This week has certainly been a busy one for Edinburgh’s traffic and travel correspondents.
Firstly, we heard that Lothian bus prices are set to rise for the first time in two years. From 2 February, single fares will go up by 10p for both adult and children. An adult day fare will increase by 50p and cost £4.50, and family tickets will go up from £8.50 to £9.50.
Hot on the heels of that announcement came the news that Edinburgh council were reviving plans to extend the tram project to Granton, as well as revealing other big changes to the way Edinburgh residents will get around their city in the future.
Titled the City Mobility Plan, today’s announcement sets out an ambitious new ten-year transport strategy to help the capital become carbon neutral by 2030.
George Street will be transformed into a pedestrian-friendly route by 2025 if the proposal is pushed forward.
The council also hope to extend the tram network further, to Granton, although nothing will be firmed up until the Newhaven extension is completed.
There are also plans to extend the tram route to the south of Edinburgh to connect the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the BioQuarter with the city centre.
The plan also calls for a “seamless” ticketing system to be introduced that will work for all methods of public transport – buses, trams, cycle hire etc.
Edinburgh city council also say that the city centre will treat cars “as guests” while “iconic streets will be progressively pedestrianised”.
Here are some of the (varied) ways Edinburgh residents reacted to the news:
Bus fare rise:
“13% on day tickets and 11.5% on ridacards over two year’s. No justification for those kind of hikes. You would be crying if your rent, electricity or phone went up that much.”
“10p rise. Nothing to get excited about really for a great service.”
“£3 increase for monthly tickets AGAIN? As a student I’m now paying the same amount my boyfriend was paying full price three years ago.”
“Ooh a whole 10p increase. That’s a perfectly reasonable increase. I can get a bus from where I live at the West End to my mum’s in Prestonpans for £1.80, that’s a bargain imo. We have one of the best bus services in the UK.”
“Be cheaper taking the car into town now and paying for parking rather than paying for me, my 18 year old and my 10 year old to get there and back.”
Granton tram extension plans:
“A light rail Metro system, based on historic rail lines, would have served Edinburgh far better, been rakes cheaper & been less inconvenient.”
“Will Edinburgh residents council tax be going up to pay for it?”
“Folk always moan about the roadworks involved in building trams etc but go elsewhere and rave about decent transport links, they didnae magically appear there.”
“They need to extend to the south of the city first, to the Royal Infirmary then east to Musselburgh and south to Shawfair, the amount of development being built in those two areas alone need serving plus the hospital is a vital connection for all the city, Granton can be connected by an extension from Newhaven.”
“This looks wonderful. Let’s get on and make it happen. We’re so far behind other European cities.”
“To be honest, with all the delays and red tape I think we’ll get flying cars before we get a tram to Granton.”
Pedestrianising George Street:
“Pedestrianising George Street is probably a good thing. There’s no need for parking for cars purely for convenience of getting your car a minute away from a shop. Cars should be using Castle Street Car Park more often. It’s a five minute walk from West George Street. Deliveries on the other hand would need to be regulated at set morning and evening times. This happens in major cities around the world.”
“No traffic on George Street, where will the buses go, further clog up Princes Street or add to the already heavy traffic on Queen Street? Cars won’t go away.”
“Make George street like Rose street- like that’s a bustling hive of shoppers, NOT! This will affect retailers on George street no matter what they say.”
“If they close off George Street in the future, perhaps they can move the Christmas market there, ensuring the green spaces are left untouched?”
Do you have a view to add? Join in with the debate in the comments section below, and we’ll showcase the best ones up here.
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This content was originally published here.