Move to simplify city centre journeys
Drivers heading for the West End from the south of the city and Lothian Road could find their journey simplified if the city council approves changes to current traffic management arrangements next week.
A review of traffic management in the city centre has been completed following the start of tram passenger services, and among the recommendations in a report to Tuesday’s Transport and Environment Committee is a proposal to allow all traffic to travel westbound from Hope Street (pictured above) to Queensferry Street, rather than buses only as at present.
Traders from the West End called for this in a deputation to the committee in March, when they pointed out that, with the removal of the left turn from Lothian Road into Shandwick Place, it had become difficult to access properties and businesses in the West End.
The report also asks members to give the go-ahead for further investigation into the option of introducing a right turn from Queen Street westbound into Queen Street Gardens East.
Another recommendation, which follows on from the start of the new Experimental Traffic Regulation Order in George Street, is to change the priority of Young Street from an eastbound to a westbound direction.
Residents and businesses here have expressed concerns about a perceived increased volume of traffic and in particular, more vans and heavy good vehicles, since the George Street scheme was first implemented earlier this summer.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener, said: “Now that trams have been running for a couple of months or so, it’s a good time to make any appropriate alterations to surrounding traffic management so that we can make it as straightforward as possible to get from A to B in the city centre.
“We know that West End traders have had concerns about access to their businesses so the proposal to open up Hope Street for all westbound traffic into Queensferry Street should make things much better.
“I was pleased to meet recently with residents and businesses in Young Street to hear how their street has been adversely affected by increased traffic since we started the ETRO in George Street. This narrow cobbled street is simply not fit for the volume and nature of traffic it’s been experiencing of late. Changing the one-way direction will help divert traffic away from Young Street and on to Queen Street, which can accommodate commercial and through-traffic far more comfortably.”