Plans for new cycle segregation lanes in roads across the city have been unveiled by the council.
Temporary improvements and additions to the city’s cycle infrastructure are planned along Melville Drive, Gilmerton Road, Minto Street, Craigmillar Park, Mayfield Gardens, Duddingston Road and Comiston Road. Some measures are already in place such as the segregated cycle lane on Crewe Road South.
Further plans for cycle lanes along other city roads will be announced shortly.
Pending approval, proposals to improve cycling provisions will be implemented under powers delegated to council officials, but “key stakeholders” in each area, including councillors, community councils and business representatives have been given five days to comment.
The proposals, detailed below, are the latest development in the council’s Spaces for People Programme, a scheme designed to temporarily improve conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport during the coronavirus crisis.
- The opportunity for safe cycling along one of the most popular parks of Edinburgh, providing an alternative for the busy east-west cycle and foot path though The Meadows.
- The design minimises conflict between cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
- Provision of safer cycle conditions on a main road into the city connecting various communities and schools.
- The scheme links in with another segregated cycle scheme to the south of Gilmerton Road and with other Spaces for People projects.
Minto Street/Craigmillar Park/Mayfield Gardens
- Provision of safer cycle conditions on a main road into the City, connecting various communities.
- The scheme links in with other Spaces for People projects and contains a part of the future Cameron Toll to Bioquarter Active Travel route.
- Provision of protected cycling infrastructure on an arterial route to the city.
- Improvement of active travel access to Figgate Burn path, Treverlen Park and St. John’s Primary School.
- Better connection from Portobello to the west.
- Provision of a segregated cycle path which will allow pupils to cycle safely to school.
- Introduction of uni-directional segregated cycleways along Comiston Road.
- Introduction of waiting and loading restrictions along parts of Comiston Road.
- Removal of pedestrian guardrail.
- Existing southbound bus stop by Buckstone Gardens to be closed and moved further toward Buckstone Road, across the cycle lane as a ‘floating bus stop’.
Conservative Councillor Jason Rust is concerned about the proposals for Comiston Road, in particular potential safety risks that will come with needing to cross a cycle lane in order to access a bus stop.
He said: “The proposals are completely disjointed. They require accessing buses across a cycle lane which is a potential hazard.
“Furthermore, some existing bus shelters will no longer be in use but will not be moved to the new stops. This means that dis-used shelters will be standing across the road from stops in use, completely open to the elements.
“It beggars belief that the Council previously withdrew from public consideration its bus stop review in March and we now have it trying to bring it in by stealth.”
Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “We’re leading one of the country’s most ambitious programmes of changes to make walking, cycling and wheeling safe and accessible as we deal with the effects of the coronavirus. We’ve already introduced a range of improvements in areas around the city which are making it easier for people to travel and take exercise while maintaining physical distancing, and they’ve been really well received.
“Now, as we begin to emerge from lockdown, measures are focusing on the return to a ‘new normal’. As well as creating spaces in town centres across Edinburgh, helping people to spend time in their local shopping streets, we’ll soon be introducing several segregated cycle lanes, which will encourage and support people to continue cycling as they return to work, and as traffic inevitably increases.
“We’re also planning on schools restarting, and our interventions on school routes will give more room for families and children to travel on foot, bike and wheels safely, particularly in areas where the public have told us they need more room.”
Noa Hoffman is The Local Democracy Reporter covering Edinburgh. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is a public service news agency : funded by the BBC, provided by the local news sector, and used by qualifying partners. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.