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Plans unveiled for major makeover of Edinburgh's New Town 

Wider pavements, plazas and more cycle lanes among proposed improvements.

George Street: Plan would see removal of central parking area.
George Street: Plan would see removal of central parking area. Edinburgh City Council

Edinburgh's New Town could be given wider pavements and European-style plazas under a new plan unveiled today.

Centred on George Street and its surrounding area, the proposals would also see a reduction in "street clutter" and the installation of two-way cycle lanes.

Vehicles would no longer be able to park in the central reservation of George Street, with resident parking and pay and display being relegated to side streets.

Blue badge drivers, however would still be allowed to park on George Street.

Other improvements put forward in the draft concept include "significantly" more outdoor seating being made available and the introduction of more greenery including trees and Georgian plants.

Edinburgh City Council said the project aims to create a "vibrant street environment that is safe for all users".

Lesley Macinnes, the council's transport and environment convener, said: "The George Street and New Town (GNT) project is widely recognised as a crucial catalyst to re-invigorating George Street and adjoining New Town streets for the present day but is also fundamental to ensuring the area can easily adapt in the future as the city of Edinburgh continues to evolve.

"The concept design aims to create a world-class space that respects and enhances the World Heritage Site. It seeks to make the First New Town a safer and more vibrant area by opening up central places to more people and enhancing the current setting and position of the street's statues to make greater feature points of them."

The draft concept design can be viewed at a series of drop-in sessions at the City Art Centre on Thursday (2pm - 7pm), Friday (11am - 5pm) and Saturday (10am - 4pm)..

Karen Doran, transport and environment vice convener, said: "The project team welcomes people's feedback on the initial concept design which is a major step forward in the project's development.

"Anyone and everyone is now welcome to attend the drop-in sessions and meet the team - we really want to involve as many people as possible in the processes that will help shape this important historic area within our city."

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