The new City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL) will connect Roseburn to Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End with a safe and direct path for walking, wheeling and cycling.
Project managers were joined by Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Active Travel Minister Patrick Harvie, and Portfolio Director for Sustrans Karen McGregor to break the ground on the City Centre West to East Link (CCWEL).
The £19.4 million project will take 18 months to complete.
It will be one of the largest pieces of active travel infrastructure to be constructed in the Scottish capital.
City of Edinburgh Council Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes was joined in Roseburn by Active Travel Minister Patrick Harvie and Karen McGregor, Portfolio Director for Sustrans, to break the ground on the new route.
Local children from Roseburn Primary School and project managers also gathered to mark the momentous occasion.
Creating places for everyone
The work will be principally funded by Transport Scotland through Sustrans’ Places for everyone programme, with additional funding from the Scottish Government and the Council’s transport budget.
When complete, the scheme will connect Roseburn to Leith Walk via Haymarket and the West End with a safe and direct cycle route.
The work will also significantly enhance streets for those walking, wheeling and spending time there.
This will tie into a new George Street cycling thoroughfare delivered as part of the George Street and First New Town project.
In the first phase, there will be some lane closures and changes to parking and bus stops between Roseburn and West Coates, though traffic will be maintained in both directions.
Full details of plans available on the dedicated CCWEL website.
Watch the video celebrating the launch of the link route below.
Local residents and Patrick Harvie, Scottish Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights, talk about the new route.
Paving the way with sustainable construction
The project, overseen by contractors Balfour Beatty, is leading the way in sustainable construction by utilising measures to cut carbon emissions.
Site compounds will use EcoSense cabins in conjunction with an ECONET power management system, which significantly reduce energy consumption and water usage.
Project officers will also use e-bikes rather than cars to travel between the site compound and works areas, and cycle training has been provided as part of this.
Connecting Edinburgh's communities
Portfolio Director for Sustrans Scotland , Karen McGregor said:
"The City Centre West to East Link is a major breakthrough for active travel in Edinburgh.
"Not only will this deliver safe and accessible walking, wheeling and cycling routes for anyone travelling through the heart of our Scottish capital, it will play an important part in connecting communities in the city’s western and northern suburbs to make their everyday lives healthier and easier.
“The route will also link to several other ambitious projects Sustrans is working on with City of Edinburgh Council.
"These include the George Street and First New Town project and the Meadows to George Street scheme, which we believe will set the standard for active travel in Scotland going forward.”
Transforming travel in Edinburgh
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said:
"I’m thrilled that we’re now delivering the CCWEL, one of the largest pieces of safe walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure the capital has seen yet.
"It’s been really exciting to visit the site and see work get underway – before long, this route will benefit so many people walking, wheeling and cycling to and from the city.
"The CCWEL project is just one of a range of bold initiatives to transform the way we travel around Edinburgh.
"We are committed to becoming a net zero city by 2030 and a key element of this is encouraging and supporting clean and sustainable modes of transport through projects like this."
Increasing Scotland's investment in active travel
Minister for Active Travel Patrick Harvie said:
"I’m pleased to see Scottish Government funding enable the construction of the City Centre West to East Link.
"It’s a vital connection which will help people to walk, wheel and cycle in Edinburgh as the natural choice, leading to better health, less congestion and a better environment.
"I want to see many more schemes similar to this in communities across Scotland.
"That’s why we’re nearly tripling what Scotland invests in active travel over the next three years to at least £320 million a year.
"I’m committed to making sure those record levels of investment lead to real change in our cities, towns and neighbourhoods, delivering safe, attractive places for many more people to walk, wheel and cycle."