Archive for August, 2006

Britain’s Commuter Nightmare

Posted by chdot on August 21, 2006

Bob Kiley (one of the people behind London’s Congestion Charge) Investigates for Channel 4 – Dispatches 8.00 – 9.00 .

“What amazes me is how you British put up with this. You seem to have got used to being herded about like cattle and rarely getting anywhere on time”.

Includes a visit to Edinburgh and Fife. (Contains Andrew Burns, David Begg, Gordon Brown and Mark Sydenham.)

Posted in Bikes on trains, BikeStation, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | Leave a Comment »

No Weekend Trains to North Berwick

Posted by chdot on August 19, 2006

Many Edinburgh cyclists have spent pleasant days in East Lothian using the North Berwick line for part of the trip. One favourite is the old railway line from Longniddry Station to Haddington. (One suggested round trip).

Buses will replace trains every Saturday and Sunday for nearly two months, due to engineering work, from September 16 until November 5, with the exception of the weekend of September 23/24.

More info

Bikes on Trains

Posted in Bikes on trains, commuting, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, paths, ride | Leave a Comment »

Are High-Speed Railways Good for the Environment?

Posted by chdot on August 18, 2006

A good question – and one that might have occurred to you as you contemplate the various options of a new rail link to an ever expanding Edinburgh Airport, and proposals for new high speed rail routes to both Glasgow and London.

Some of the answers may emerge at the TRANSform Scotland seminar in three weeks.

Wednesday 6th September, 5.45pm for 6pm start (finish 7.30pm) City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh

Speaker David Spaven is a well know sustainable transport expert with a professional interest in rail.

“Rail transport has long been regarded as environmentally superior to air and road transport, but a growing body of opinion is questioning whether the modal switch benefits can justify the carbon dioxide generated by constructing, operating and maintaining massive new rail infrastructure. A new route will be very expensive to construct, and the operator will need to generate much additional new travel (beyond modal switch of Anglo-Scottish air passengers) to utilise the major new capacity created, potentially increasing total carbon emissions and other environmental impacts.

“A more ‘fit for purpose’ approach to the Anglo-Scottish market might give priority to upgrading the existing East Coast Main Line and West Coast Main Line routes for faster passenger services, while diverting freight trains to enhanced cross-country routes geared up for heavy loads, tall containers and ‘piggyback’ lorry trailers.”

As long as they don’t forget to add plenty of room for bikes on any new trains!


The seminar is free but places are limited and must be booked in advance. TRANSform Scotland member groups and supporters will be given priority for places.

To book, either e-mail or leave a message for Siobhan Reardon on 0131 476 4014.

Posted in Airdrie to Bathgate, Bikes on trains, commuting, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow | 1 Comment »

Paul Carter 1970-2006

Posted by chdot on August 18, 2006

The death of Paul Carter in a car crash on Saturday is a loss to Edinburgh. He was an artist and tutor at Edinburgh College of Art.

Originally from Glasgow, his recent home was in Portobello. He cycled to the College most days either on his beat up red Raleigh with enormous ‘cow horns’ he’d taken from a lawnmower or the solid Raleigh Superbe he found in a skip.

He was an enthusiastic, supportive, entertaining and inspirational teacher. He has left a wife, 3 sons and many friends.

One friend from childhood, (and former Glasgow cycle campaigner), Stewart Russell has a tribute on his own blog where this photo of Paul at 13 came from.


Friday 25th August at 10.30 am

You are warmly invited to attend a service to celebrate Paul’s life at St Philip’s Church, Joppa, (Church of Scotland), Brunstane Road North, Edinburgh, EH15 2DL (MAP) and to continue on to the church hall for a toast to Paul and refreshments until 1 pm.

Posted in citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow | 6 Comments »

New Cycle Path in Glasgow

Posted by chdot on August 16, 2006

Edinburgh cyclists will come across it if they ever cross the country by canal.

The Union Canal starts at Tollcross, meets the Forth and Clyde at the amazing Falkirk Wheel and continues to Bowling. Route.

The new work is a useful link between the F&C and the Kelvin Cycle Way and is a collaboration between Sustrans, Glasgow City Council and British Waterway (money from the Scottish Executive). The work was carried out by the Council’s DLO and (judging by the photo on Cycling Scotland’s site) is of high quality.

Posted in citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, Edinburgh, Glasgow, holidays, paths | Leave a Comment »

Driving Down Cycling Up

Posted by chdot on August 16, 2006

Latest transport survey from The Scottish Executive shows that drivers in Scotland covered 150 million fewer miles (on major roads) in 2005, 1 per cent down on 2004.

Figures for cycling are almost contradictory. Apparently the number of people cycling to work has fallen from 1.8 to 1.6 per cent, but “cycling as a means of transport” has risen from 2.6 to 2.9 per cent.

If accurate, that is a 10% rise in a single year which would be significant. It’s certainly credible for Edinburgh. It seems unlikely that the number of people cycling to work has gone down here. However it is possible as the SE survey shows a small increase in walking and a trend towards greater use of Public Transport.

There will always be complaints about the provision of PT. Buses will never cover all the routes that people want, or always come when they want, or take them door to door – that’s what bikes are for!

The reality is that in Edinburgh the bus service is good AND attracting people from their cars and (perhaps) their bicycles.

Nationally 53% of pupils walked to school – up 2% on 2004. Cycling remains at 1% and is unlikely to be much different in Edinburgh. When surveyed, around 40% of children say they would like to cycle to school – but don’t.

The reasons for this are complicated. Cycle security is an issue. Few people are willing to leave expensive bikes locked to Sheffield racks (if they exist) in a school playground. Few schools have lockable cycle storage.

In Edinburgh most initiatives to encourage cycling to school have been started by the Department responsible for Transport. Education is a casual participant – “it’s the parents’ responsibility for getting children to school”. Cycle Training is largely under the control of Lothian & Borders Police. The Police are reluctant to relinquish this control but are unwilling to devote sufficient resources to this vital way of encouraging young people to cycle safely.

SE Press Release | Scotsman story

Posted in bike security theft, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | 1 Comment »

“Flying Scotsman” Premieres

Posted by chdot on August 15, 2006

The Edinburgh International Film Festival opened last night with the long awaited biopic about Graeme Obree, The Flying Scotsman. It was awarded a ‘so so’ review in the Scotsman.

The Herald‘s reviewer is more enthusiastic.

Guardian underwhelmed.

The controversy over the making of the film and its unpaid workers continues.

“Yesterday Bectu, the union representing the unpaid crew members, called for an inquiry by the Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The director, Douglas Mackinnon, welcomed the call.” The Herald 15.8.06

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, cycle racing, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh | 1 Comment »

ANOTHER Bike Film Fest

Posted by chdot on August 15, 2006

Hot on the wheels of Edinburgh’s Bicycle Film Festival (which in turn took inspiration from the original BFF) is the International Cycling Video Festival in Bochum, Germany. (September 1st to 3rd, 2006).

It’s keen on encouraging small scale and local films – and also linking with others doing similar things throughout the World. Organiser Gernot Mühge has contacted the Edinburgh festival proposing “cooperation between these two events.”

“A first step might be the exchange of single films – maybe the winners of the local competition or a local production from Edinburgh? The film can be shown as a special contribution from your Edinburgh festival, thus it will foster the ‘Internationality’ of cycling films. I hope later on such cooperations will trigger some international exchange of people or tourism of movie makers or cyclists?”

Suggestions have already been e-mailed to Germany!

Posted in Bicycle Film Festival, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, recycling, TryCycling | 1 Comment »

Do You Want to Influence Transport Policy?

Posted by chdot on August 15, 2006

City of Edinburgh Council’s draft Local Transport Strategy is currently out for consultation. The closing date for this is the 31st August 2006.

All the details relating to the draft can be found at including the current Strategy (2004-7) (cycling bit) and an on-line questionnaire that’s worth filling in.

Lothian Cycle Campaign Spokes has written its draft response (PDF 192kb) – which might give you some ideas for your comments. It’s worth a read even if you don’t intend to respond to the Council. Author Dave du Feu is revising it in response to comments from Spokes members (and others). If you have any suggestions/comments, please e-mail Dave (preferably by the 20th).

It contains wisdom such as “It is absolutely essential, if targets on cycle use and objectives on accessibility, public health and the environment are to be met, that a more integrated view of cycling is taken than to date.”

Spokes has been campaigning for almost 30 years. Without it there can be no doubt that there would be poorer cycle facilities in Edinburgh – and fewer cyclists.

Posted in Bikes on trains, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Maps, paths, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

50 Small Ways to Save the Planet

Posted by chdot on August 13, 2006

That’s the title of an article in today’s Sunday Herald written by cyclist about Edinburgh Rob Edwards for the SH‘s ‘Green Issue’ Magazine.

“Walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work” only makes it to no. 39! (Not meant to be in any order really). Rob has his own blog with wisdom on nuclear issues, climate change, transport, etc.

Also in the issue is a piece by another Edinburgh resident, retired Prof. Aubrey Manning, suitably titled “The State We’re In”.

The mag has a recycled feature from iconic American publication Rolling Stone. It’s an interview with should-be President and environmental evangelist Al Gore. His film “An Inconvenient Truth” is at the Film Festival in two weeks.

Apple obsessives will note the quote “Steve Jobs is helping to design the ad campaign.”

Can (Apple) computers save the world?

(Apple boss, Steve Jobs, has a bike, which he apparently likes. However the secrecy he tries to impose on new products extents to his choice of bike!)

Posted in citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Glasgow, recycling, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »