SNP Students Call For Velib Scheme in Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on October 27, 2007

Velib in Paris
Photo © Fr@nçois Lafite

A motion due to be debated at the SNP conference tomorrow says:

Conference commends the Mairie de Paris for launching Velib (official web site, BBC story, photos, YouTube video, a user’s report,), a low cost public bicycle scheme similar to those already in existence in other European capital cities such as Barcelona, Berlin and Copenhagen. Conference believes that a pilot scheme could be implemented in our capital city in conjunction with Edinburgh City Council and would further emphasise the SNP Government’s commitment to a greener and healthier Scotland.
Federation of Student Nationalists

Dave du Feu of Spokes has responded:

“As regards the velib scheme, we are all for this, but of course it is likely to work best if people feel that conditions on the roads are suitable. A lot has been done in Edinburgh, which is a good start, but a great deal more on cycle infrastructure would help take things much further.”

When the SNP formed the new Scottish Government in May, Spokes sent a letter to John Swinney MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth) calling on the new Government to continue the financial support given to Sustrans, Cycling Scotland and local councils.

Conservative councillors in Edinburgh have already asked for the scheme to be looked at. Cllr Iain Whyte says, “I envisage
using it once I am in town to get between meetings.” He says the Council has looked at a London scheme which he regards as “inferior” and are now investigating continental ones like Velib and Velov “which I have used in Lyon”.

The Paris Velib scheme’s web site says “the first 30 minutes of every journey are always free of charge”, which would certainly encourage people to use them. First ScotRail is also looking into the possibilities of cycle hire at, or near, some of its stations. Let’s hope the Council is in touch with the train company to make sure the best solution is found.

6 Responses to “SNP Students Call For Velib Scheme in Edinburgh”

  1. Lee said

    The French have it their way, but we’re in Britain.
    Now this is a bit of an outlandish suggestion, but wouldn’t it be just the greatest thing if the bike hire pool was a fleet of Pashleys?

    Classic looking bikes that would look great against Edinburgh’s classic background.

  2. I just hope that some day there will be cycle tracks dedicated for serious cyclists, who want to get from A to B quickly without mowing down pedestrians. On Friday evening while heading to Critical Mass, I was shouted at by a driver for not using the cycle track that runs parallel to the guided busway. “It is there to make your life easier”, she claimed. However I believe that it is only useful to beginner, amateur or someone looking to take it easy. If you are trying to get somewhere quickly, then using a cycle track where you have to cross the flow of traffic, and stop at every junction rather than just keep going with the flow of traffic is useless. Also having to slow down or stop for pedestrians is another pain in the backside.

  3. Lee said

    I’ve heard before, and even seen written on a DfT Guideline sheet that I now cannot find, that you should NOT use the cycle lane (or maybe it was ‘advised not to’) if you expect to be travelling at 15mph or over. Naturally if you hit a pedestrian at any speed it hurts both parties, so being sensible and alert is always the order of the day, but once you get up to 20mph we’re talking about broken bones and buckled wheels, neither of which are very nice – not that people look for bikes when crossing the road either!

  4. […] City of Edinburgh Council spends most of its transport money through arms-length-company tie (responsible for the trams and the ill-fated EARL rail link). Following the Transport for London example perhaps the Council should make tie take the lead for large scale cycle projects – including a local version of the successful Paris Velib bike hire scheme. […]

  5. holly said

    Hi there, i was just wondering, does any one know where i could get the figures for the implementation of the velib scheme? x

  6. holly said

    Hi there again, i was just wondering, does any one know where i could get any figures for the implementation of the velib scheme? As the french website isnt very useful x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: