by Samantha Taylor
Buses, taxis and bicycles should be back on Princes Street by the end of November following the completion of the tram infrastructure works according to a new council report.
The report suggests that bus traffic will be back on Edinburgh’s main street by the 28 and 29 November, much to the benefit of businesses and shoppers.
The six week period following the completion of the tram works is important for the trading performance of retailers, with around 30% of annual turnover being achieved during the Christmas and New Year season.
The end of the tram infrastructure works could have allowed Princes Street to become a temporary pedestrian zone over the festive period but the new report suggests that, on balance, bus traffic should be allowed back on the street.
Council Leader, Cllr Jenny Dawe, said: “We recognise that the Christmas and New Year period is a critical time of year for traders and have acknowledged, and acted upon, their strong desire for bus traffic to be re-instated to Princes Street at the end of November. It will also make it much easier for residents and visitors to access the excellent shops and events in the heart of the city.
The news was also welcomed by city centre traders.
Gordon Drummond. general manager of Harvey Nichols, said: “I am very pleased that the city centre will return to normal for Christmas and that we will be able to market Edinburgh as being open for business.
“It is important that people can take buses and taxis along Princes Street and all shops will be back to normal for Christmas shopping.”