Sustrans Scotland are broadly supportive of Edinburgh’s draft City Mobility Plan (CMP).
Whilst there are areas in which we recommend improvements, the CMP is ambitious and forward-thinking, reflecting the urgency of the climate emergency and the importance of creating healthier, happier places that are affordable and accessible for all. We look forward to working with City of Edinburgh Council in delivering on its vision.
It is welcome that the CMP is being developed alongside the City Plan 2030, reflecting the close interdependency between transport and planning.
The focus within the CMP on ensuring new sites are designed with mobility in mind is crucial, ensuring that car dependency is not locked in for generations.
Looking broadly at the CMP, Sustrans Scotland particularly welcomes:
- the strong public transport proposals, including a significant expansion of the tram network
- the prioritisation of development along transit corridors & on brownfield sites
- the firm commitment to demand management via a workplace parking levy (& consideration of a congestion charge).
Sustrans Scotland’s key recommendations for improvements to the CMP are:
An accelerated timeline
In terms of active travel specifically, Sustrans believes that the proposed timeline for infrastructure delivery needs to be accelerated significantly if it is to meet both the Council’s commitment to net zero carbon by 2030, and the pressing needs of the climate emergency.
The CMP should contain a more detailed timeline clearly setting out the timing of measures that will deliver the CMP’s stated aim of mass commuting by bike by 2030.
A strengthened commitment to road-space reallocation
The 2025 vision clearly sets out that there will be a plan for road-space will be reallocated to public transport and active travel on all arterial routes.
This language should be reflected in the policy measures and 2030 vision, to ensure consistent prioritisation for sustainable modes of transport.
A specific focus on low traffic neighbourhoods
Low traffic neighbourhoods are groups of residential streets, bordered by arterial routes, where ‘through’ motor traffic is discouraged or removed. Whilst relevant measures are included in the draft CMP, it is concerning that low traffic neighbourhoods are not explicitly mentioned.
The CMP should make a specific commitment to making all residential areas low traffic neighbourhoods, including a systematic approach to implementing these city-wide, as is currently being proposed in Glasgow.
A Spatial Transport Plan
In line with international best practice, Sustrans Scotland recommends that the Council prioritises the development of an integrated, city-wide, multi-modal, spatial transport plan to guide future mobility developments.
This will be necessary in order to reconcile competing demands for scarce road space in the city while prioritising both active travel and public transport.
Our full response goes into more detail on all these points, as well as offering comment on other specific areas of the CMP.