Edinburgh's 2030 vision means more trams, fewer cars


Edinburgh’s tram network could be extended and many of the city’s streets pedestrianised under ‘radical’ new plans to be considered by councillors.

The city council said its Draft City Mobility Plan (CMP) ‘sets out a ten-year vision for mobility and transport in the city, reinforcing the Council’s ambition of making Edinburgh carbon neutral by 2030 and responding to the evolving demands of a growing, modern capital city’.


The CMP, which replaces the Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019, centres on four strategic priorities:

  • enhancing public transport,
  • people-friendly streets,
  • planning new developments
  • managing demand.

Under the plan the city’s controversial tram network would be further extended to Granton and south to the Bio Quarter during the second half of the decade.

Council leader Adam McVey said: ‘We’re already making great strides towards reducing carbon emissions in Edinburgh but, if we are to achieve our 2030 target, now is the time to be even bolder and more ambitious.

‘The CMP offers a radical, ten-year plan to transform transport in the capital, achieving the kind of change we need by expanding use of bus, tram, rail, walking and cycling to provide the best quality of life for everyone.’

A three-stage approach sets out measures to be implemented during the decade with the first phase incorporating ‘game-changing’ projects already underway in Edinburgh such as extending the tram network to Leith and Newhaven.

If approved by Transport and Environment Committee on Thursday (16 January), an eight-week public consultation on the draft plan will begin in February.

The plan sets out milestones by which measures should be completed:

2022 – ‘Delivering today, planning for the future’. Measures include:

  • Tram route to Newhaven will be largely complete
  • A comprehensive review of bus routes in the city will have taken place
  • The current generation of major active travel schemes will be delivered
  • The Low Emissions Zone will be in place
  • A plan for the investment of the resources generated in public transport improvements by a workplace parking levy will be complete
  • The City Centre Transformation Programme will have identified the transformational redesign of city centre places and space
  • Working with Transport Scotland and Network Rail, the Waverley station masterplan will have a full implementation plan

2025 – ‘bolder actions’. Measures include:

  • A comprehensive mass rapid transit plan for the city and region will be completed. This will include new bus and tram systems, as well as park and ride and edge of city logistics hubs
  • The business case for a north south tram line will be agreed, linking Granton to the Bio Quarter and beyond
  • A comprehensive new bus strategy will be agreed, including stops, routes, and public transport interchanges. Bus congestion will be reduced and bus penetration of key streets like Princes Street will be addressed
  • George Street will be transformed
  • Income from the workplace parking levy will be delivering public transport improvements, focused on quality, innovation and affordability for those in greatest need
  • Air pollution levels will have been significantly reduced following the introduction of a low emission cordon around the city centre and the city boundary
  • A data driven approach to mobility needs will be in place, working with the taxi trade, public transport providers and the commercial sector
  • Conditions for pedestrians will be much improved, thanks to the delivery of the Edinburgh street design guidance policy and a rigorous approach to enforcement

2030 – ‘a city transformed’. Measures include:

  • The mass transit network, including tram, will have been extended west to Newbridge and will have been developed to connect the Waterfront in the north to the Royal Infirmary in the south and beyond.
  • The city region’s seven park and ride facilities will be upgraded to support fast and frequent public transport along strategic bus lanes and mass rapid transit routes travel from these interchanges into the city.
  • Arterial routes will be being used for mass commuting by bike.
  • The city centre will be largely car free, with the workplace parking levy reducing in revenue as car use to commute declines.
  • 'Iconic' streets will be progressively pedestrianised. Elsewhere pavements widths will have been significantly widened with obstacles removed.
  • Seamless pricing, ticketing and accessibility will allow passengers to move between different forms of transport, from their cars to trams and local buses at these interchanges, without having to pay at different access points.

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