This year’s Spokes Bike Breakfast was a huge success with several hundred people – and an amazing one-third of Edinburgh City’s 58 councillors appearing, most of them arriving by bike…
Councillors/MSPs at the Bike Breakfast
[please tell us if anyone is omitted]
Ward 4 – Forth
Cllr Cammy Day Lab
Ward 5 – Inverleith
Cllr Nigel Bagshaw Green
Cllr Lesley Hinds Lab [Transport Convener: see below]
Cllr Iain Whyte Conservative
Ward 8 – Colinton/Fairmilehead
Cllr Richard Lewis SNP
Ward 9 – Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart
Cllr Andrew Burns Lab [Council Leader: see below]
Cllr Gavin Corbett* Green
Cllr David Key SNP
Ward 10 – Meadows/Morningside
Cllr Melanie Main* Green
Ward 12 – Leith Walk
Cllr Maggie Chapman Green
Ward 13 – Leith
Cllr Chas Booth* Green
Cllr Gordon Munro* Lab
Ward 15 – Southside/Newington
Cllr Steve Burgess Green
Cllr Jim Orr* SNP [Transport Vice-Convener: see below]
Cllr Cameron Rose* Conservative
Ward 16 – Liberton/Gilmerton
Cllr Bill Cook Lab
Cllr Norma Hart* Lab
Ward 17 – Portobello/Craigmillar
Cllr Maureen Child* Lab
Alison Johnstone MSP* Green [see below]
Apology: Sarah Boyack MSP* Lab, a regular Bike Breakfast attender, sent apologies due to an injury.
* = member of Spokes
Many thanks to Spokes member Mike Smith who quite independently organised Breakfast Rides from various city wards, inviting the local councillors/MSPs to join in. This undoubtedly helped raise the overall profile and encourage more politicians to attend (and to cycle to work!) Biggest ride was from Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart, with around 20 participants, including 3 councillors [as above].
Speakers &/or Conveners
Speaking to the crowd, new Transport Convener Cllr Lesley Hinds, who currently doesn’t cycle on the roads, said she hoped that by the end of her term of office she would be cycling round Edinburgh’s streets. Before the Breakfast, she gave her thoughts on council cycling policy to STV Local.
Cllr Hinds was introduced by Council Leader Cllr Andrew Burns, Transport Convener during 2001-2006, who clearly understood cycling’s potential to improve the city’s health, environment and accessibility, and who himself cycles to work most mornings.
Cllr Hinds and Cllr Burns both acknowledged the contribution of Gordon Mackenzie, who lost his seat in the Lib Dem election disaster, and had done so much on cycling policy, funding and staffing as Transport Convener 2009-2012 [see also Spokes tribute on p3 of Bulletin 113] – including getting the council’s groundbreaking 5% [and increasing] policy into the council’s budget.
Also present was new councillor, Spokes member and Transport Vice-Convener Cllr Jim Orr, who is to lead on cycling policy for the new adminstration and on the Transport Committee.
Spokes member Alison Johnstone MSP, who recently instigated the first ever Scottish Parliament debate on cycling, spoke on national issues, and was then interviewed by STV local. She has lodged a Parliamentary motion urging a ‘step-change’ in funding and improved collaboration between central and local government – ask your MSPs to sign it!!
Introducing the speakers, Dave du Feu for Spokes praised the new council for confirming the 5% capital and revenue budget allocations, but highlighted major challenges if Edinburgh City Council is to meet its 2020 bike use target, and integrate cycling fully into the city’s transport and culture. Some of these challenges are described in Spokes Summer Bulletin 113, including…
- Timeous implemention of the Active Travel Action Plan
- Maintaining existing council policy to raise cycling investment from its present 5% by 1% a year for the next 4 years
- The future of Princes Street
- The future of Leith Walk
- 20mph zones in shopping as well as residential areas
- High quality onroad and offroad infrastructure
- Cycling/tram integration – onroad and bike carriage
- A full overnight bike storage scheme for tenement areas
He urged attendees to contact councillors periodically about issues of concern. It is best usually to contact your own councillors, rather than going direct to the Transport Convener. Ask your councillors to raise your concerns with the Transport Convener if appropriate. Your councillors have an interest in supporting you; and this also keeps a wide interest in cycling issues amongst all councillors – vital when it comes to future policies, budgets and decisions. Find your own councillors at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/councillors.
Lots at flickr.com [e.g search for spokes bike breakfast]
And here are some mainly from twitter…
Leith ride to Breakfast http://local.stv.tv/edinburgh/magazine/107215-bike-week-city-cyclists-turn-out-to-keep-politicians-on-right-track
Crowd [early] https://twitter.com/AndrewDBurns/status/215348719313358848/photo/1
Police bike registration at breakfast http://instagr.am/p/MFrlsYRwvc/
Bike Coop stall http://instagr.am/p/MFhm_dxwtn/ http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/blog/2012/06/edinburgh-bicycle-co-op-support-bike-week/
Cllr Cammy Day & crowd http://lockerz.com/s/218635780
Lesley Hinds speaking; Alison Johnstone & Andrew Burns listening [pdf 247k] https://twitter.com/STVEdinburgh/status/215350508955762688/photo/1 http://instagr.am/p/MFn1Nyxwuy