Pedestrian-friendly overhaul would make the New Town street ‘Las Ramblas’ of the north, say designers

Plans to overhaul George Street in Edinburgh – which would see the city’s thoroughfare become more pedestrian-friendly – have been unveiled.

The proposed scheme, jointly designed by LDA Design and architecture consultant WYG for Edinburgh council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, will widen the street’s pavements for pedestrians and create new two-directional cycle lanes.

LDA said the plans for a more sociable George Street had been dubbed “Las Ramblas of the north”, after the pedestrianised thoroughfare in Barcelona.

Located in the Scottish capital’s New Town, George Street features Georgian-era buildings, the famous Assembly Rooms theatre venue, plus offices, hotels, bars, shops and restaurants, but it is dominated by a stretch of car parking which runs down the middle of its half-mile length.

LDA Design director and project lead Kirstin Taylor said: “We want to create an all-year-round destination, an inclusive place where people choose to spend more time.

“We also want to celebrate George Street’s fine Georgian architecture and make it a more positive environmental experience for people of all ages and abilities.”

Stuart Hay, a director of pedestrian campaign group Living Streets Scotland, said George Street had been a car park “for too long and not the grand avenue it was designed to be. More space for people to walk and spend time will unlock its potential as one of the best streets in Scotland.”

Comments on the scheme can be lodged here until January 25, 2019.