Edinburgh calls for Chris Hoy cycle network
'Golden standard' of cycle infrastructure to honour Olympic hero
Cyclists and campaigners in Edinburgh have called for a Chris Hoy cycle network to be set up in honour of the homegrown Olympic hero.
One idea being floated by the advocacy group Pedal on Parliament and cycling safety group Spokes, is a cycle highway network named after Hoy and "built to a golden standard".
The campaigners want to start by installing segregated cycle lanes on the soon-to-be revamped Leith Walk. It's a broad boulevard connecting the North of City with the New Town, which already has significant funding set aside for its renovation.
Sir Chris was born in Edinburgh and joined the City of Edinburgh Racing Club in 1994 when he moved his focus from BMX to the track.
Leith Walk has already been branded one of the worst cycle routes in the UK by Sustrans, amid the ongoing Edinburgh tram fiasco that we've been reporting.
Kim Harding, of Pedal on Parliament, told The Scotsman: “This is Chris Hoy’s home town and he should be honoured for his fantastic achievement. The redevelopment of Leith Walk presents itself as the perfect opportunity to do this.
“When residents were consulted about what they’d like to see happen on Leith Walk, segregated cycle tracks came top of the list – but the city council have not included it as an option.”
Ian Maxwell of cycle safety group Spokes added: “There is a real groundswell of public opinion towards better cycling facilities as a result of Sir Chris Hoy, which the council would do well to capitalise on.
“We now know that there will be no trams on Leith Walk for some time so surely this offers the perfect opportunity for the council to take a fresh look at what they plan to do and consider cycle lanes as an option.”
But Councillor Jim Orr, said that cycle lanes were not just a matter of space, but a larger infrastructure issue.
He said: There are technical issues regarding utilities and drainage as well as added cost.
“We did look at this proposal before but dismissed it. However, we are willing to consider the option again.”
Asked on how he felt Sir Chris should be honoured, Cllr Orr added: “My colleagues and I are at present considering the appropriate way to do this.”