operator of Edinburgh’s bike hire scheme is to shut all its dockless stations following thousands of pounds worth of damage from “wanton destruction” across the city, The Scotsman has learned. Just Eat Cycles will close all 31 of its remaining “virtual stations”, where users do not have to lock bikes to stands. It had planned to install around 70 such stations among a network of 100 by next March, where cycles are left freestanding but immobilised using internal locks. The plans have been scrapped following unexpectedly high levels of vandalism.
Scotsman 20th Sept 2019 read more »
Following the IPCC 1.5oC Special Report in October 2018, it is clearer than ever that we need to accelerate decarbonisation policy at every level to limit global heating. We know that more than half of all anthropogenic carbon emissions have occurred in the past 30 years, since the establishment of the IPCC, and global carbon emissions are still climbing every year. The IPCC report, the school climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion, and Climate Change: The Facts with David Attenborough have all contributed to raising awareness of the climate crisis across the UK. People have been calling for action and collaborating with their local politicians via local organisations, such as extinction rebellion groups, to push the climate crisis up the local political agenda in what has become a broad-based movement for local action. This has prompted a recent and growing trend of organisations, particularly local government, declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ (CE). The aim of this people-based pressure is to push local governments to take action to reduce carbon emissions as well as put pressure on national government.
IGov 20th Sept 2019 read more »