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The Lothian Cycle Campaign


Pedestrian Parade planned for European Car-free Day 

Friday September 22nd 2000 is European Car-free Day. Unfortunately Edinburgh will not be taking part, although there are plans for this to change for 2001. There will however be a Pedestrian Parade. By taking part you can;-

The walk will be led by Robin Harper MSP. There will be a petition for you to sign asking the Scottish Executive to support the European Charter of Pedestrians' rights and there will be leaflets handed out with information on pedestrians' rights and needs.

Assemble: 12 noon in East Market Street (next to Waverley Station Car Park); stewards in Green Party T-shirts will be there to help you!

March: 12.30 - 13.00 through Market Street, Waverley Bridge, Princes Street, The Mound and The Royal Mile to East Parliament Square

If you plan to participate as a representative of an organisation please bring a banner or placard! One can also be made for you but you need to let the organisers know!

For more information or for leaflets to publicise the event contact Philine Gaffron, 0131 455 5168 (day) or

New Spokes West Lothian Map 

Latest in the fabulous series of great maps from SPOKES (largely the work of long time members Tim Smith and Peter Hawkins) comes West Lothian. The previous Edinburgh map was part funded by the Scottish Office Cycle Challenge. All SOCC projects have recently been evaluated. The SPOKES Map Project has been judged to be the only one that was innovative AND successful. People (mainly in North Edinburgh) were offered free maps and then asked if they cycled more as a result - many did!

The idea behind the WL map is similar - to stimulate interest in many aspects of use of the countryside as an incentive for new/potential cyclists, as well as established ones. To publicise the new map, and also to get it into the public eye as quickly and as widely as possible, 2000 are being given away free (to addresses in W.Lothian) to people who return a simple questionnaire which then forms a useful database for future contacts.Price (retail) £4.95

This map is due to be highly popular not least because it features the rapidly improving Union Canal and Sustrans NCN Route 75. The towpath from Sighthill to The Ratho Inn has just been surfaced to a high (and wide) standard.

So buy the map and explore.......


Sponsored by the Auldcathie Trust (which administers Landfill Tax Credits on behalf of J.M.Kennie of Winchburgh) Double-sided map, in full colour throughout. Sheet size 1010 x 780mm and 195 x 126 when folded One side: Whole of West Lothian at approx 2" to 1 mile. Also covers the area between the eastern edge of West Lothian and the Edinburgh built-up area (Kirkliston, Newbridge, Ratho, etc). This makes continuous coverage with Edinburgh map, and also covers the area around Bo'ness which is actually in Falkirk District.

Similar style and features to Midlothian Map (1998) but with more colour. West Lothian also has a LOT more cycle facilities: Off-road paths, Canal towpath, NCN Route 75 (includes Aidrie-Bathgate) with the advantage of rail access (bikes carried FREE on Scotrail) if you want to increase the range of your rides.

Other side: At request of sponsors concentrates on Union Canal through Broxburn, Winchburgh, Philpstoun and Linlithgow. Town plans at 1:10,000, plus info panels on Places of Interest, History notes, wildlife, rail access, Millennium Link and even the Shale Bings... distinctive West Lothian landmarks! Lots to read, also useful contact numbers.

Summer Events


Edinburgh to St. Andrews Ride 2000 24.6.00

Cycle Fest at the Meadows 25.6.00


Edinburgh to St. Andrews Ride 2000


IT'S OFFICIAL - National Cycle Network OPEN!! (22.6.00)


 Real money for Safe Routes to School

Transport and Environment Minister Sarah Boyack has just announced (11.00 25.5.00) that Local Authorities will have £5.2 MILLION to spend on 'Safer Routes to school' in the current financial year. The money will be spread evenly across Scotland by population so Edinburgh should get about £450,000 East Lothian about £90,000, Midlothian £80,000 and West Lothian around £150,000. (Scottish population staistics)

This is a very significant amount of money. Edinburgh already has a good Safer Routes programme which has so far spent about £100,000 p.a. with very little in the first year because of all the consultation and planning work.

There is therefore a real chance that some councils will actually have difficulty spending the money or be tempted to install expensive or inappropriate schemes just to use the money. It is hoped that the Government will be able to indicate that this level of funding will be available for a number of years - it's needed!

The Scottish Executive expects the money to be spent on

* traffic calmed 20 mph zones;
* crossings for pedestrians and cyclists;
* provision of cycle lanes and pedestrian footpaths;
* traffic free entrances to schools
* provision of secure cycle storage and locker facilities at schools.
(Full SE Press Release)
Lothian Safe Routes has written to all MSPs encouraging them to have discussions with their Local Authorities to make sure that a number of good and useful schemes are put 'on the ground' as soon as practicable. LSR has also written to Sarah Boyack congratulating her and asking if the money will be available for spending on Cycle Training. "It is important to realise that Safe Routes isn't just about physical measures. One thing that makes a very real difference to the number of children cycling to school is the availability of good quality Cycle (proficiency) Training."
The presence of Health Minister Susan Deacon at today's launch demonstrates clearly that SR2S is not just 'transport'. Susan Deacon is the MSP for Portobello High School which she has visited to meet the RAC's Grass Routes Challenge prize winners.

A great new leaflet has been published by
City of Edinburgh Council to promote cycling in this year of the opening of the Sustrans National Cycle Network


Grimshaw Tours

Sustrans' visionary supremo John Grimshaw reached Edinburgh yesterday (17.5.00) after touring round Scotland to check that most of the
National Cycle Network will be in place for the BIG day (June 21st). He's seen here telling BBC Scotland's Louise Batchelor about Sustrans and the Network (to be shown on Reporting Scotland).

He met City of Edinburgh Council officials Kevin McMahon (responsible for many good things including Safe Routes to School) and Cycling Officer Matthew Simpson at Rodney Street Tunnel (see below). In the evening he told a meeting of Sustrans Supporters that he was most impressed with the work that was being done on the A9 cycle route (most of it well away from the notorious road). He was particularly pleased that the Scottish Executive had found extra money for the route to be tarmaced.

Also nearing completion is the route through Glen Ogle, mostly on the former railway line to Oban, which will allow a spectacular ride from Callander to Killin avoiding the A84.

John Grimshaw is due on Reporting Scotland (BBC1) on Tue June 30th 6.30.

New Cycle Lanes

One section of the
National Cycle Network that is unlikely to be ready for the grand opening is the tunnel under Rodney Street (previous story + photo). So the route will be diverted via Rodney Street and Broughton Road. The arrangement at the junction isn't perfect but the new lanes a great boon for the many cyclists already using this busy road. It's very welcome to see that the Council has at last realised that the red strip should go across junctions not stop at them! Perhaps this mistake will now be rectified across the city.......

Floods Affect Cycle Routes
Looking down the Water of Leith from Slateford Road

Days of heavy rain in Edinburgh resulted in severe flooding in several places on Wednesday and the early hours of Thursday (26/7.4). Houses were flooded in several places between Stockbridge and Bonnington when walls collapsed under the weight of water. Other areas affected included Roseburn, Colinton and Duddingston Road West flooding the Innocent cycle path where it crosses the Braid Burn.

Looking down from the aqueduct - day after previous picture

The scaffolding and timber platform being used as part of the Water of Leith Millennium Project floated away and was smashed. Further downstream sections of newly created path were washed out - either partly or completely. This highlights the folly of using whin dust surfaces in areas subject to flooding. Heavily used paths in urban areas should always be tarmaced. Apart from being a better surface for walking or cycling they also need less maintenance - even without floods!

There is strong evidence that car use is partly responsible for climate change. Even if there is no real link, there can be little doubt that increased development means that rain water runs off more quickly either directly into watercourses or into sewers that, by design or default, deliver water into burns and rivers.

It clear that Edinburgh needs to take a careful look at all new developments and their effects on other parts of the city. Whether that's in traffic volumes or the potential for disastrous floods.

Please e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

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Safe Routes to School



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Tel: 0131 313 2114 (a/phone only)