Light at the End of the Tunnel?
Posted by chdot on July 10, 2007
Work to reinforce ‘Rodney Street Tunnel’ (known as Heriothill Tunnel when originally built for trains) is finished. Unfortunately in spite of assurances from the Council last year that money would be found to create a path and light the tunnel in time for a summer 2007 opening, nothing seems to be happening. (View from the other end.)
Money available for cycle facilities in Edinburgh is not enough to match the Council’s aspirations for encouraging cycling. (The cash to repair the tunnel came from the Scottish Executive and the work was carried out by Sustrans.) The continuing lack of a dedicated Cycling Officer (the job has been advertised twice) doesn’t help in planning more provision for cyclists.
Another factor is local ‘concern’ about the consequences of reopening the tunnel. Some people seem to think it will attract more ‘undesirables’ than New Town residents wanting a safe walking/cycling to the North Edinburgh Path Network (and the Broughton Road Tesco).
There is also a desire for a new directly linking ramp from Summerbank to the tunnel mouth. This would be a useful addition as it would be a slightly more direct route than the existing ramp into King George V Park. Some people regard this as unsuitable for shared (cyclist/pedestrian) use – even though it was built for this more than twenty years ago. The new ramp has yet to be costed – it won’t be cheap. It is more important to sort the join between the existing ramp and Royal Crescent! (Photo right) This would benefit walkers, buggy pushers as well as cyclists.
Since last year, political control of City of Edinburgh Council has moved from Labour to LibDem/SNP. The person responsible for Transport is now Cllr. Phil Wheeler. If the opening of the tunnel to walkers and cyclists is important to you, (or resources to encourage more cycling generally), e-mail Cllr. Wheeler.