SPOKES Disappointed

Posted by chdot on November 19, 2006

The Edinburgh area’s own cycle campaign (in its thirtieth, highly effective, year) is “very disappointed that the Council proposes to duck the challenge of the 10 per cent target for 2010” – see story below.

Earlier this year SPOKES submitted a detailed response to the Council’s Draft Local Transport Strategy. “The council is moving successfully towards its cycle use targets for 2010, albeit they remain challenging. These existing targets should be retained. If targets are being set for subsequent dates then those for cycle use should be a further challenge.”

As well as questioning the Council’s resolve, SPOKES has also pointed out something that is very likely to lead to more people cycling in Edinburgh.

“Not mentioned in the Strategy is a factor which we feel will help to increase cycle use in the next few years. Disruption during the construction of the tram network will slow down traffic, giving a year-round Edinburgh Festival effect to city centre traffic.

In these circumstances, the bicycle will be the only reliable and fast way of moving around central Edinburgh, and we expects many converts to cycling because of this.”

Bit worrying when it needs the volunteer campaigners to point out the obvious to the professionals…

But it’s not just the Council. SPOKES isn’t entirely happy with Friday’s Evening News editorial. It’s titled “Cycling remains a perilous method of getting about the city” and probably thinks that it’s being helpful – “If the council is serious in its intentions, measures to make those on two feet and on two wheels feel more secure are needed.”

So it puts slight pressure on the Council to do something but perpetuates the myth that cycling is basically dangerous – or at least ‘not safe’. One way of making cyclists “feel more secure” is simply to have more people cycling. This is something the Council does believe in, but has failed to do enough to meet its targets in recent years.

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