Spokes publishes its election manifesto promoting safe cycling in Edinburgh.

Spokes, the Lothian Cycle Campaign, is a non party-political voluntary organisation, founded in 1977. The body promotes cycling for everyday reasons, alongside walking, wheeling and using public transport. Spokes also lobbies local authorities and The Scottish Government to do the same.

With a membership of over 1000, volunteers respond to consultations, run public meetings, lead rides, sell the popular Spokes cycle maps, run competitions, carry out regular traffic counts, run cycle information stalls, and provide grants for cargo bikes.

With the council elections coming up in May, Spokes is launching its manifesto for the political parties and candidates standing in The City of Edinburgh Council election.

Mies Knottenbelt, from the Spokes Resources Group, said: “We hope that all candidates will adopt our manifesto in full. Cycle-friendly cities are an obvious solution to our many urgent challenges for the economy, for the climate, and critically for our mental and physical health. Over the years, administrations have been making some improvements for cyclists, but progress has been frustratingly slow and it’s now time for major transformational change.”

Rosie Bell from the Spokes Resources Group said: “Cycling should be a healthy, efficient, and fun way to get about the city but too many people are afraid to cycle because we don’t have a network of on-road protected cycle infrastructure. We are asking everyone who’d like Edinburgh to be a welcoming city for cyclists of all ages and abilities to contact their ward candidates and ask them to adopt the Spokes manifesto.”

Spokes will be running an open hustings for candidates of the main parties to present their plans for cycling improvements in late March. For details, follow Spokes on twitter @SpokesLothian Find them on Facebook or take a look at the Spokes website.

The Spokes Council Elections 2022 Manifesto:

Safety, Vision Zero

  • A top-level aim of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads and footways.

Traffic Reduction

  • Reduce car-km 30% by 2030 – endorse and act on this existing commitment.
  • All departments, not just Transport, to actively support the 30% commitment – for example, decisions on planning applications.
  • A staged programme of reduced on-street parking provision and increased enforcement.
  • Avoid any road capacity expansion and use budgets instead for sustainable modes.

Cycle Network

  • A comprehensive cycling network, safe and welcoming for all ages and abilities.
  • High emphasis on protected infrastructure on direct and well-lit main-road routes, including improved and permanent Spaces for People infrastructure.
  • Accelerate long-delayed schemes, including CCWEL, Meadows to George Street, and cycle exemption in one-way streets.
  • Cycling by Design to be the basis of all cycling provision, including in planning as well as transport.

Cycle accessibility and supporting infrastructure

  • Urgent action on a replacement cycle hire scheme, and inclusion of non-standard machines, notably cargo bikes.
  • Further expansion, to meet current and future demand, of the Cyclehoop secure cycle storage scheme.
  • Sufficient Sheffield rack cycle parking, and ebike charging, in town centre shopping streets.
  • Tackle the pothole scourge and ensure that active travel infrastructure is built into road maintenance work.


  • Maintain and increase Edinburgh’s UK-leading policy of allocating 10% of transport capital and revenue budgets to cycling, given the rudimentary extent of the existing cycle network. Capital is for new schemes, whilst revenue tackles ongoing issues such as path maintenance and gritting.
  • Ensure adequate funding to maintain the existing pavement network at a good standard, with additional funding for footway enhancements such as pedestrian and toucan crossings, dropped kerbs, etc.
Transport Convener Lesley Macinnes with Active Travel Minister, Patrick Harview break ground at City Centre West to East Link in Roseburn with Karen McGregor Portfolio Director for Sustrans and pupils from Roseburn Primary School L-R Maheer Zahir (10), Isla Kinnear (10) Molly Jamieson (11) and Sadie Walsh (11) PHOTO ©The Edinburgh Reporter