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Central Edinburgh could be car free in transport overhaul

The council is discussing plans to transform the way the city centre looks and feels.

Edinburgh: Consultation being launched.
Edinburgh: Consultation being launched. STV

Streets in the centre of Edinburgh could become pedestrianised under plans for to transform transportation in the city.

The city council is also set to approve regular traffic-free days in the city centre following a pilot in June.

A public consultation will launch next month on how to change the look and feel of the heart of the city.

The eight-week process will discuss a document called "Connecting our city, transforming our places", which sets out a series of options for change.

It includes plans for a Low Emission Zone, a "walkable city centre" as well as renovations to public spaces.

It further discusses restrictions on "through" traffic, bus and freight "hubs", widened pavements and improvements to public transport.

Under one of the more radical plans, the city centre would become "a largely traffic free zone" where cars "would be able to go to, but not through the city centre."

In June, the Mound and George Street were closed to traffic during a two-day event called the Edinburgh Summer Summit.

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1419896-city-streets-closed-and-march-held-to-mark-clean-air-day/ | default

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: "This prospectus is a truly ambitious document which is bound to generate some lively debate right across the city about what kind of place we want Edinburgh to be.

"It's a powerful opportunity to make some really transformational changes to our city centre and town centres for the benefit of everyone who lives and works in or visits them.

"Frankly, the status quo is just not an option anymore.

"As a council we are serious about tackling poor air quality, reducing congestion and making it as easy as possible to get around Edinburgh, especially by walking, cycling and public transport."

The council's Transport Committee will discuss the consultation on Thursday ahead of its public launch in September.

Grace Martin , deputy director of sustainable transportation group Sustrans, said: "We are very encouraged by the proposals laid out in the Council's City Centre Transformation report.

"It is fantastic to see our capital city developing solutions to make the city a better place for people to live, work and visit.

"We are particularly pleased to be able to support a vision of more walking and cycling with funding through our infrastructure and behaviour change programmes."

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