December 2017

2017 top tweets: bike/rail, budgets, road danger, infrastructure

Below are the most popular Spokes tweets from the last 12 months, measured by the number of retweets (RTs).   A fascinating picture!!

2017 top tweet

Just like last year our most popular tweet – by far – was about threats to train bike spaces. This time it was the HST trains coming soon to the Edinburgh/Glasgow to Aberdeen/Inverness lines.   The 20 spaces originally promised were being whittled down to a miserable level – indeed lower than existing provision unless you were travelling end to end.  Clicking the tweet takes you to a long trail of follow-up comments – and to background Spokes articles advising people what to do about the threats.  [Latest – Spaces for intermediate stations have been increased from 2 to 4, still only the same as now, but could we believe be increased further if the government came up with a modest amount of cash].

Concern about the Scottish Government’s 17/18 Budget was also massive.  The standout figure was that the increase in trunk road funding was 4 times bigger than the total for walking and cycling!   In complete and glorious contrast, Edinburgh Council agreed to allocate 10% of its 17/18 transport budget to cycling, also resulting in a top-10 tweet.  [Latest – the 18/19 government draft budget looks significantly more hopeful!]

There was also great interest in the police #OpClosePass project.  [Latest – Spokes is proud to have contributed to this in several ways, not least responding to a request for 15,000 copies of our Bike Alert leaflet, now used by the police when speaking to motorists].

2017 second most popular tweet

Infrastructure was also high on the list – negatively the government’s disastrous initial plans for Sheriffhall roundabout, the Council’s Picardy Place plans and, positively, the outcome of the previous year’s huge controversy over the West-East city-centre cycleroute plans.  [Latest – the Sheriffhall plans are now looking a lot more hopeful for cycling & walking]

Also featuring high in interest were a wide range of specific Spokes initiatives – including public meetings, traffic counts, and of course the celebrations for our 40th anniverary

The tweets illustrate the amazing range of activity we are involved in, the big issues that arise during a year, and the massive range of ongoing activity at many levels.  Many of the tweets relate to Spokes campaigning efforts, some involving a great deal of time and work.

As you can see above, there has been progress on most of the issues in our top tweets – big progress on some.  So – our thanks to everyone who helps – most importantly if you email your councillors or MSPs, or help in similar big ways – but even just spreading info and ideas by retweets.

Our tweets tend to concentrate on how you can help push the case for improved cycling conditions … advising of current opportunities, and when and how to act.  Obviously we include pictures to grab attention and to illustrate points, but we rarely post something just for the sake of it.

Background to the tweets…

  • The number of RTs shown is at the time of writing – of course, some may change a little following this article!
  • There are many ways of measuring the importance of individual tweets.  The number of RTs is perhaps the most useful as a RT presumably means the reader wants to pass the information on to other people, whereas a ‘like’ has different meanings to different people.
  • It’s interesting to compare these tweets with our 2016 and 2015 top tweets
  • If you like our tweets … follow us here
  • Even better … make your New Year Revolution to join Spokes, and if you do it now you’ll have no worries about not sticking to it!!
  • Click here to see the tweets (by us and others) that we want to remember
  • If you like this article, please RT our tweet about it!

Our 2017 top tweets [with number of RTs]

97  New HST trains to Inverness/Aberdeen to carry air instead of promised 20 bikes
66  Scot Govt budget 2017/18 TrunkRoad RISE is nearly 4 times the TOTAL ActiveTravel
58  #OpClosePass begins in Edinburgh
45  #OpClosePass to begin in Edinburgh shortly
44  West/East cycleroute – Option A selected – congrats to Cllr Lesley Hinds
42  Spokes public meeting – Tackling Road Danger
38  West/East cycleroute – how Option A succeeded at Roseburn
36  Sheriffhall roundabout – Scot Gov initial plans disastrous for cycling/walking
35  Edinburgh Council 2017/18 budget allocates 10% of transport for cycling
33  Edinburgh City-Region Deal very disappointing on transport
31  Spokes May traffic count – bikes up, cars down, again
31  Home-grown #OpClosePass in Brazil
28  Evening News online poll on 20mph policy [results no longer online]
27  Spokes public mtg – Cycling Policies in the New Councils
27  Picardy Place – 1 week to consultation end + article re City Centre ‘Transformation’
26  Official graph showing motorway rise tops the Scot Govt 2017/18 budget
26  Union Canal towpath proposals report
25  ScotGov doubles cycling investment £40->£80m p.a.
24  Council elections – Spokes analysis of manifestos
24  West/East cycleroute – preliminary plans & visualisations
24  Picardy Place consultation details
23  #Spokes40 – comparison between 1977 & 2017
22  Council elections – lobby for cycling in manifestos
22  France’s President and First Lady on bikes
21  Scot Gov budget 2017/18 – for every person in Scotland, govt to spend £150 on trunk roads and £7 on walking and cycling
21  Tramline tragedies – our thoughts on past & future following death of Zhi Min Soh
20  Picardy Place – Spokes consulation response
20  Tramline safety measures planned by CEC
20  Council elections – Labour manifesto
20  #OpClosePass – how to report a close pass

Selected other interesting 2017 tweets

19  CL+ projects Meadows-GeoSt & West Edinburgh get funding
19  Scot Parlt to debate walking & cycling – our thoughts
18  Scot Govt transport funding is contrary to its climate objectives
18  Middle Meadow Walk 1977 –> 2017
18  Scot Parliament debates walking & cycling – report
18  Sciennes Rd Sick Kids site future
17  Campaign for fair funding for e-bikes/cargo-bikes
17  Spokes public mtg – hustings for Council elections
17  Spokes Bike Breakfast report
16  Spokes Bulletin 127 – a tale of two budgets (Govt & Council)
16  Spokes summer competition – low cost ideas to boost bike use
16  Tramline safety update
14  City Centre & Tramlines motion at first meeting of new Edinburgh Council [the motion leading to the City Centre Transformation ongoing discussions]
14  #Spokes40 exhibition [NB this continues into 2018 – see events at]
14  E-bikes in Spokes 129
13  Scot Parl to debate bike/rail if MSPs from enough parties sign up [they did]
13  Spokes history web page
12  Spokes ‘low cost ideas’ competition – winning ideas
12  Bike/rail – dedicated bike/luggage coaches coming for rural lines??
12  Leith Street traffic orders – Spokes objection
10  Sheriffhall petition presented to Scottish Parliament
10  Setts/cobbles consultation – our view
10  Spokes Haymarket Station map/info board
Edinburgh Bicycle has advertised in every Spokes Bulletin since 1978

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