Keep yourself busy over the holiday (and after) .. We’ve a few suggestions ..
Why spend ages thinking up resolutions you’ll soon forget? Act now instead!!
We’ve emailed our members with some important issues where decisions are being taken by politicians in the near future and where emails or other contacts with your politicians could make a difference. Click here to read the circular.
If you’d like to help, you can find and contact your councillors and/or MSPs at www.writetothem.com.
Very briefly, here are the main issues discussed in the above circular …
- Scottish Government 2015 budget – the draft budget means a cut in cycling infrastructure cash in 15/16 compared to this financial year, 14/15. [This is basically the cash used by Sustrans to 50/50 fund projects like the North Meadow Walk path, the big rebuild of the A90 cycleroute to Queensferrry and Fife, or the new Edinburgh-Midlothian link]. We and others have been lobbying hard on the draft budget, and many individuals already have contacted MSPs. There are hints that we may be getting somewhere [so thanks if you’ve helped] but it is far from certain, and it is vital to keep up the pressure.
- Edinburgh … the Good … School Streets consultation. Edinburgh Council is consulting on experimental pedestrian/cycle-only zones outside 11 Primary Schools at opening and closing times. If you live in Edinburgh please take part in the consultation. If you live elsewhere ask your councillors to designate their own School Streets.
- Edinburgh … the Bad … Saturday bus lanes to be scrapped. We have already highlighted our dismay at the Council’s plans to allow motor traffic into all bus lanes except in peak hours [plus allowing motorbikes to use bus lanes at all times]. Unfortunately the position is worse than we had realised – the proposals also allow all traffic to use all bus lanes all day on Saturdays. [Since our above circular was written we have been sent this document about the value of bus lanes].
- Edinburgh … the Uncertain … George Street cycleroute may be scrapped in September. The new George Street layout, including the segregated cycleroute, is a 12-month experiment. The Council is starting to think about longer-term arrangements (for George Street and possibly – hopefully! – Princes Street) but this looks like being a long process – and it is proposed that next September George Street will return to 2-way motor traffic as before, with no cycleroute. It vital that the present arrangements remain in place after September until a permanent scheme (or a further experiment) is installed – please contact councillors about this. [Note – since our above circular was written, Iain MacPhail, who is in charge of the George Street experiment, has written for the Broughton Spurtle a really valuable commentary, which you can read here. However his article does not answer our point that it will be tragic for the current traffic/cycling arrangements to be scrapped in September if, as we expect, the Council is not yet ready to install a new permanent or experimental solution].