Local Tories Plan More Bikes

Posted by chdot on March 20, 2007

berlin hire bikes
In Germany bike hire schemes are run by the railway (DB).

There’s an election coming (Spokes Hustings on Thursday – see “Coming Soon” on right). The Conservatives in Edinburgh have issued their manifesto. The Evening News has highlighted a cycling proposal. In the past this would be a ‘joke’ story, but things are changing, cycling is now a ‘real’ story – not least in Edinburgh.

French firm JC Decaux, which runs schemes in several European cities, has recently got the contract to bring 14,000 (FREE!) hire bikes to the streets of Paris. Edinburgh Tory group leader Iain Whyte says “I saw the system work for myself when I was in Lyon and thought it was a fantastic idea.” The Evening News story quotes politicians from other parties as being generally in favour of the idea. (‘Politicians agree on need for more bikes, shock horror!!’)

Of course an Evening News‘ on-line reader brings it all back to ‘reality’ “The wee neds would have a field day here, This is chavvy Edinburgh, Not Amsterdam….” So is the UK/Scotland/Edinburgh SO bad? Maybe it’s the time to find out. The various bike hire schemes tend to be paid for (wholly or partly) by on-street advertising – JC Decaux is a ‘street furniture/advertising’ company.

This is certainly something that the Council’s ‘arm’s length’ company tie should look at in connection with the tram plans – not least because the work on the tram infrastructure (starting VERY soon) is going to disrupt things so much that cycling will certainly be the best way to travel round Edinburgh!

3 Responses to “Local Tories Plan More Bikes”

  1. Lee said

    Had my first good look at the tram plans, (the detailed street plans are available in 50 pdf files on the tramtime website) and was surprised, but not completely amazed, about the use of the Roseburn cycle path as the tram route up towards Granton. It’s a bit of a shame that an otherwise quiet area of the city in which to walk/ride/commute is going to be taken for the tram. This will mean disruption for cyclists too in finding an alternative route while this entire path is dug up and completely re-landscaped. On the bright side (literally) the plans show that the tram cable supports ‘should’ incorporate lighting for the path – I have noticed that the path lights tend to function only ‘when they feel like it’!!
    Still, I guess if they had decided to put in trams 10 years ago the council would have done away with the path altogether.
    Wouldn’t it be handy if all of the tram stops were to incorporate bike lockers/racks and the route map to show links to all the various paths and bike routes though… They would even site the bike hire stations at important tram stops for commuters/tourists. Who knows if they’ll actually manage to think of that?

  2. […] Yesterday it was the Scottish Conservatives, though they don’t seem to mention cycling, which is a shame as Edinburgh Tories are interested in increasing cycling. […]

  3. […] Conservative councillors in Edinburgh have already asked for the scheme to be looked at. […]

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