Cafés,  not Cars

January 2007

A £6m plan for the Grassmarket was announced by Edinburgh Council on January 7, 2006, following  discussions between the council, architects, local businesses, community groups and residents.

It is proposed to reduce the number of car parking spaces, and open up the area for continental-style pavement Cafés. A comparison was made with cities such as Prague and Copenhagen.

The area could also be used for themed markets, and for street theatre and other events during the Edinburgh Fringe and Winter Festival.

Detailed work will now be carried out on the plans, and implementation is not expected to begin until 2007.  The initial suggestions appear to have been well received, though several people and bodies have commented on the need for better public transport into the area.

Evening News  January 7,  2006:  p.9

Amended Proposals Requested

January 2007

Following objections from residents and shopkeepers in the Grassmarket, concerned particularly about the loss of car parking spaces,  Edinburgh Council has asked SEEL (Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian)  to amend its proposals for the area.

Evening News  January 26,  2007:  p.21

Amended Plans Approved

April 2007

In April 2007, the Scottish Executive approved the amended proposals for a £6m overhaul of the Grassmarket to make it  more 'pedestrian-friendly'.

-  Improvements will be made to the remains of the Flodden Wall.

-  New seats and steps are to be installed at the Covenanters' Memorial.

-  Pavement are to be enlarged, giving more space outside the shops and Cafés, but the number of car parking spaces will fall from 164 to 111.

-  The old cobble stones are to be retained, following objections to earlier plans that called for their removal.

The work is to be carried out between September 2007 and December 2008.

Evening News  June 13,  2007:  pp.8-9

West Port Closed

June 2007

For the past two weeks, the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh has seen a marked reduction of traffic resulting from the temporary closure of West Port following the collapse of a building being demolished.  West Port is likely to remain closed for a further two weeks, to allow the demolition work to be completed.

Seeing the effect of the West Port closure has polarised views amongst traders about what might be the effect of the proposed overhaul of the Grassmarket. 

Some believe that trade is likely to fall.  Others speak optimistically about the atmosphere seen over the past two weeks, and the opportunity that the overhaul will offer to create a better environment for tourists who visit the area..

Evening News  June 13,  2007:  pp.8-9



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