CyclingEdinburgh.info

Consultation on Midlothian Core Paths Plan Ends Today

Posted by chdot on October 26, 2007

Midlothian core paths
Unlike Edinburgh, which is allowing three months (details), Midlothian Council has only allowed a month to comment on its Core Path plans. Officially the last day is today, though there is a mention on the web site of the 28th (Sunday). There will be another 3 month formal consultation period next year.

Midlothian has conveniently carved up its domain into chunks. Each one is a PDF of around 1Mb. So if you have an interest in walk/cycle routes in parts of the county it would be worth a quick look – comments can be sent by e-mail to james.kinch@midlothian.gov.uk.

Midlothian is not alone in not paying much attention to cross boundary links. Given the number of people who work in Edinburgh but live outside, this is disappointing. Many people would like a convenient (and safe) route into the city from the Dalkeith area. It is therefore a pity that there are no ‘aspirational’ dots in the area north of Dalkeith.

This is particularly surprising as it is the area that used to be known as the South East Wedge where the new settlement of Shawfair is due to be created sometime.

“Boarding the train at Waverley you know you will be home soon, having left the car at home, you can avoid the evening rush hour. Fifteen minutes later you see children racing each other, having fun, on the cycleway near Whitehill Mains as you approach Shawfair Station.” (Source)

That station will be the first new one in Midlothian for many years, built as part of the Waverley Railway Project (due to be completed in 2011). It would be good if a parallel walk/cycle path could be built (Sustrans’ proposals) allowing a relatively flat route to be created. This could connect with the Millerhill to Loanhead route that Sustrans plans for the former railway line which Midlothian acknowledges as a “Candidate Core Path” on map 5 but not map 1. This route is already well used between Loanhead and Roslin over the magnificent Bilston Glen Viaduct.

Midlothian has decided that it “cannot put aspirational routes on the Draft Core Paths Plan unless they will be on the ground within the next two years.” Obviously putting lines on a map that are ‘possible/maybe’ can be counterproductive, but for something as important as the (statutory) Core Path process, perhaps two years is artificially short.

One Response to “Consultation on Midlothian Core Paths Plan Ends Today”

  1. Scott Walkingshaw said

    I live in Loanhead and cycle into Edinburgh every day using the Damhead road and crossing the bypass to get to my workplace at Craiglockhart. I’m aware of around a dozen cyclists living locally and from the Edinburgh area who use this route. I’m dissapointed but not suprised to see that there are no planned cross-boundary routes being developed to make these routes safer. I suppose in the 6 or so years I have been cycling back and forth to work I’ve only being knocked off my bike once! It’s a dangerous route for cyclists but it’s the only direct route and would benefit cyclists from further afield (Roslin, Bilston, Penicuik etc.) The Core Path plans should be more visible to Midlothian residents because I certainly was not aware of it…thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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