July 2010

CEC Cycle Action Plan – Spokes response

Spokes has responded to Edinburgh Council’s draft Cycle Action Plan…

The Council in June issued a draft of its Active Travel Action Plan, which includes the Cycle Action Plan and the Charter of Brussels target for 15% of all Edinburgh journeys to be by bike in 2020.   The Spokes response is now available on our Active Travel Action Plan downloads page.

Spokes congratulates the council’s project team on preparing such a substantial report in such a short period – but nonetheless we have a great many suggestions, both large and small, to strengthen the plan and increase its benefits for cycling and walking in the city.

Major improvements we are suggesting include…

  • A rolling programme to be drawn up by 2012 of area-based improvements to continue after the already agreed first area (south central Edinburgh).
  • High quality north-south and east-west routes through the city centre, complete no later than the tram coming into operation.  The east-west route to be consulted on as a segregated 2-way route on one side of the tramlines in the Princes St/ central area consultation promised for later this year.
  • Segregated onroad cycle lanes to be experimented with on main roads and corridors.
  • Picardy Place and London Road junctions, and Leith Walk, to be made as cycle-friendly as possible by the time the tram comes into operation (in addition to the already promised signposting of alternative routes).
  • Existing cycle lane/ASL markings and coloured surfacing restored to good condition by April 2011, and regular maintenance for new and existing lanes.
  • Tougher parking restrictions on all main-road cycle lanes by end 2012.

Our response is based on ideas we have developed through participation in the ATAP Board, the discussion at the Spokes ATAP public meeting we held in March, the survey completed by nearly 100 everyday cyclists at that meeting, and from individual email comments received from members about the draft.

It is expected that a final version of the plan will go to councillors for approval in Septemember.

Finally, it is all very well having a plan, but a huge amount will depend on the monetary and staffing resources allocated to its implementation – and not just for the immediate year but for all 10 future years of the plan.   Resourcing is not covered in the plan but, we are assured, will be covered in a separate report to councillors at the same time.   Assuming the Plan is approved, it will be up to concerned individuals and organisations (including of course Spokes, and our members as individuals)  to keep pressing for adequate resourcing.   This includes not just the council’s own allocations, but pressing the Scottish Government to ensure that councils have adequate resourcing opportunities to meet the government’s own CAPS target of 10% of all journeys to be by bike in 2020.

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