Retaining Spaces for People measures

A major new consultation has opened which finds the City of Edinburgh Council seeking views on whether the Spaces for People improvements for walking, wheeling and cycling made during the COVID pandemic should be kept longer term.

Among the changes in the Gillespie’s catchment area have been the addition of more space around the school entrances and the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route formed by strategic road closures to through-traffic only.

Blackford Safe Routes fully supports the move to make the temporary measures permanent. That’s why we’ll be submitting our own feedback to the Council and recommend everyone with an interest in a safer, healthier neighbourhood does the same.

Once the Council has decided whether to keep any measures on a trial or permanent basis, they will follow the normal legal processes for Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETRO) or Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO). This will include an opportunity for residents, businesses and stakeholders to comment and formally object.

Call to Action

Visit the City of Edinburgh Council website to find out more about the consultation then complete the consultation, detailing the measures you’d like to see made permanent or any you think could be improved. There are strong feelings on both sides, so it’s important to make your voice heard.

Some further changes we’d like to see included:

  • Additional modal filters (closures to motor traffic) to create complete liveable neighbourhoods, as per our original plans, particularly at:
    • the southern end of the Quiet Route (Cluny Dr / Hermitage Gardens), where these are missing, and
    • Warrender Park Road, to allow safe conditions on the other main approach to the school
  • Buildouts and continuous footway to give pedestrians priority and shorten road crossings
  • Measures to improve conditions for walkers, wheelers and cyclists on the Kilgraston Rd / Blackford Ave corridor.

These are all tried and tested ways of improving safety and community in cities.

The survey closes on Sunday 21st March at midnight.

Reasons to support the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

  • quieter, more pleasant streets
  • more opportunities for neighbours and children to socialise and take part in unstructured play
  • safer means for children to get to school
  • easier for children to cross to the Links for outdoor sports
  • opportunities for placemaking, planters, benches, street trees and greenery
  • easier to maintain social-distancing
  • clean air
  • less isolation, more sociable streets
  • an active and healthier population
  • reduction in households exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution
  • supports tackling the obesity crisis
  • reduces traffic danger at source
  • helps reduce short journeys by car that could easily be walked or cycled given safe and pleasant conditions
  • reduces climate-breakdown-causing emissions
  • discourages drivers with no “social contract” to the area and the people who live there (local residents have greater reason to drive carefully).

Today, there are 100,000 premature deaths per year in the UK due to inactivity and 80% of UK kids are so inactive they risk their long term health (source: The Miracle Pill by Peter Walker). On top of that, road traffic collisions are the number-one cause of death and serious injury to young people aged 5 to 30 and air pollution adds to the toll.

Meanwhile, experience from the rest of the UK has shown that residents love their low-traffic neighbourhoods, and once installed, residents never call for them to be reversed.