An online petition has been set up against a proposed cycle route going down a main road in Edinburgh. However, to highlight that many are also in favour of the scheme, a rival petition has been set up in favour of the plans.
The contentious part of the Roseburn to Leith Walk Cycle Route is a stretch between Roseburn and Haymarket. The proposals are for a general traffic lane to be replaced by a protected cycle path along the Northern side with local businesses expressing concern that this will "harm Roseburn businesses by preventing parking outside the shops for delivery vans and shoppers."
The petition in favour of the plans links to a review of 12 studies from around the world looking into the impact of replacing on-street parking with a bike lane. Its conclusion is that in almost all cases such a move has little to no impact on local business – and in some cases might even increase business.
“I believe that the best route is down the main Roseburn/West Coates route as it is both the most direct/encouraging for cycling and will improve the environment of Roseburn & West Coates,” writes the person who creation the petition in favour.
The petition against proposes the use of National Cycle Route 1 as an alternative. The section in question runs along off-road paths and low-traffic streets.“I acknowledge that it makes a 3-minute journey into a 4-minute journey, but I think it is a far more pleasant one,” writes Peter Gregson.
Kim Harding, one of the co-founders of Pedal on Parliament, is another who believes that direct routes are key.
Referring to a different section of the scheme, around George Street, Harding had said:
"Once again they are wedded to the idea of sending cyclists along George Street, rather than along Princes Street which is the route which most people want to use. During the George Street trial, more people were cycling along Princes Street than George Street, even though Princes Street is a bus-clogged hell hole. The fundamental problem is that cycling is still seen as a leisure activity and not as a primary form of transport."
The petition in favour of using the main road currently has 123 signatures while the one against has 37. The consultation runs until February 1.