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Family-friendly route will be protected for most of its length

A new route has been agreed for an ambitious new £5.5 million project to create a family-friendly west to east cycle route through the centre of Edinburgh.

The City of Edinburgh Council's Future Transport Working Group held a public meeting this week to decide on the City Centre West to East Link and Street Improvements (CCWEL).

The project aims to install a largely protected cycle way to and through the city centre, providing a crucial link from existing QuietRoutes in north and west Edinburgh to Leith Walk.

It intends to encourage many more commuters to choose to travel into town by bike or on foot instead of by car, reducing congestion and contributing to improved air quality as well as boosting health and fitness.

A new stakeholder group was created to help project staff finalise the design.

The group, whose members include the Transport Convener and Vice Convener, the transport representatives of the other political groups, local ward members, relevant local groups and selected officers, has met on four occasions over the past few months, with two sub-groups also convening to focus on issues specific to Haymarket and Roseburn.

There was also a traffic modelling session to show stakeholders the traffic impacts of the proposals in the Roseburn area.

In recognition of local concerns, it was also agreed that a comprehensive review would be carried out 12 months after the implementation of the route.

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “I'm pleased that we've now arrived at a final design for this bold and transformational project, which will make it so much easier to cycle and walk into and right through the city centre by linking up with our already well-used QuietRoutes across the north and west of Edinburgh.

"The stakeholder group has worked hard with us to address various issues and concerns and I would like to thank everyone involved for their time and commitment to help bring the CCWEL closer to fruition.

"I recognise the concerns of local residents and businesses and I hope we can work with them in the coming months to ensure the project works for them too."

Daisy Narayanan, Acting Director, Sustrans Scotland, said: "Sustrans Scotland welcomes the decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to support the direct route from Roseburn to Haymarket as part of Edinburgh’s City Centre West to East Link cycle route. It has come after an extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement which has been exemplary in terms of tackling a sensitive issue and taking account of both the aspirations and concerns of all communities involved.

"We are keen to support the City of Edinburgh Council in a project which, when implemented, should provide major benefits for Edinburgh as a whole, and bring renewed vibrancy to neighbourhoods along the route. We believe this project would be a strong contender for the competitive grant funding round as part of the Community Links funding programme.

"Indeed, we view this project as a step change for the City of Edinburgh - one that acknowledges and emphasises the substantial benefits the scheme can bring to the city via efficient, healthy, active transport."

The stakeholder group will also act as a ‘sounding board’ throughout the detailed design and eventual statutory processes involved in bringing the CCWEL to fruition.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

4 comments

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RedfishUK [159 posts] 12 months ago
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"bold and transformational project" ???

It seems like a sound and welcome scheme but looking at the artists impression they seem to have removed a few parking bays (judging by the red line you can still see and the one where the Van is parked) to put in a rather narrow two way cycle path.

 

I think bold and transformational is over egging it a bit. 

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rollotommasi [38 posts] 12 months ago
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This is a good outcome and the new cycle route should be a major asset for cycling in Edinburgh.  Part of me does wonder whether city cyclists might have benefited more if the money had been invested in tackling the worst of the potholes which can make cycling along many of Edinburgh's streets treacherous. But overall, this is good news.

The proposal has had strong support, including from the local cycling campaign group (Spokes), in the face of opposition from some local businesses and others.

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Big_Smoke [1 post] 12 months ago
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RedfishUK wrote:

"bold and transformational project" ???

It seems like a sound and welcome scheme but looking at the artists impression they seem to have removed a few parking bays (judging by the red line you can still see and the one where the Van is parked) to put in a rather narrow two way cycle path.

 

I think bold and transformational is over egging it a bit. 

 

Not necessary. The traders were being lead by a sad old man known as Peter Gregson who wasted time to stop it from being built using anecdotes and other rubbish. Saying that parking spaces were to be taken away along with a pedestrian crossing even when the plans said otherwise. Even reckoning that no one on a bike would stop for a coffee or that because he gets sweaty (but no one else?) after 3 miles no one would do the same. It's all really sad.

Funnily enough those aren't parking bays, they're loading bays. Always have been yet they're never really enforced and most of the time some dogs behind the wheel always seem to abuse the times they're not allowed to park as well as parking on the pavement not loading.

 

Also the new plans would retain them anyway with modifications. Something the objectors don't want to believe. They just hate people.

 

rollotommasi wrote:

This is a good outcome and the new cycle route should be a major asset for cycling in Edinburgh.  Part of me does wonder whether city cyclists might have benefited more if the money had been invested in tackling the worst of the potholes which can make cycling along many of Edinburgh's streets treacherous. But overall, this is good news.

The proposal has had strong support, including from the local cycling campaign group (Spokes), in the face of opposition from some local businesses and others.

 

Roads these days are so expensive to maintain it's working at a loss to do so. One reason potholes are left for too long. Besides even if they were filled in what's to stop someone from running into me while not looking?

 

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Griff500 [210 posts] 12 months ago
2 likes
RedfishUK wrote:

"bold and transformational project" ???

It seems like a sound and welcome scheme but looking at the artists impression they seem to have removed a few parking bays (judging by the red line you can still see and the one where the Van is parked) to put in a rather narrow two way cycle path.

 

I think bold and transformational is over egging it a bit. 

I think this has to be regarded as positive. Like many of our cities, Edinburgh's streets are narrow, and adding extra lanes is not a trivial task. Add to that the other anti- motorist measures the council has embarked upon, such as the closure of roads and lanes to accomodate the world's most expensive 5 miles of tram track (which is actually more expensive, yet slower than the busses), then the city streets have become congested. Let's hope however that this is just the first step in a series.