June 2010

Edinburgh Council draft Cycling Action Plan

Edinburgh Council’s draft Active Travel Action Plan [ATAP] incorporating the Cycling Action Plan [CAP] has been published in draft form…

The core objective of the ATAP is “to increase the numbers of people in Edinburgh walking and cycling, both as a means of transport and for pleasure.”

The draft ATAP and various related documents are all on our Cycle Action Plan downloads page.

Spokes is represented on the project board, and overall we are very pleased with the ambition of the draft plan, and the rapid progress that has been made.   It is hoped that a final version will go to councillors for approval in September.

Spokes will be preparing a formal response to the draft plan.   There are likely to be quite a few minor points, but there are also a few significant issues which we feel need more or stronger coverage…

First, there should be more discussion of, and higher priority to, the city centre – for the reasons given in the lead article of Spokes Bulletin 107 – particularly our survey of 85 people who get around the city by bike.   There should be a headline action relating to the city centre, and a new subsection referring specifically to the future of Princes Street, Picardy Place and Leith Walk.   Whilst the ATAP cannot alone decide their future, as there are many other factors, the plan needs to recognise their critical importance and at the least give some assurances.

Second, one of the main features of European high-bike-use towns and cities is segregated cycleroutes on or beside roads.   The ATAP should include a commitment to pilot at least one such route fairly early in the plan timetable.

Third, the survey above identified more and better onroad cycle lanes, and their coloured-surface maintenance, as a very high priority type of cycle facility. Unfortunately the value of many existing cycle lanes and advanced stop areas has been undermined by inadequate maintenance. The draft plan does promise regular programmed maintenance, but we suggest a stronger commitment, to restore all cycle lanes and advanced stop areas to a proper condition by end 2011, and to maintain all such new and existing facilities in good condition.


The Council is seeking comments via organisations, to avoid overload on the cycling officer.  Spokes would like to know what you think, so we can take account of your views in the Spokes response.

Please email no later than July 11 (preferably sooner) to  RichardATblether.org.uk.

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