March 2017
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Local Transport Research

This page contains relevant transport research papers (other than Spokes research) which investigate issues in Edinburgh and/or the Lothians (and some Scotland).  For other research, local and not, see our research topics page.

1606 Cycling and Health   Our public meeting included documents and presentations on physical activity and health from Chris Oliver, Professor of Physical Activity for Health at Edinburgh University; and on air pollution and health from Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner at FOE Scotland.   These and other documents can be found at the above link to the report of the meeting.

1409 Cycle lanes: their effect on driver passing distances in urban areas [link] Napier University, Kathryn Stewart & Adrian McHale in the journal Transport.  Finds that, in Edinburgh 30mph roads, driver passing distance is affected most by absolute road width, the presence of nearside parking and the presence of an opposing vehicle at the time of an overtaking manoeuvre – the effect of cycle lanes was less.  Includes an extensive summary of previous related research, which is mixed but suggests that cycle lanes encourage cycling but in urban areas do not much affect average passing distances.  Comment – an important issue very rarely covered, including here, is whether the number of close passes is reduced by cycle lanes – nearly all studies concentrate on average passing distances.

1403 Analysis of Cycle Law Scotland Case Data [pdf] Analysis of 151 cycling injury cases handled by Cycle Law Scotland in the 2 years to August 2013.   It is important to note that since these are cases taken to Cycle Law they are not representative of all cyclist casualties – this is fully discussed in the report, including which results in the report may or may not have wider applicability.  There is now also a Cycle Law web page summarising the research.

1303 Engagement Strategy for Considerate Cycling in Edinburgh: turning Negative Perceptions into Positive Actions  [pdf 1.0MB].  Research project by Edinburgh University MSc students, in collaboration with Edinburgh City Council and others.  As presented in the Scottish Parliament, through Alison Johnstone MSP, March 2013.

1211 Does the Edinburgh Quality Bike Corridor enable people to cycle more safely and more often? MSc dissertation by Elena Hodgekins, Heriot-Watt University, Urban and Regional Planning.   QBiC is found to encourage greater cycle use amongst people who both do and don’t already cycle there [sections 6.7, 7.2] although the design could be considerably improved, thus probably encouraging more cycle use [7.3].   This conclusion ties up with our own initial findings.    Dissertation title and abstract [docx 20k] Dissertation [docx 6.2MB] Map [pdf 4.8MB].

1106 Health Impacts of Canals [pdf 968k] – Investigating (and attempting to monetise) the health benefits of the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals.  Report by MVA consultancy for British Waterways Scotland and The Waterways Trust.

0908 Assessment of the Sustainability of Edinburgh’s Transport Strategy Charlene Curran, MSc dissertation, Heriot-Watt University [pdf 822k]

0809 Encouraging Bicycle Use in Residential Neighbourhoods: Insights from Edinburgh Dr Tim Ryley, Loughborough University [pdf 539k].  Data from 4 residential neighbourhoods moving out from the centre along west Edinburgh transport corridor.  Suggests that bike storage problems for flat/tenement dwellers are a significant deterrent to city centre bike use.    Here is a link to his 2005 PhD on which the paper is based.

0605 The Effect of Coloured Surfacing on Drivers’ Compliance with Cycle and Bus Lanes John McKeown, Napier University [pdf 393k].  Suggests that coloured surfacing greatly reduces motorist intrusion into bus or cycle lanes.  Other research suggests similar, plus beneficial effects on casualities and on cyclist confidence [we haven’t looked for the exact references – please pass them on if known!]