The Roseburn path beside Balbirnie Place, including its connection to Russell Road, is to be closed for 12 months from Sept 20, to allow construction of the tram bridge over Russell Road. Stop Press: [24 Sept] the closure of Russell Road (and of the cycleroute??) has been postponed – unknown for how long.
Full details, including a map, are in an Edinburgh Trams information sheet Tram Works at Russell Road [pdf 416k].
The good news – as part of the works Russell Road is also to be closed for 12 months (from Sep 27). Originally it was to be closed to all ‘vehicles’ (i.e. including cyclists) but thanks to lobbying it will now be kept open for cyclists as well as for pedestrians. Secondly, the link from the Roseburn path down to Balbirnie Place immediately south of the A8 cycleroute bridge will be kept open.
The bad news – the worst aspect of the closure is that the direct connection between Russell Road and Balbirnie place will be lost for the 12 months.
Cycling to the south from the north or from Haymarket Yards will not be too much of a problem as you can get to Russell Road from Balbirnie Place via a short stretch of the A8 using entirely left turns, although there are parked cars to contend with in Russell Road.
However in the opposite direction you have an unpleasant right turn from Russell Road onto the A8 – fortunately with traffic lights – and then to avoid turning right off the A8 into Balbirnie Place you can take a steep detour left and up and over the Roseburn Path bridge. One can imagine that some cyclists will use the pavement to get from Russell Road round to Balbirnie Place, rather than risking a right-turn onto the A8 followed by a right-turn off or a gymnastic detour. We cannot recommend pavement cycling, but, for anyone who does this, for example with children, please be ultra-courteous and give way to pedestrians.
The above Edinburgh Trams information sheet mentions a Community Engagement Group to handle any problems during the closure – this would be an opportunity to suggest improvements to the arrangements once they are in place and as they change during the 12 months. If any regular user of the area is interested, please contact Alf Orriell in Edinburgh Trams Customer Services on 0800 328 3934 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, as on the info sheet. Spokes will certainly raise any issues at our tram/cycle liaison meetings, but these are only every couple of months or so and have many items to discuss – and we are of course all volunteers, so one or two people who travel the area by bike most days could probably make a big contribution by getting involved in the Community Engagement Group. If you do this, please let Spokes know so that we can share ideas to and fro with the tram/cycle liaison meetings.
More tram/bike info – see our tram documents downloads page.