Council Abandons Dubious Target

Posted by chdot on November 18, 2006

north edinburgh leaflet
For many years City of Edinburgh Council has been claiming that bikes will be used for 10% of journeys by 2010. For almost as long cycle campaigners have been saying ‘it won’t happen’.

Now the new 5 year Local Transport Plan has scaled it back to a more credible 6%. The 10% target wasn’t ‘incredible’ or unrealistic, (look at figures from elsewhere), it just wasn’t going to happen unless the Council did/spent more.

Edinburgh is MUCH better than most local authorities in both Scotland and the UK. It has a pretty good network of off-road paths. However as they are largely a result of historic, (Union Canal and former railway lines), or geographic (Water of Leith) factors they are not evenly spread across the city.

Routes in and around the city centre are not good enough to attract nervous/novice cyclists. There is STILL no proper route joining the Union Canal with the Innocent Railway (even though most of it is off-road through the Meadows).

In 2005 Cycling Scotland produced reports for all Local Authorities in Scotland. The one for Edinburgh was mostly positive.

It fell down on Cycle Training – which is as much the fault of the Police as the Council – and promotion. “No coordinated approach to the promotion of cycling exists.” Infrastructure AND promotion were both highlighted as necessary at this week’s Cycling Scotland Conference.

It will be interesting to see if the Council’s adoption of a watered down (but more realistic) target will mean that it slackens off or finally puts in a concerted effort to make sure the target is met – or even exceeded….

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