Posted by chdot on June 26, 2007

That’s the verdict of Spokes – Edinburgh’s, generally, influential cycle campaign group. In recent years Spokes has managed to alienate some cyclists by being supportive of the plans to route trams along the Roseburn Corridor (the well used walk/cyclepath from Haymarket to Crewe Toll).

However Spokes has consistently argued for proper on-road facilities for cycles (alongside the trams) as well as ensuring that the Roseburn route will have a parallel path if a tram line is built on that section.

Of course the future of trams in Edinburgh is far from certain. The new (minority) SNP Government at Holyrood is set against the tram plan. Whether it will take this to a vote in the Scottish Parliament will be known tomorrow. Even after a defeat (which would be almost inevitable) the SNP has indicated that it will proceed to scrap the project – but there is much public, and behind the scenes, lobbying going on to see if there can be a different decision.

Promoters of the tram, the Council’s arms length company TIE could (and should) have done more to meet both Spokes’ reasonable expectations and, more importantly, to encourage cycling in Edinburgh – in line with the Council’s own policies.

The latest Spokesworker details specific concerns on Leith Walk – “…the initial consultation plans for Leith Walk are quite unacceptable in our view. The existing uphill bike lane, and the downhill bus/cycle lane will be removed…” Princes Street – “The detailed consultation plans had not been released as this is typed, but a preliminary sketch suggested there is room for cycle lanes similar to the existing, but that they may not be included. Again this is unacceptable.” and Constitution Street – “This will be closed to motor vehicles at its narrow north end. The pavements will be widened and slightly raised, to form a combined wider pavement and tram stop. The tram lines will therefore come close to the pavement, making it dangerous for cyclists to use the road.”

Spokes also highlights opportunities for ALL cyclists to contribute their views –

“If you use Leith Walk or Princes Street and are concerned about neglect of cycling, it is vital that you act now. Do NOT leave it all to Spokes; we can only win this battle if individuals are taking up the case at the same time. Take the opportunity also to comment on any other tram onroad issues concerning you. Write to or email your councillors asking them to speak to Transport Convener Cllr Phil Wheeler and tram promoters TIE.”

There are also “public consultation drop-in session” – TODAY Tueday June 26th (mainly for Leith Walk proposals) 4.30-7.30 Thomas Morton Hall, 28 Ferry Road and Thursday June 28th (mainly for Princes St, York Pl, etc) 4.30-7.30 Walpole Hall, St Mary’s Cathedral, Chester Street. you can leave comments. If you can’t go, email


  1. […] readers’ comments) highlights the concerns that Spokes has been raising for some time (CyclingEdinburgh story in Junestory in June). Whatever the merits of trams, and the ‘value for money’ of […]

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