July 2024


Spokes is the Lothian Cycle Campaign – a non party political voluntary organisation, founded in 1977, and now with a membership of over 1000.  SPOKES has a long history of effective campaigning for better conditions for cyclists, especially in Edinburgh and the Lothians.  More in our What is Spokes flyer.

Whilst we are still far from European conditions or numbers, Edinburgh has seen improving onroad and offroad cycling infrastructure, and accelerating growth in cycle use – at the same time that cycle use was flat or declining in most of the UK.  When Spokes began, cycle commuting was 1% of all trips.  In 2011 it was 7% (+ or – 2%) according to the Scottish Household Survey, and Spokes counts and other data suggest it continues to increase – and that city centre car use is falling.

Spokes Objectives

  • To promote* cycling, as part of a sustainable transport and access strategy, and to ensure that councils and government actively do the same.
  • To publicise the benefits of cycling for the community and individuals – like walking, it is cheap, efficient, enjoyable, healthy, non-polluting and intrinsically safe.

*Since the objectives were agreed [in 1988] the word ‘promote’ has taken on something of a specialist meaning in transport terms, often referring primarily to non-infrastructural activities.   Spokes has always seen continually improving infrastructure as the primary route to high levels of cycling for everyday journeys, albeit that many other measures can usefully be added into the mix.

In our first decades the needs of motorists were the overwhelming priority for government public expenditure on transport.  Although public transport investment has improved substantially, investment to provide safe and welcoming conditions for cycling and walking still trails woefully behind. SPOKES believes that councils and government should have an overall transport strategy in which cyclists, pedestrians and public transport genuinely come first – and that includes both funding and roadspace.

In assessing costs and benefits of transport investment, environmental and health aspects should be fully considered.   This means increased support for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, with a range of effective fiscal, infrastructural and other mechanisms to reduce the number of motor vehicles, particularly in urban areas at peak periods.

Please support Spokes – and keep in touch with our campaigns and with useful materials such as maps and factsheets – by becoming a memberHaving a large number of members helps us in many ways, even if you are not actively involved:  it impresses politicians, it enables us to notify large numbers of interested individuals (e.g you!) when there are relevant developments or threats in their local area, and of course it provides us with the donations on which our organisation depends.

Spokes history

See our history page.

About this site

To search the entire site – use google with spokes.org.uk.  For example, to search the entire site for every mention of the word ‘tenement,’ google for spokes.org.uk  tenement.   Try it!!

To search news postings only – use the search box at the top right of the page; or click in the right-hand column on a category or on a tag (i.e. a search term) in the ‘cloud.’

The news items on our home page have information on local and national transport policy that could affect you, news on path and road schemes, and details on our campaigns – and how you can help by contacting councillors, MSPs etc about items that concern you.

Events and useful links are in the left-hand column of our home page as are links to our twitter and facebook accounts [but please don’t just ‘follow’ Spokes – become a member too!]

A huge amount of advice and background information is available in our documents/downloads pages [or click the documents tab at top of the page].