We are a collective of organisations who all campaign for safe and pleasant streets to enable people in Edinburgh to make more of their journeys by walking, wheeling, and cycling. This includes safe routes to school that enable as many children as possible to walk, scoot and cycle.
We would like to urge the Parent Council to inform and encourage all parents to submit a response to the City of Edinburgh consultation by 21st March. The consultation asks whether some of the temporary ‘Spaces for People’ measures put in place by the Council during the pandemic should be kept, either on a trial basis, or permanently.
Background to Spaces for a People
After the start of the covid pandemic, Edinburgh, along with many other councils, began to
implement a range of Spaces for People projects, with funding provided by the Scottish Government via Sustrans. The schemes aim to: assist safe outdoor exercising on foot and by bike; enable social distancing; and free up spaces on public transport by providing protected cycle lanes on main roads.
Edinburgh won £5.25m of the £39m government fund. The City Council has implemented town centre footway widenings, a remarkable 70 or so school road safety measures and nearly 40km of semi-segregated cycle routes on main roads.
Although introduced for covid-related reasons, many of these schemes also support a wide range of other government and local authority objectives. These include: encouraging more people to walk, wheel and cycle; improving road safety; improving health; supporting high streets and local businesses by providing more space for people; and reducing carbon emissions. We therefore strongly support making most or all of SfP schemes permanent, albeit with design improvements identified by public feedback and experience.
You will know about any ‘Spaces for People’ measures around your school entrance and you can use this interactive map to find out about measures you may not have been aware of in your neighbourhood, on your route to school or work, and across Edinburgh.
We understand that you are all under a great deal of pressure given the pandemic. However, the Spaces for People consultation offers the people of Edinburgh an important opportunity to build on the temporary schemes to make sure that eventually, everyone who wants to, will be able to walk, wheel and cycle safely.
With kind regards
Blackford Safe Routes, SpokesLothian , Low Traffic Corstorphine, Car Free Holyrood , Spokes Porty , Spokes South Edinburgh, Harts Cyclery, Better Broughton, Davidson’s Mains Bike Bus