George Street and First New Town Re-Design (GNT)

We have been informed by the City of Edinburgh Council of the start of the next stage for consultation on the George Street & First New Town (GNT) proposal.

The objective of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) from their website is in “creating a vision for the future of central Edinburgh”.  A key step to this goal is to plan for improvements to the quality and operation of the First New Town streets covering :

  • George Street (& its connections to the Squares at either end),
  • Castle Street,
  • Frederick Street
  • Hanover Street.

They state on their website ( that :

“The design aims to create a vibrant area with a world class street environment that is safe for all users. It will enhance its use for pedestrians while prioritising active travel for all.”

Following further consultations via workshops, the City of Edinburgh Council has announced the next series of public consultations.

Public Drop-in events

“We will be holding public drop-in sessions at the City Art Centre, where we will display the initial concept design around the George Street and First New Town area ; these dates are :

  • Thursday 8th Nov :  2 pm – 7 pm 
  • Friday 9th Nov   :  11 am – 5 pm
  • Saturday 10thNov :  10 am – 4 pm

 In addition, it is the intent of the project design team to commence an online survey on the concept design later in November, and links will be widely circulated once this is available online.”

“The project builds on previous input from residents, businesses and interested parties.  We adopted the design principles following a trial last year to provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists on George Street.

 Edinburgh Council  are keen to involve as many people as possible ; in order to ensure that they  represent the needs and views of citizens, community groups and stakeholders in the design process.

If there are other ideas to engage with and / or involve the local community, please get in touch with the project design team via

The Edinburgh Council website also states that the previous  public drop-in event held during winter 2017/ 2018 helped refine design objectives for the First New Town. The purpose at the next consultations is to help guide the development of a design for the area.

  1. World class place : create a world class place that respects and enhances the World Heritage Site.
  2. Pedestrian experience :  enlarge and enhance public and pedestrian space, creating a safe, vibrant place for all.
  3. Sustainable transport : prioritise active travel and access for people with a disability or impairment, with public parking on George Street seen as lowest priority.
  4. Flexible space : develop an adaptable street design, in particular enabling use for appropriate events.
  5. Vibrant for the economy : enhance the First New Town as a place where businesses can thrive.

The previous feedback also helped to identify many key considerations when developing the design ;  consistent with these objectives. This activity will also feed into CEC’s  City Centre Transformation project.

NTBCC would encourage all those that have an interest in these proposals to try to attend the upcoming consultations and also take part in the online survey (when details become available).