Retaining Travelling Safely measures

Filter outside the school

Engagement exercise

The council are currently reviewing schemes such as the Quiet Route which are under Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders requiring mandatory consultation. The current consultation ends on the 20th May 2023.

*** Breaking news: It looks like the consultation period will be extended out to November 2023 … More details to follow ***

Thank you to everyone who took part or wrote in last year, you are amazing! It’s important you do so again.

After this consultation, the council has the legal power to make the Quiet Route permanent (or modify or scrap it) and must make the final decision within 12 months.

Send an email to and
to (copy in your ward councillors as well if you wish – it’s useful for them to have visibility of the process)

Say you are commenting about the Travelling Safely Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders and reference the ‘Travelling Safely Southern Area’ TRO/21/29. Then make any points you wish, for example…

  • general points about the importance of the schemes
  • how the South Edinburgh scheme benefits you
  • improvements you would like to see

See also: and our supporting leaflet

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
  • 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 inactivity 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.

Previous history of consultations…

Summer 2022:

What does this mean for the Quiet Route?

In short, if you want to see the Greenbank-Meadows Quiet Route become a permanent scheme then the route must transition from a TTRO to an ETRO (see background explanation below), and that process is underway now. The transition would protect the scheme for 18 months and would also give individuals / groups time to suggest tweaks to the route (including connections to it from other parts of the city, for example at Kilgraston Road).

What you can do immediately to support the Quiet Route

As residents and local groups, the best thing to do now is to participate in the “engagement exercise” the council is conducting. Head to the website here to view the schemes and then email with your comments.

Your comments do not need to be highly detailed. Here are a few things you might want to consider / include:

  • Do you use the route often? What do you use it for?
  • Do you use the route with others? Who?
  • Before the route was in place, would you have made the same journey differently?
  • Do you feel safer on the route now compared to before? 
  • What do you think are the main advantages to the route for you (and others)?

You must also include the order number (from the website), your email address, full name and postal address in your comments. The order number relating to the South Edinburgh schemes is ETRO21-29. Please also CC in your local councillors. Please submit comments to the engagement exercise and encourage others in your networks to do the same.

What you can do in the medium / long term to support the Quiet Route 

We are hopeful that we can see the Quiet Route progress from a TTRO to an ETRO. If this happens, then there is plenty of work to do to promote the route over the coming months. Many groups can be part of this, but several of you will be aware that the newly formed Friends of the Quiet Route is a group especially well placed to play a role. At the moment, the Friends are a small committee who could do with support. If anyone has any time to give to the group – or to work with them by hosting joint events, for example – then that would be brilliant. Please get in touch with the Friends, via Councillor Ben Parker, if you would be happy to be part of this.

Background: about the engagement exercise and traffic regulation orders

When the council makes changes to road layouts they have to follow certain processes. During COVID-19, the council made significant changes to road layouts (“Spaces for People”) to allow for social distancing and encourage people out of shared transport. To do this, emergency measures known as Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) were put in place. These orders were new and used to make immediate changes to road layouts, outside of the usual processes.

The timescale for the TTROs is now running short so the council is seeking to change the regulation orders which govern these routes from TTROs to Experimental Traffic Regulation Orders (ETROs). This is a technicality and should be viewed as a transition in terms of the legality of the routes — from being measures introduced as part of the council’s response to COVID-19, back into the “normal” processes followed when the council typically makes changes to road layouts. The transition from TTRO to ETRO is a necessary step in seeing any changes become permanent. With some very minor exceptions, the drawings for the proposed ETROs are the same as the TTRO schemes we have now.

Officers are conducting an “engagement exercise” (importantly, not a consultation) which will inform recommendations they make to be voted on by councillors at Transport & Environment Committee in August. If officers recommend the regulation orders transition from TTROs to ETROs – and Councillors vote to pass this – then the routes will be in place for 18 months. During that time, a new consultation will open for 6 months. This will be significant, and the focus will then be on scrutinising the detail of the routes, suggesting changes / improvements to them, and ultimately be used to inform whether schemes are made permanent when the ETRO runs out.

With thanks to Councillor Ben Parker for the information set out above.

Previous consultation in March 2021

The City of Edinburgh Council carried out a major consultation in March 2021, 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 to our councillors. We recommend everyone with an interest in a safer, healthier neighbourhood does the same.

The Council will then take a decision on whether to keep any measures on a trial or permanent basis at the June Transport & Environment Committee (TEC) meeting.

Please write to your ward councillors and let them know about any positive experiences you have had using the route. Let them know why the route is important to you, and how you’ve used the route recently. Or share anecdotes of others using the route.

Pictures and videos would be great too and can be sent to councillors and shared via Twitter, tag in @blackfordsafer1

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 on 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.