City of Edinburgh Council is planning to put digital and data technology at the heart of its new mobility and transport plan as it seeks a more environmentally friendly approach to travelling around the city.
The City Mobility Plan, which will be open to public consultation, sets a target for Edinburgh to become carbon neutral by 2030. It emphasises the ambition to improve accessibility, inclusivity, the cost of travel, convenience of payment, safety and how space is used in the city and is also aimed at reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.
One proposal highlights the potential of implementing "dynamic timetables" for public transport, which adjust the frequency of services with demand as well as the introduction of direct mobility services, connected to the taxi trade and commercial sector, to support people who find it difficult to use mainstream public transport networks.
In addition, the plan highlights the potential for active sensors to manage traffic congestion to keep transport flowing.
The plan also includes the development of a city operations centre to manage streets and public spaces in an effort to minimise disruption and ensure safety, using smart technology to co-ordinate information and resources.
Meanwhile, there are proposals to improve the cycling, walking and electric vehicle infrastructure, the development of new bus and tram systems, and park-and-ride and logistics hubs around the edges of the city.
The plan states: “Harnessing the potential of technology to get people, goods and services from door to door more easily, with seamless transfer and more affordably will be an essential feature of our strategy and use of technology to manage traffic. However, we will need data to be open and useable if its potential is to be maximised. This makes partnerships with the Data Driven Innovation programme led by the University of Edinburgh, essential.”
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “The plan seeks to make stress-free, sustainable transport the most convenient and desirable option.
“This will not happen overnight; it will depend on us providing accessible and realistic alternatives, working closely with Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams to make our excellent bus and tram services even better while continuing major investment in active travel.
“Be in no doubt, however - a lack of action now will mean more congestion and pollution, as well as failing as a city to play our part in tackling the global climate crisis.”