SEStran is the recently created South East of Scotland Transport Partnership responsible for (some) transport policies in Edinburgh and seven surrounding council areas. The questionnaire is part of the consultation process on the RTS (Regional Transport Strategy) for South East Scotland. More detailed comments are also encouraged – these must be submitted by the 28th January. Draft strategy document | summary.
SPOKES has prepared an 8 page draft submission and welcomes comments before the 20th.
"Considerable positive mention is made of walking and cycling, explicitly and implicitly, in the RTS objectives and policies. However, when it comes to implementation the RTS falls into the common trap of considering cycling largely as a standalone topic rather than as an element of an integrated transport system. Of course, some standalone cycle projects are very important, but if the RTS is allowed to stand as it is, the result could be a significant number of excellent one-off cycle projects, but no proper integration of cycling into the general fabric of transport and access. The chance to achieve a widespread high-quality walk/cycle environment will be lost. This is quite crazy, since inevitably the majority of cycling trips will always be on the road network. Therefore every transport intervention must be audited to ensure that is cycle friendly, incorporates cycle (and walk) facilities where relevant, and does not make conditions worse for cyclists. As it stands, the RTS will not ensure this.
Sestran is already funding a number of useful cycle projects. SPOKES is correct in pointing out that Government policies (at national, regional and local levels) are rarely ‘joined-up’ – failing to integrate cycling (and walking) into a fuller transport picture. In addition, joined-up-policies linking transport, health and education (etc.) are usually absent.