Another hugely enjoyable Bike Breakfast for the many people who came along on their way to work – but with a serious message for the politicians.
In the last year, since the new Council was elected, we have seen some big disappointments but also several major signs of hope for the future. Speaking for Spokes at the Breakfast, Dave du Feu said that this year we are in a position of uncertainty – but by next year’s Breakfast it is likely we will either be very happy or very disappointed!
The last year has seen, for example …
- No visible progress on many important delayed cycle projects, including Meadows-Canal; one-way streets and secure bike storage.
- Tramline extension designs which are not just unpleasant for walking and cycling, but positively dangerous in parts
- Leith Walk northbound traffic ban for 1.5 years during tramline construction includes bikes, and southbound sharing one all-traffic lane,
- Leith Walk segregated cycleroute will end at Calton Road instead of at the Bridges/ Princes Street junction
- Picardy Place gyratory decision makes no attempt at traffic reduction – albeit the present appalling cycling conditions are improved.
But, also, big signs of hope, including…
- Edinburgh Bike Share to launch this summer and looks substantial, innovative and well thought out
- City Centre Transformation consultation has begun and makes bold promises not just of ‘vision’ but also of ‘action plans’
- Very strong hints that the initial tramline extension plans will be made much more bike and pedestrian-friendly
Responding, Edinburgh City Transport Convener Cllr Lesley Macinnes said that…
- The Council is changing its thinking about transport, to how people get around, rather than how metal boxes get around
- On cycling the Council is keen to cater for and encourage those who’d like to cycle as well as those who already do
- A great deal of work to resolve problems such as the project delays had been going on behind the scenes, and the results will start to be seen in a few months
- In particular, the Active Travel Team under-staffing, which had led to many delays, has been resolved.
Our speaker from the Scottish Parliament was Claudia Beamish MSP, Co-Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Cycling (etc) and Labour speaker on Environment and Climate Change. Her points included…
- There are many opportunities for us all to influence transport policy – please get involved!
- Latest figures show greenhouse gases from transport continue to increase – this is “completely unacceptable”
- Active travel has a big part to play in changing transport emission patterns
- She is pushing her party to adopt a policy of 10% of the national transport budget to be allocated to active travel – currently only about 3.5% of Scottish transport capital funds go to active travel, unlike Edinburgh Council’s 10%.
The breakfast, which is part of Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, had a great attendance as ever and resulted in many happy tweets and retweets. There are loads of great photos and comments, some of which can be seen at our twitter hashtag #SpokesBB.
Thank-you to the stallholders …
- The Spokes stall!!
- The EdFoc stall
- Edinburgh Bicycle did a massive job on chain-cleaning and kindly ran a £50 voucher prize draw
- Police Scotland security-marking bikes
- Sustrans Scotland
- City of Edinburgh Council, cycle team
- Bikes for Refugees
- Enterprise Edinburgh City Car Club
- Transport for Edinburgh/Serco – with demo Bike Share!!
Councillors/MSPs at the Bike Breakfast
Full list of politicians attending or sending apologies in advance – please tell us if anyone is omitted
* = member of Spokes
Ward 3 – Almond
Cllr Mark Brown Con
Ward 4 – Forth
Cllr Cammy Day Lab – Depute Council Leader
Ward 8 – Colinton/Fairmilehead
*Cllr Scott Arthur Lab [apologies]
Ward 9 – Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart
*Cllr Gavin Corbett Green
Ward 11 – City Centre
*Cllr Claire Miller Green
Ward 13 – Leith
*Cllr Chas Booth Green
Ward 15 – Southside/Newington
Cllr Steve Burgess Green
Cllr Cameron Rose Con
Ward 16 – Liberton/Gilmerton
Cllr Lesley Macinnes SNP
*Alison Johnstone MSP Green [apologies]
Claudia Beamish MSP Lab