FOOTFALL in Edinburgh’s George Street is said to have increased during an ongoing trial aimed at encouraging “café culture” in the city centre, City of Edinburgh Council has revealed.
In its mid-year review of the 12-month trial, the council also found that visitors to the street are returning more frequently than before and “typically visiting the street for around three hours or more at a time”.
However, the report also acknowledged that outdoor decking and marquees outside hospitality businesses on the street have “consistently drawn criticism” since temporary planning permission was granted as part of the trial last year.
The council’s Transport and Environment committee, which is responsible for the trial, said criticisms of the outdoor structures, which must be removed when the trial ends this September, included claims that the structures were not considered to be in keeping with George Street as well as a failure to “bring atmosphere to the wider street”.
As the trial continues, the council is to undertake a ‘comprehensive survey’ of businesses on George Street and surrounding streets.
Commencing on September 8, 2014, the George Street trial includes the pedestrianisation of a portion of the street and the installation of a two-way cycle lane and a one-way traffic system.