City of Edinburgh Council launches mapping tool to help active travel changes

The City of Edinburgh Council, working with Sustrans, has launched an online platform for people to share suggestions on walking and cycling routes around the city.

Its Commonplace mapping tool has been designed for public input to assess the best routes for maintaining physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The tool allows residents to highlight pinch points and barriers around the city where emergency measures could help people to move about more safely

Earlier this month the council announced an ambitious package of suggested interventions to make it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to move around the Capital. As well as providing extra space, the proposals recognise a rise in active travel since lockdown began and aim to facilitate this as the phased lifting of lockdown continues.

Last week, the council was granted £5m Transport Scotland Spaces for People funding, administered by Sustrans, to help deliver measures to achieve this.

“Over recent weeks we have received many suggestions for road closures, widened pavements, segregated cycle lanes and other possible actions from across the city. Now, the public will be able to highlight specific areas on an interactive map and provide feedback on barriers experienced, as well as identifying improvements. This, along with ideas already shared with us, will help shape our efforts over the coming weeks and months,” said a council statement.

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “We have hit the ground running with an extensive programme of measures to help people observe physical distancing while walking, cycling and wheeling, and to support them to continue to do so once restrictions are eased. This week we were delighted to receive a fantastic £5m funding award from Transport Scotland, via Sustrans, which will help us to go even further to achieve these aims.

“We have seen a real increase in cycling and walking since the beginning of lockdown and we want to help this to continue as we return to a sense of normality. We have already had an incredibly enthusiastic response from residents who also want to see calmer, safer conditions maintained as we return to normal. This new tool is a great opportunity to involve the very people who use our streets to help shape our plans.”

Cllr Karen Doran, Transport and Environment Vice-Convener, said: “Our transport officers are working extremely hard to implement these changes as quickly as possible, and we are delighted that the measures already in place have received such a great response from residents.

“We have received lots of ideas from across Edinburgh for further interventions, and this tool will help even more people highlight areas for improvement. We would also like to reassure everyone who has already submitted suggestions to us that there is no need to resend them via this new tool, as we are reviewing all suggestions collectively no matter how they come to us.”

Dave Keane, Infrastructure Manager, Sustrans Scotland, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council has shown great ambition to make it easier for people to get around safely on foot, by bike or wheelchair during Phase 1 and beyond. We hope people living in Edinburgh will engage with the Commonplace mapping too, it’s really simple, clear and easy to give feedback. Most importantly, it will help the council get a clear picture of where temporary interventions are needed most.”


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