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Edinburgh Council Mobility Plan to ‘Revolutionise’ Travel Across the City

David Paul

,

Edinburgh Transport

It is hoped that the ten-year plan to build towards a net-zero carbon transport system will provide a “greener, fairer future”.

Edinburgh Council has announced a ten-year plan to deliver a better connected, net-zero carbon transport system for Scotland’s capital.

Subject to approval later this week (19th February), the City Mobility Plan will replace Edinburgh’s Local Transport Strategy, setting out a strategic approach to the movement of people and goods to and around the city over the next decade.

Amongst measures included are “encouraging a change in public behaviour” towards the use of sustainable transport, the expansion of the tram and ‘mass rapid transit’ network, bus route improvements, ‘mobility hubs’ in existing communities and traffic monitoring.

Edinburgh Council has also pledged to create “more liveable places less dominated by motor traffic” and to build on the city’s network of walking, wheeling and cycling routes.

Commenting on the plan, Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “Edinburgh is a truly unique city in terms of its heritage, architecture and striking landscape, home to some of history’s greatest innovators. Now we want to push the boundaries as we look to the future of transport and mobility here.

“The finalised City Mobility Plan recognises the need to revolutionise the way we move around the Capital if we are to tackle the host of challenges we face, both locally and on a global scale.

“Transport is the biggest generator of carbon emissions in Edinburgh and our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2030 depends on a step-change in the way we travel, a change which would also significantly impact on air quality, congestion and road safety.

“More than that, our approach to transport addresses poverty and the cost of travel, the barriers facing those with mobility difficulties and the economic benefits of a better-connected, liveable environment.

“This is a bold, forward-looking strategy, befitting of this pioneering city, which will transform our streets, neighbourhoods and connections with the rest of the world for generations to come.”

Years of engagement with the public, stakeholders and partners have been carried out ahead of the plan, most recently through a consultation which gathered more than 1800 comments on draft proposals with support demonstrated for all policy measures.

Transport and Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said: “This comprehensive vision of transport and mobility in Edinburgh has been years in the making and takes into account the needs and views of lots of different members of society, from individuals to families, businesses to freight drivers.

“We want you to be able to make sustainable transport choices easily, whether that’s leaving the car at home and travelling to work by tram or spending more time in your local neighbourhood on foot, wheelchair or bike.

“By providing the options for clean, green and healthy travel, we’re helping the public to help all of us achieve an inclusive, accessible and net-zero carbon future for Edinburgh.”

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In order to achieve this, the council has set out a ‘Path to 2030’ and an implementation plan for policy measures which can be delivered in the short, medium and long term.

Once in place, the council says the implementation plan will be monitored and regularly updated. In a statement, the council said that the success of the plan “will be measured against several objectives, including an increase in the number of trips made by active and sustainable modes of travel, ensuring transport options in the city are inclusive and affordable and the reduction of harmful emissions from road transport.”

The announcement follows news last month that £1 million in funding will be made available to stimulate innovation in public transport tech solutions. The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Investment Fund aims to support Scotland’s green recovery and make public transport more efficient and easier to use.

Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson said MaaS applications can “directly support” the Scottish Government’s vision for more sustainable transport.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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