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Businesses protest parking space closures on Edinburgh cycle highway

Safe segregated path will mean closure of some local parking spots for shoppers

Campaigners for a cycle path between Roseburn and Leith Walk in Edinburgh have come up against protest from businesses that fear the loss of parking spaces will affect custom.

The council is developing a new cycle route linking the Roseburn path to Leith Walk via George Street which forms part of National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 1.

The route will cost £9 million and include new cycle routes with protected cycle tracks on main roads, and  cyclist and pedestrian priority at key junctions to reduce conflict with other traffic.

But hundreds of people have signed a petition to keep the parking spaces from Roseburn to Haymarket, with businesses displaying posters protesting against the route.

Peter Gregson, who is leading the protests, told The Scotsman: “Rather than spending £1 million getting a cycle track on the main road, the cash would be better spent fixing the black spots around the city that cause cyclists to be maimed on a regular basis.”

As we reported recently, Peter’s online petition has been set up against the proposed cycle route going down the main road. 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 pro-path campaign’s petition has 200 more signatures at the time of writing.

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 council says that “The aim is to provide a cycle route which is designed for less confident cyclists and those who may be concerned about cycling in busy traffic. The route will be mostly segregated from traffic and will link together planned cycle facilities on Leith Walk with the off-road path network at Roseburn. There will also be links to Haymarket Station, Rutland Square, Lothian Road and North Bridge.”

If approved, construction will begin in 2017 and take up to three years. The consultation runs until February 1.

 

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.

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