How Model Cycle-Friendly Edinburgh REALLY Works

Posted by chdot on March 5, 2008

The following is taken from the current Spokes Bulletin 99 (11,000 copies, widely distributed. Written prior to Feb 19 Transport Committee) and Spokesworker 26.2.08 (with full permission).


A council working party on bus priority, with police, bus and Spokes representation, recently recommended Mound double-yellow lines. But a report to the Transport Committee did not mention this!

Questioned by Green councillor Steve Burgess, the Director of City Development Andrew Holmes admitted he had vetoed it – “with my economic development hat on.”

Labour transport spokesperson Cllr Ricky Henderson then told councillors that the Mound (parking & colour) had been a big issue at the Spokes Council hustings, that all speakers were sympathetic, and it would be hypocritical to forget that.

The Council then told the Director to prepare a new report! – though the final outcome remains uncertain.

We compliment Cllr Burgess on his perspicacity and Cllr Henderson on his honourable memory. Also thank you, Spokes members, for attending and speaking up at our public meeting – you didn’t waste your evening!!

Spokesworker 26.2.08 (goes to members only). Written after Transport Committee.

See Spokes 99 p5 for the story of how the recommendation for double yellow lines on the Mound, by a council working party of police, bus operators and Spokes, was hidden – but then brought into the open by conscientious councillors. The story continues…

Following the above events a further report went to the Feb 19 Transport Committee, with the Director of City Development recommending that double yellow lines be not introduced, to allow for weekend car parking. Green councillor Steve Burgess again took the initiative, asking for the report to be turned down. After considerable debate we had the mind-blowing picture of Lab, Con and Green voting together, with LibDem and SNP opposed – resulting in a 7-7 tie!

LibDem transport convener Cllr Phil Wheeler, despite his Model Cycle-Friendly City manifesto commitment, then used his casting vote for the Director’s no double-yellows recommendation.

Cllr Burgess then suggested that since the Committee was so finely balanced, the matter should be referred to the Full Council – and the committee agreed.

So the story still continues!! The full council meeting is on March 13. If you support double-yellow lines on the Mound, please contact your councillors urgently [you have 3 or 4]

Explain why this matters to you. It is probably best not to go into all the above shennanigans, but, for Lab, Con and Green councillors, congratulate them briefly on their party support for double-yellows at the Transport Committee and ask them to do the same at the full council on 13 March. For LibDem and SNP, ask them to re-think their position. For LibDems in particular, remind them of their manifesto.

Are we moving to a model cycle-friendly city if this one tiny proposal to improve conditions is rejected!! It may also be worth reminding councillors that the original recommendation was intended to help buses as well as bikes, even though all the debate has been about cyclists.

Unless LibDems or SNP change their position, the full council could itself be evenly split – and we would almost certainly lose on the casting vote of the (LibDem) Lord Provost.

The outcome

One Response to “How Model Cycle-Friendly Edinburgh REALLY Works”

  1. […] How Model Cycle-Friendly Edinburgh REALLY Works […]

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