December 2010
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Quality Bike Corridor: Spokes comment

Spokes has submitted its formal comments to the consultations on the Mound to Kings Buildings Quality Bike Corridor and the south-central Edinburgh 20mph zone…

Both responses can be found on our QBC/20mph downloads page. The consultation period is now closed.

Our QBC response makes a whole range of detailed points, from Kings Buildings access in the south to the crossing of Princes Street in the north, identified by a thorough onstreet investigation and comments received from members.   Additionally are 4 important general points applicable to the whole QBC, briefly…

  • All cycle lanes should have red surfacing
  • The entire route should have cycle lanes or bus/cycle lanes
  • The entire route should be part of the 20mph zone
  • Cycle lanes outside car park spaces should be designed with door-opening problems in mind

Our 20mph response supports the proposal, but urges it be extended to…

  • the entire length of the QBC
  • the Marchmont Rd to Blackford Av corridor
  • the Grange Rd to Strathearn Place corridor

We understand that a good number of individuals have also submitted personal comments to the council.  We have no idea of the balance of opinion expressed, but thank you if you are one of those people! – councillors need to know there is widespread support, to give them the courage to take these measures and to make them as effective as possible.   It may all seem pretty obvious to anyone who gets about by bike, but to others the plans will appear too innovative or too restrictive on motor traffic – and councillors will be balancing up the political pressures from both sides.

Reports on the two consultations are now expected to go to the Council Transport Committee in February 2011, where a final decision should be taken on whether to go ahead, and on any final changes to the proposals.  The results should appear subsequently at  www.edinburgh.gov.uk/consultations.

THE MONEY

Finally, funding for the QBC depends in part on continuation of the government’s CWSS fund [Cycling, Walking, Safer Streets] which provides a basic population-based core fund to every council in Scotland, enabling them to undertake at least a bare minimum of cycle projects.   The fund [introduced over 10 years ago by then transport minister Sarah Boyack] is under threat in the government’s draft 2011-12 budget.

For the first time, CWSS was not included in the recent 2011-12 draft budget.   Although it has subsequently appeared in a separate draft document [the Local Government Finance draft settlement] this is highly provisional and depends on agreement between the government and COSLA, the body representing all Scottish local authorities – but the COSLA/government philosophy is as far as possible to avoid special funds for special purposes [so-called ‘ring-fenced’ funds].

Please help us ensure that the CWSS fund remains for 2011-12 and future years.  It is vital for the QBC funding; it is vital for Edinburgh’s Active Travel Action Plan; it is vital for cycling projects in every council in ScotlandWrite to your MSPs and your COSLA contacts, as explained in our article Budget 2011/12 disaster?? and the accompanying Spokesworker 24.11.10.

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