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Melville Crescent set for major improvement project

Posted: 2nd April 2024

Work will soon get underway to significantly improve public spaces on Melville Crescent, thanks to £2.1m in Transport Scotland funding secured by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Improvements to the historic west end street will complement the recently completed City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL) scheme, which connects Roseburn to Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End with a safe and direct cycle route, as well as enhancing streets for those walking and wheeling.

The public realm scheme, which begins on 22 April, will include wider and resurfaced pavements using sandstone slabs in-keeping with the World Heritage Site and the reintroduction of setts on the road along Melville Crescent, reusing the setts which currently lie hidden under the existing asphalt surface. There will also be improved and additional crossing points, new lawn areas and street trees and cycle parking and benches added.

Designs for the project were originally developed as part of CCWEL and involved close collaboration with local stakeholders, along with Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, to ensure that proposals celebrate the unique World Heritage Site location.

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said:

I’m delighted that we’re now able to press ahead with these improvements on Melville Crescent thanks to this significant funding secured from Transport Scotland.

Not only will the changes create a much more welcoming environment, but they will restore some of the historic features unique to the street’s World Heritage status.

As well as street trees and wider sandstone footways, I am delighted the setted street carriageway throughout Melville Crescent will return – using the setts which currently lie hidden under the existing  asphalt surface.

What’s more, the project will also benefit people travelling by foot, wheel or bike, complementing the fantastic, world-class CCWEL route, which I helped celebrate the opening of last week.

There will be some changes to traffic during the work, which will be delivered by CCWEL contractors Balfour Beatty and is expected to last until December. This includes the closure of Walker Street North and one-way, northbound traffic only on Walker Street South, from William Street to Melville Street.

CCWEL was completed in March following two years of construction and will tie into a new George Street cycling thoroughfare delivered as part of the George Street and First New Town project. The scheme will additionally link with walking and cycling improvements on Leith Walk as part of Trams to Newhaven, the Roseburn to Union Canal route, due for completion this year, and Meadows to George Street.

Find out more about CCWEL.

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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