June 2010

Politicians’ bike ride

Spokes on 17 June organised a demonstration ride for Edinburgh councillors and senior officials…

We were delighted with the ‘top people’ who came along, including…

Cllr Gordon Mackenzie, LibDem, Transport Convener
Cllr Tom Buchanan, SNP transport spokesperson
Cllr Alison Johnstone, Green group leader
Cllr Tim McKay, LibDem, Spokes member
Cllr Cammy Day, Labour
Dave Anderson, Director of City Development [responsible for transport, planning, economic development – next down from the Chief Exec]
David Lyon, Services for Communities, head of road maintenance
Phil Noble and Chris Brace, Transport Planning section
Karen Stevenson, Planning Dept, Streetscape section
Additionally, Spokes ran the event and the Bike Station came along to provide technical support.

A detailed ride briefing document [pdf 161k] described some of the good and not-so-good facilities on the carefully chosen route.

The main intention of the ride was to experience the kind of good and not-so-good provision now available in Edinburgh, in the hope that procedures and decisions in future can lead to more of the good and less of the not-so-good.   Such procedural improvements can and should develop through the council’s Cycle/Active Travel Plan process, which includes a current review of maintenance procedures.

However Spokes has also emailed a follow-up letter asking that the specific problem locations highlighted on the ride (and described in the briefing document) are looked at in detail – these include many points relevant to the Council’s planned Quality Cycle Corridor, Kings Buildings to George Square and City Centre;  and also the crucial future of Princes Street and Picardy Place [also highlighted in Spokes Bulletin 107 and in our recent survey of 85 people who get about by bike].

The most exciting moment of the ride was when a long line of traffic encroached badly into Hotel Missoni cycle lane, and one of the party, squeezing past, came into contact with a wing mirror.   We couldn’t have found a better illustration of the need to rethink this junction approach as part of the Quality Bike Corridor – and to complete the red surfacing as soon as possible.

If any of the ideas in our briefing document would help you, why not write to your councillors about them? Find your councillors here.

Faces from left: Dave Anderson [white], Cllr Buchanan [black], Cllr McKay [pink], Cllr Johnstone [yellow], Mark Sydenham from Bike Station [back], Cllr Mackenzie [shorts].

Photo by Euan Renton.

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