City Mobility Plan – Summary of our Response

April 27, 2020

The Cockburn Association’s response to Edinburgh City Council’s City Mobility Plan

‘Connecting people, transforming place”

Summary Comment

The Cockburn Association broadly supports the draft City Mobility Plan (CMP) and commends the City of Edinburgh Council for its ambition to achieve citywide carbon neutrality by 2030 as part of the Capital’s action to address the Climate Emergency.

However, we do have some reservations.

First and foremost, the Cockburn does not believe that this is a plan nor even a strategic framework. It reads like a project list, a wish list or an infrastructure and Investment programme and not a detailed one at that. Following on from this premise, we have doubts about the realism and deliverability of some of the schemes within the CMP given the extremely limited amount of time between now and 2030. Even before the advent of COVID-19 the actions listed in the plan as ‘bolder actions’ and ‘a city transformed’ looked ambitious in a 10-year delivery context.

We support the promotion of active travel. But we encourage the council to ensure that the approved CMP is amended to specifically highlight the importance good and timely maintenance of transport infrastructure, both existing and proposed. We particularly emphasise the importance of the timely and high-quality maintenance of pedestrian-focused infrastructure as a pre-requisite of people friendly streets.

Our own stakeholders have made clear to us that the way residents and commuters travel around the city has changed and is still changing. Life has become much for complex. 24/7 working, caring responsibilities and the challenges of the gig economy can mean that the individual journeys undertaken by residents and commuters have become more multi-functional and convoluted. This complexity will not be easy to address. It is not clear to us the current draft CMP successfully meets this change.

The CMP does not and cannot stand in isolation from strategies, policies and plans that support and promote sustainable travel at a local, regional, and national level.  Unfortunately, clear, and transparent linkages from the CMP to its wider policy environment are absent.  This omission needs to be addressed.

Cities across the globe have managed a transformational change in their transport infrastructure and there is no real reason why it could not happen in Edinburgh if there were to be the political will at a national and local level, community support and cultural change and funding.

Read our full submission on our Planning and Consultations Responses Archive.