On Thursday morning various commuters converged on St Andrew Square from a range of starting points and got there by various means, and for once the weather was beautiful!
It was part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling and participants were trying to find out which mode of transport was fastest and who damages the environment least.
There were commuters on bikes, trams, cars, buses and trains. They began from points outside the city boundaries and aimed to get to St Andrew Square for 8.15am.
One of the organisers, Chris Hill, said
“The purpose of the commuter challenge is to show how fortunate people working in Edinburgh are with their travel options.
“There are already Park and Ride sites around the city, express bus routes, a tram and, coming soon, a new rail line from Midlothian.
“In addition a much improved cycle route alongside the A90 from Queensferry – handy for Fife cycle commuters and a new off-road connection south from Lasswade Road all offer new ways of getting about.
“In the city centre an important segregated link is being constructed between the long established Innocent Path and The Meadows.”
Irene Gardiner likes the tram: “I use it almost every day from my office at Haymarket. More convenient, comfortable and faster than the bus. To access the tram stop at ‘Haymarket, I don’t even have to cross the road.”
Max Blinkhorn lives in Portobello and works at Heriot Watt’s Riccarton campus – 11 miles away.
He sometimes drives, but usually takes the express bus or goes by train or bike. He said:
“I’ve found there are many quick travel options available to those who want to cross the city. Driving via the bypass can take an hour at busy times.
“Express buses or the train from Brunstane to South Gyle and Edinburgh Park really work for me and save a lot of money. Both have wifi onboard and I can catch up with email and facebook on the move.
“My commuting time is much more valuable now and I have no driving stress. If I want, I can cycle all or just part of the way using the train and off-peak trams, depending on my timetable. I often get off at Waverley and head to Portobello either by the Restalrig Cycleway or through Holyrood Park. And of course, I don’t need to spend money and time on a gym membership!”
Photos courtesy of Chris Hill