Views sought on major active travel improvements for west Edinburgh
The public are being asked to have their say on significant cycling and walking improvements proposed for the west of Edinburgh.
A major consultation, which launched on Friday (15 March), asks for feedback on recommendations to transform pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as part of the West Edinburgh Link project (formerly named the West Edinburgh Active Travel Network).
West Edinburgh Link aims to transform cycling and walking to and within one of Scotland’s key business parks, connecting South Gyle and Edinburgh Park via high quality walking and cycling infrastructure and investment in better public spaces. Improvements, which include proposals to create more than 4km of segregated cycle tracks, will link with local neighbourhoods to the north and the south such as East Craigs, Sighthill and Wester Hailes, as well as Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College.
Concept designs created by design consultants AECOM, to be exhibited as part of the consultation, envision a well-connected, people-friendly environment and build on responses to initial engagement with people working in the area, when the majority of participants (88%) said they support cycling and walking improvements.
Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “The West Edinburgh Link is an essential component to our ambition to make Edinburgh a greener, healthier and better-connected city, so it’s exciting to see the initial designs take shape.
“We know from initial engagement with people working in the area just how important enhancements to walking, cycling and public spaces are here. We’re now excited to share early concept design ideas, which focus on active travel and people-friendly spaces, and to work closely with local communities to shape their development. For this reason, I’d encourage as many people as possible to come along to our drop-in events or take part in the consultation online to have their say.”
Sustrans Scotland Infrastructure Manager Tierney Lovell said: “The West Edinburgh Link promises to make it easier for thousands of people across the west of Edinburgh to make their journeys to work, school, parks or shops by walking, cycling or wheeling. We’re thrilled to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council on this, and looking forward to seeing the response to the ideas that we’ve been working on to make journeys in the west of city easier and more attractive.”
West Edinburgh Link was awarded funding in 2017 as part of Places for Everyone, a Scottish Government-funded programme delivered by Sustrans Scotland to create safer, more attractive and healthier places by increasing the number of everyday trips made by walking, cycling and other modes of active travel. A separate scheme to create a direct cycle link between the Meadows and George Street was also awarded funding through Places for Everyone.
Concept designs respond to many of the comments and include –
- A new bridge across the railway line next to Gyle Park, facilitating a pleasant and direct route linking South Gyle and local neighbourhoods to amenities, greenspaces and workplaces.
- Traffic calming measures throughout the area
- The creation of new public spaces and improvements to footpaths along the route
- Four kilometres of segregated cycleways along busy roads
- New road crossings as an alternative to some of the underpasses
The public will now be able to have their say on potential improvements at a series of drop-in events being held at –
- Gyle Shopping Centre, 21 March, 12pm to 7pm
- Westside Plaza, 4 April, 12pm to 5.30pm
- South Gyle Crescent, 25 April, 8am-5.30pm
- Gyle Shopping Centre, 27 April, 10am to 4pm
Anyone who can’t make it along to public sessions can also take part in the consultation online, which will run until 10 May.
Responses will be used to guide current designs before refined versions are presented again for public consultation at the preliminary design stage. The aim is to commence full construction 2021.
Find out more about West Edinburgh Link online.