The Campaign

  • 2015: Living Streets and many other organisations successfully campaign for 20mph speed limit on park roads, while highlighting other issues for pedestrians and cyclists in the park.

  • May 2019: Car Free Holyrood Park Campaign begins

  • March 2020: The High Rd was already closed fulltime for the annual toad migration period when lockdown was announced. Historic Environment Scotland kept the High Rd closure in place long after the toad migration ended, while not explicitly to enable physical distancing, in effect this meant that many residents could do so in this part of the park and enjoy a pleasant, car-free walk, run, wheel or cycle during daily exercise. However, the traditional Sunday road closures were suspended for 11 weeks.

  • April 2020: City of Edinburgh Council Leader Adam McVey, Transport Convenor Lesley Macinnes and Labour coalition partners write to Historic Environment Scotland encouraging expansion of space for walking/cycling.

  • Spring 2020: During lockdown, many elected officials and groups came out to support of closing the park roads to motor vehicles, including:

  • May – June 2020: Edinburgh residents logged nearly 100 comments and 2,000 agreements about the roads in Holyrood Park on the Spaces for People consultation. Car-Free Holyrood Park released a report in August detailing the enormous public support for road closure. All 5 most popular comments in the consultation of over 4,000 comments asked for road closure in Holyrood Park, showing the strength of public support. The report also found speed and volume of traffic was the most-reported problems and 75% of contributions about the park saw road closure as a viable solution.

  • June 2020: Historic Environment Scotland finally reinstated the traditional Sunday road closures (8:30am-6:00pm) and added Saturday road closures as well. The High Road closure has also been maintained, but to date Historic Environment Scotland have not committed to maintaining the closure permanently nor given any timescale for a decision on maintaining the closure.

  • September 2020: Historic Environment Scotland announced winter hours (8:30am-3:00pm) for the Saturday and Sunday road closures starting 19 September.

  • November 2020: The council released their Spaces for People consultation report, which claimed interaction with the proposed South Bridge scheme prevented the council from following the public’s demands for road closure in Holyrood Park. In the November 2020 City of Edinburgh Council Transport and Environment Committee, Car-Free Holyrood submitted a deputation regarding the Spaces for People consultation. As an action from that meeting, officers agreed to engage with Historic Environment Scotland on the Spaces for People measures.

  • February 2021: Tommy Sheppard MP wrote a second letter to Historic Environment Scotland asking for an extension of traffic-free hours in Holyrood Park. This was followed by a meeting between Tommy Sheppard, Gary Love and Stephen Duncan in early March.

  • February 2021: Car Free Holyrood Park published blog analysing road casualties in Holyrood Park from Crash Map statistics.

  • February-March 2021: Edinburgh Reporter and Edinburgh Evening News cover Car Free Holyrood Park campaign in the news.

  • April 2021: Historic Environment Scotland announced return to summer hours starting Easter weekend. The park roads will be closed to private motorised traffic on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am, reopening from 5pm. This means the park roads are still only open for people walking, wheeling and cycling less than 10% of the time.

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