August 2016

East-West Central Edinburgh Cycle Route: Decision Time

Stop Press:  Ride the Route – Monday 29 August – meet 7.45, Charlotte Square

The 30 August meeting of the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee will decide on the plans for an East-West cycle route from Roseburn to Leith Walk across Edinburgh city centre, and we urge supporters to contact their councillors now

The east-west route is a largely segregated onroad project, and easily Edinburgh City Council’s most important cycleroute proposal so far.

We don’t yet know what will be in the Committee Report, but SPOKES strongly supported the original proposals consulted on early this year although we made suggestions for possible improvements, some of which, though not all, have now been incorporated. Overall, some 67% of consultees strongly supported the proposals, but there has been vocal opposition in Roseburn area. However, there is also a local support group, with an excellent evidence-based website,

There were legitimate concerns by local shopkeepers to ensure sufficient space for loading, and so the Council recently consulted on 2 revised options for Roseburn. SPOKES (and the Roseburn support group) strongly support option A (see drawing) which retains the direct route through Roseburn. The rather clumsy alternative option B (see drawing) would require cyclists to cross main roads and then use a back route. As well as being better for cyclists and providing space for loading, option A also gives more improvements for pedestrians.

The east-west cycleroute, if it goes ahead, will be the largest and most important investment in new cycling infrastructure by the Council to date…

  • It includes significant sections of segregated on road cycle lane, protected from motor traffic, as in the highly successful recent London main-road routes [see video and Guardian article].

  • It will enable safe cycling across the city centre, linking into existing routes in the west of Edinburgh, the north Edinburgh cycle network and the planned segregated cycle lanes in Leith Walk

  • It can in future be developed further, extending south and east of the city centre, and west along the A8.   [Assuming it becomes heavily used we will press for it to be continued directly through Haymarket – which the Council currently rules out due to the amount of traffic and the bus requirements].

  • In short it is a game changer for cycling in Edinburgh.  It could attract many new people to use bikes for day to day travel, including commuting, shopping and leisure visits.  And it forms the basis for future expansion to a much wider high-quality city centre cycleroute network.

It is essential that we campaign hard to support the Council’s proposals…

  • for the whole route across the city centre

  • and for option A in the Roseburn area.


If you support the route, we urge you to contact your own councillors now – and certainly before the 30 August meeting.

Ask your councillors to support the route if they are on the Transport Committee, and, if they are not, to speak in support of the project to the Convenor, Councillor Lesley Hinds. Please write in your own words rather than copying chunks from our text.

If you’re sending the same email to all your (3 or 4) councillors it may be easier to use rather than the council link above.


If you’d like to read more, the 3 blogs below by various concerned Spokes members contain some excellent points as to why this project demands our strong support.

And here’s our document showing why a whole variety of different local cycling organisations, representing everyone from the new or the nervous to the most experienced, will use and will support the route.

There are more documents covering the history of the project up to now on our City Centre documents page.

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