Holyrood Park traffic initiative
1 February 2011
Historic Scotland, the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police
have joined forces to raise drivers’ awareness and reinforce measures to protect and preserve the natural
beauty of Holyrood Park.
Historic Scotland has been working closely with Edinburgh City Council to provide
more visible traffic signage on all routes into and through the Park to make drivers aware that these
roads are for the sole use of non-commercial traffic and taxis, without advertising, carrying passengers.
During February, drivers travelling into and through the Park will be stopped and
made aware of its traffic regulations.
Following the period of educational stops there will also be random spot checks
by Lothian and Borders Police throughout the Park.
Drivers breaching the commercial vehicle restrictions or speed limit will be subject
to a fixed £30 non-endorsable penalty notice under Section 75/76 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Martin Gray, Historic Scotland’s Royal Parks Visitor Services Manager said:
“Holyrood Park is a unique green space in the heart of the city. The Park’s location
makes it very accessible and popular to visitors, but developments around the park have resulted in
increasing levels of through-traffic, commercial vehicle misuse and speeding. Large and heavy vehicles
cause accelerated wearing of roads surfaces and damage kerbs and traffic islands. They also pose a risk
to park users and wildlife who enjoy the use of the Park.
“We are very grateful to the City of Edinburgh Council and Lothian and Borders Police
for their assistance in helping us address these issues, which will help protect and preserve Holyrood
Park for the enjoyment of present and future generations of
Inspector Nadine Aliane from Lothian and Borders Police added: ”Lothian and Borders
Police is committed to working with local communities and partner agencies to improve quality of life
“We know that by enforcing these traffic regulations, we are helping preserve an
area of natural beauty that can be enjoyed by people across the city, as well as easing traffic congestion
for people who live in the vicinity of the park.
“We understand that this enforcement can’t come in isolation, so we will undertake
a series of educational events to make sure people are fully aware of the law and aren’t unnecessarily
Councillor Gordon Mackenzie, Edinburgh’s Transport Convener, said: “I welcome this
joint initiative and the benefits that it will bring not only Holyrood Park but also to the residents
in the surrounding areas.”
- Holyrood Park and its roads are cared for by Historic Scotland. The 650
acre site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Park has its
own Ranger Service whose roles include monitoring and protection of the Park environs and promotion
of its unique landscape, history and bio-diversity through close interaction with park users, schools,
and other special interest groups.
- As a Royal Park, Holyrood is protected under the framework of The Parks
Regulations Acts, 1872 to 1974, The Holyrood Park Regulations 1971 and subsequent amendments. These
regulations stipulate speed limits and prohibit commercial vehicle access through the Park.
- Coaches (vehicles designed to seat more than seven passengers (in addition
to the driver) require the written permission of the Scottish Ministers to use Holyrood Park. Coach
drivers must obtain a permit which is valid for 12 calendar months, commencing on the 1st April until
the 31st March which must be clearly displayed.
- Coach Permits are issued in two formats:
– This format relates to an individual coach and will include the
vehicle registration number.
Tour Guide (TG) Permit
– This format will be issued on an individual
basis to guides. These permits will include a passport size photo of the guide together with their
TG number. A coach carrying a TG does not require a Standard Coach Permit.
- Coach Permits are only valid while coaches are carrying passengers. Empty
coaches travelling through the Park will be classed as commercial vehicles and are liable to a fixed
penalty notice if stopped by Lothian & Borders Police.
- Permits only allow coaches access to the Queens Drive and High Road and
do not allow access to the Low Road between Holyrood Park Road (Commonwealth Pool) and Old Church Lane
- Historic Scotland reserves the right to close the Park roads at any time
for operational or other reasons.
- The Coach Permit Scheme requires a considerable amount of administration
and therefore will carry an administration charge (£12.50 per permit as of 1st April 2011 ) which
will be determined by Historic Scotland and notified to new applicants, previous holders, coach companies
and Tour Guides prior to April of the following year.
- Educational groups travelling by coach and using facilities provided by
Historic Scotland in Holyrood Park will continue to be provided with an exemption letter, by Historic
Scotland, which will cover the coach or coaches involved on the date of their visit. For such
visits, coach operators will not require a Standard Coach Permit.
- A permit is not required by coaches using the roundabouts and road section
within the Park located on the Queens Drive between the Horse Wynd entrance and Holyrood Park Gait entrance.
- Coaches carrying disabled passengers and displaying a valid Blue Badge are
also exempt from requiring a Permit.
- Lothian & Borders Police are entitled to stop and check that vehicles
are carrying valid permits. Drivers who do not have a valid permit or exemption letter, will be
liable to a fixed penalty notice. Historic Scotland staff are entitled to check the permits of
any stationary vehicle within the Park.
- Applications for permits under the Scheme, including a cheque made payable to Historic
Scotland and a passport sized photograph of guide if relevant, should be made to the:
Visitor Services Assistant
Historic Scotland Ranger Service
Holyrood Park Education Centre
1 Queen’s Drive
Tel: 0131 652 8150
is a commercial vehicle?
A commercial vehicle is any vehicle adapted for trade or business. Any vehicle carrying
more than seven passengers in addition to the driver is deemed to be a commercial vehicle.
Can taxis go through the park?
Taxis are allowed to travel through the park only if they are carrying passengers
and do not carry advertising.
Who is responsible for the upkeep of the roads throughout Holyrood
Hollyrood Park is in the ownership of Scottish Ministers and managed through Historic
Scotland. Historic Scotland looks after the Park and the road infrastructure.
Notes for editors
- Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged
with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers
and through them to the Scottish Parliament.
Edinburgh City Council
0131 529 6471