March 2021

Welcome To Spokes

Welcome to the online home of Spokes, the Lothian Cycle CampaignContinue reading Welcome To Spokes

Spaces for People consultation

Like many other Councils across Scotland and the UK, Edinburgh is consulting on whether to make successful SfP schemes permanent – and, if so, how they should be improved. Please respond to the consultation!

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2021 Active Travel Challenges

Councils across Scotland, not least Edinburgh, face big challenges on active travel in 2021. But what they can achieve will depend significantly on decisions by the Scottish Government – specifically their actions on traffic reduction and on helping Councils make successful Spaces for People projects permanent.

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2020: What on Earth Happened??

No one could have predicted the incredible shake-up which Covid19 has brought to transport and travel in Edinburgh, Scotland, the UK and worldwide in 2020 – as just one element of its shock to every aspect of life. Conversely it was modern transport, notably flying, which caused such rapid spread of the original and the mutated virus.

In greatly changed circumstances, Spokes volunteers continued working for a safer and more people-friendly city and country, where cycling and walking are the norm for local trips, public and shared transport is encouraged, and car dominance is reduced. Perhaps surprisingly, despite Covid, all but two of our nine Edinburgh 2020 pre-pandemic predictions came true to a greater or lesser extent!

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Bicycle Film Festival Edinburgh

Edinburgh Festival of Cycling [EdFoC] like so many events, fell to the covid pandemic in 2020. Now, to start 2021, EdFoC has teamed up (virtually) with the international Bicycle Film Festival – now coming to Edinburgh January 15-24. And Spokes is running a competition with 3 prizes of ticket refunds.

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Covid Commuter Count

The Spokes November traffic count found less road traffic of all types, compared to last year’s pre-Covid November. Despite a probable big transfer from bus to car, total car numbers fell. Cycling was also well down – except in the Mound to George IV Bridge direction where the Council has made substantial improvements in bike infrastructure, notably for cycling up The Mound.

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Bike sheds breakthrough?

Nov 1 update: Finalised Spokes submission here

After nearly a decade of lobbying, the Scottish Government at last appears to be seriously considering allowing families to install a modest front garden bike storage shed without the hassle, uncertainty and £200+ cost of seeking planning permission. However, their proposals need tweaking or we will get a substandard solution which leaves many householders choosing between an inadequate facility or going back to the uncertainties and costs of planning permission.

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CCWEL – first (wee) section to open

We expect the first section of the Council’s flagship city centre west-east route to open shortly, along with an initial cycleroute through the Picardy Place island.

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Midlothian Mapped

The 5th edition of our highly praised Midlothian Cycle Map is out!! The entire county was surveyed by local Spokes volunteers, together with Edinburgh OpenStreetMap group, and the map was then completely revised and updated by a skilled volunteer Spokes member cartographer.

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Spaces for People: ‘try then modify’

Sept 2020 update – A revised and expanded version of this article is being presented at the Cycling and Society Annual Symposium, Sept 10-11, 2020.

In Scotland, the UK, and indeed around the world, measures to boost cycling and walking, and to restrict or tame motor traffic, are appearing in days or weeks on a ‘try then modify’ basis – rather than the years-long consultations to which councils and the public have become conditioned.

Many of them are very popular, with demands for more and sooner. And it’s not due to any radical new political or technical thinking – it’s all because of a virus!

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Emergency CovidStreets cash, Scotland v England

Stop Press 26 May: Scot Gov trebles the £10m ‘covidstreets’ fund to £30m – as we predicted below (end of The Cash para) – and for the reasons we gave!

Both governments have allocated cash for councils to install pop-up low-cost measures – cycle lanes, road closures, wider footways etc. The aims are to help people spatially distance – and to maintain healthy streets with car use and pollution well below the previous levels, which cost 20,000 UK premature deaths in NO2 pollution alone.

Scotland has allocated just £10m and England a comparatively whopping £250m – but this ‘headline’ disparity masks the true picture, which if anything puts Scotland ahead.

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