Spaces for people initiative

We are walking and cycling more and driving less

Across East Lothian the numbers of people walking, running and cycling for exercise during lockdown has gone up, while car driving has gone down. As the restrictions are eased we want to encourage and support this trend to continue.

Fewer cars on our streets helps to reduce conflicts between people and motor vehicles and improves air quality. This will also help to shape a future that isn't so reliant on private car use as the predominant travel choice and will support more sustainable local communities and town centres.

Regular walking and cycling also brings a range of health and wellbeing benefits for people.

Spaces for People in East Lothian

As we prepare to go back to our workplaces and schools we need to enable safe physical distancing for essential journeys and exercise. Given the limitations on space in our towns and villages, it is very important that we introduce enhanced spaces for people on foot, in wheelchairs and on bikes.

The requirements for physical distancing are likely to remain in place for some time. As a result, we need to look at temporary solutions that help people to carry on with their lives safely when making journeys such as going to work, shopping or taking exercise. 

Temporary emergency changes

East Lothian Council propose to install temporary changes in response to a national public health emergency and encourage safe walking and cycling. This includes measures such as reducing through traffic, reallocating road space to create space to allow people to pass each other, adding extra cycle infrastructure / facilities and removing street 'clutter' like pedestrian guard rails, or relocating traffic signs.

These emergency changes will help ease pressure at specific locations such as areas outside shops, bus stops, schools and medical centres. By their very nature they will be flexible and can be modified and removed as circumstances change.

We are committed to engaging with local communities to introduce community-led solutions and are seeking feedback to the proposals shown. We'll also respond to alternative suggestions

Additional cycle parking will also be provided at coastal locations throughout East Lothian.

Temporary 20mph areas will be created for most towns and villages in East Lothian in order to:

  • Allow more flexible use of our town centres to allow us to respond to requests for the alternative use of public space
  • Make it easier to cross the road if necessary, to maintain social distancing
  • Support walking and cycling to school

Speeds are also likely to be amended between settlements, especially on derestricted sections (subject to 60mph limits) to encourage and improve the experience for cyclists.

You can see where 20mph limits have been implemented here.

We want to hear your views

View information on our proposals in a map format and let us know your views (takes you to an external site).

View our interactive maps

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