Archive for the ‘Midlothian’ Category

New Midlothian Map

Posted by chdot on July 30, 2009

MidlCover 2009m
The Lothian Cycle Campaign, Spokes, has just published its latest map – a brand new one for Midlothian.

This is first update for seven years. One addition is the recently opened Dalkeith Bypass which slices through Dalkeith Park.

Unfortunately Spokes has also had to add a short section of “proposed cycle link” – from Millerhill to the new road (because Midlothian Council didn’t think about cyclists enough when they were planning the new road).

The map covers all of Midlothian (apart from the extreme southern tip around Soutra). In addition the southern and eastern extremes of Edinburgh are included – plus East Lothian as far as Prestonpans, Pencaitland and Humbie.

The other side of the map has enlarged, detailed, maps of Bilston, Dalkeith, Danderhall, Gorebridge, Lasswade, Loanhead, Mayfield, Newtongrange, Penicuik, Rosewell and Roslin.

PLUS photos and descriptions of some of the many “Places of Interest” in the ‘county of Midlothian’ – which historically included Edinburgh.

In short the map is a must for residents of Midlothian (including Edinburgh) to help you plan commuter or leisure journeys.

Available now in most bike shops and good book shops and on-line (£5.95 post free – or any 4 Spokes maps for the price of 3).

Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, holidays, Maps, Midlothian, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Shawfair, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, walking | 1 Comment »

Saturday Morning Ride to IKEA on the Cargo Bike

Posted by chdot on May 5, 2009


Of course we’re not talking Straiton here.

Saturday Morning Ride to IKEA on the Cargo Bike” is the latest post on the famous/delightful/groundbraking (sic) blog (subtitle “Life in the World’s Cycling Capital”).

Remarkably the photo shows various similarities with the stretch of dual carriageway at Burdiehouse where cyclists are encouraged to ride on the pavement. After that they have to deal with the turning for Lang Loan, the Bypass underpass, a roundabout and Midlothian (where IKEA is).

If you visited the stylish Dreams on Wheels exhibition at The Botanics earlier this year you will have some idea of what is possible when a local authority takes the idea of encouraging more people to ride bikes very seriously. 

You will also have been impressed by the photos of ‘ordinary’ people becoming mobile models in their daily lives . Such photos are collected on “our streetstyle sister blog” COPENHAGEN CYCLE CHIC.

Posted in Active Travel, Art, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, cycle parking, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Exhibition, HEALTH, Midlothian, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety, walking | Leave a Comment »

Google Street View Arrives

Posted by chdot on March 19, 2009

Last year car mounted cameras toured streets in Edinburgh (and 24 other UK cities).

At last the results (Google Street View) can be viewed on-line.

Really quite impressive – unless of course you’ve been photographed somewhere you’d rather not have been…

Faces may have been blurred but your distinctive bike won’t have been! Hours of endless fun searching for people/bikes you know.

See if you can find a street scene with more bikes than this one.

Perhaps of more use is that the Google “satellite” images (used in Google Maps and Google Earth) of Edinburgh have been updated recently with slightly higher resolution and a bit more coverage of Mid and East Lothian.

Posted in Active Travel, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Maps, Midlothian, Physical Activity and Health, technology | 1 Comment »

Another 20 miles

Posted by chdot on March 12, 2009


Edinburgh is fortunate to have a wide range of places to explore in the city, its suburbs and surrounding countryside. It’s possible to devise routes using mostly off-road paths and quiet roads.

There are various groups organising rides to suit most sorts of cyclists including TryCycling (usually 5 to 10 miles) and CTC Lothians (up to 70 miles). Edinburgh RC organises fast rides.

The 20 Milers is an informal group that meets once a month at the top of Middle Meadow Walk (just off Lauriston Place) – anyone can go along. This Saturday (March 14th) the destination will be the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena near Ratho. does a good job of listing all ‘known’ rides.

Posted in ChangingPace, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Midlothian, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety, Spokes, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Cycle to the Smiddy

Posted by chdot on September 11, 2008

This month’s 20 Milers ride will visit the Cousland Smiddy – a restored Smith’s Cottage and 18th century Smiddy building – which is only open a few days a year.

As usual the ride will leave the top of Middle Meadow Walk (by the two Police Coffee Boxes) at 10.30 on Saturday (13th).

Mike Lewis of the 20 milers says “We have an interesting day planned. Darren Mirfield will be leading us on a very pleasant route to Cousland in Midlothian. Although slightly longer than usual (about 24 miles in total), it should be a reasonably easy ride, mainly following bike paths and other off-road routes. It will be reasonably flat, apart from one serious hill just before we reach the village.

“The ride will provide a rare opportunity to visit Cousland Smiddy which will be having an open day to coincide with our visit. The visit to the smiddy will, of course, be optional, but I think it will be worth doing. Note that there is a suggested entry donation of £2.

“Cousland doesn’t have a pub or cafe, but the folk at the smiddy will be laying on hot drinks and home baking. This will be our main meal break, so I suggest you also bring a sandwich or snack to supplement the food on offer. Remember, all our rides are free, and you’re welcome to bring your pals.”

For info on other leisure rides around Edinburgh, visit

Posted in Core Path Network, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Midlothian, paths, ride | Leave a Comment »

New Cycle Map

Posted by chdot on May 14, 2008

The latest map from Spokes is a new edition of the East Lothian one [buy on-line]. It’s a revised version of the original 2003 one. One noticeable addition is the controversial Dalkeith Bypass [A68] – mostly in Midlothian – due to open later this year.

At the northern end, the map marks a “proposed cycle link”. One useful feature of Spokes maps is the ability to highlight improvements that could be made. This particular one was identified by Spokes members.

It’s just a shame that the people who plan roads (this one has been on the go for at least ten years) aren’t as aware of low cost measures that might encourage cycling and, perhaps, reduce the need for even more roads. Maybe that is why useful alternatives aren’t investigated and provided…

Spokes has also made the covers of all its Newsletters and Bulletins available on-line. A fascinating snapshot of 30 years of campaigning. The summer 2008 edition will be the one hundredth! To mark this milestone, there will be an exhibition of the leaflets and other items in the Central Library on George IV Bridge.

Posted in Active Travel, commuting, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Exhibition, Maps, Midlothian, ride, Safety, Shawfair, Spokes, Spokes maps | 1 Comment »

(Part of) Edinburgh to be Travel Demonstration Community?

Posted by chdot on March 17, 2008

Members of Bingham Bicycle Club about to enter East Lothian

Today the Scottish Government announced some details for “Scotland’s local authorities to help create a series of ‘sustainable travel demonstration communities’ across the country”. (In part a response to England’s Cycling Demonstration Towns.)

The topic was the subject of a seminar in Edinburgh in December. City of Edinburgh Council was represented – as were various Edinburgh based organisations with an interest in ‘sustainable transport’. The ‘Scottish Demo Town’ idea was announced a year before – in the National Transport Strategy.

There have been rumours that cities wouldn’t be eligible because they are too big. But all (32) Scottish local authorities have been sent details and asked to consider areas/communities with populations up to 100,000. One place that might be chosen is Inverness (a city since 2001) with about half that number of people – and already involved in various cycle/sustainable transport initiatives.

For Edinburgh it would mean finding an area containing less than a fifth of its population. It could be the city centre which already has the highest concentration of cycling. However the aim of this initiative is that “communities would be a role model for others to follow, showcasing the very best methods available to encourage residents to use more environmentally-friendly forms of transport.”

It might be better to look to the east of the city where there is already a reasonable network of walk/cycle paths – particularly the Innocent Path – and other paths gradually being improved. A suitable TDC could include some (or all of) Leith, Portobello, Craigmillar, Duddingston, Bingham.

The whole area is relatively flat (east of Arthur’s Seat!) and includes parts that are being rebuilt or about to get significant new development – Brunstane/Newcraighall, Craigmillar/Greendykes, Lochend, Leith Docks.

The Scottish Government press release talks as though all the work will be done by local councils, but for this to really work in a place like Edinburgh (small towns will have a more established sense of community and travel to work areas) it’s probably necessary to involve existing local groups. These could be ‘interest’ groups such as Greener Leith, PEDAL (Portobello) and Craigmillar Cycles as well as neighbourhood groups and Community Councils.

The Scottish Government is looking for “innovative ideas” (these are just a few of those suggested in the press release).

  • Organised cycling and walking trips
  • More pedestrian/cycle/walking only areas
  • Improved conditions for walking, footpaths cleared of obstacles; better managed and maintained streets
  • Improvement of green space
  • Better use of public spaces to increase opportunities for recreational physical activity
  • Free bus and train tickets encouraging residents to give it a try
  • Maps explaining how to walk or cycle to a local shop, or even something as simple as a timetable for their nearest bus stop
  • School and work place travel plans

Quite a lot of possibilities – but there’s only £15m available over 3 years and only half a dozen places likely to be chosen. Edinburgh will need (and want) to make a good case.

This part of Edinburgh also joins both East Lothian and Midlothian. The new Queen Margaret University is just yards away from the border. Shawfair (the new community due to built with the involvement of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils) is close by. Perhaps SEStran will take an interest in, and help with, the idea of Travel Demonstration Communities too.

Colin Howden, Director of TRANSform Scotland is supportive of this new initiative:

“This will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase how small-scale local transport projects can get people to switch to sustainable transport. The English scheme has proved very successful. Given the additional funding available in the Scottish scheme, there is no reason why this shouldn’t deliver even better results.

“If Scotland is to achieve its ambitious climate change emission targets then the transport sector is going to have to play a large part. The sustainable travel towns will provide examples of how to bring about reductions in carbon emissions.

“We hope that many local authorities around Scotland will bring forward bids. It’s important that we see a range of towns in both urban and rural areas take forward sustainable travel towns.”

Posted in bike security theft, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Craigmillar Cycles, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Lothian Buses, Midlothian, paths, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Shawfair, Spokes, Spokes maps, Sustrans, technology, walking | 3 Comments »

Exciting New Cycling Venue

Posted by chdot on November 29, 2007


There’s still no certainty about the future of the velodrome at Meadowbank or a date for a new skatepark for Edinburgh, but from January there’s a new indoor facility.

Transgression Park will be in a top floor unit (LE3) at Ocean Terminal – the concept was tried out there earlier this year – (great video).

It’s being developed by Edinburgh based EHX. The new facility is described as an “Urban FreeSport destination catering for all your urban and ‘extreme’ sporting requirements”. It’s been designed by professional BMXer Dave Sowerby who also designed the Penicuik Skatepark

It will be open to all, but Members will get priority (at a reduced price) and special pre-opening access. Membership will be £25 per year – join before Christmas and get the first visit free.

Posted in citycycling, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Midlothian | 2 Comments »

New Spokes Map Available

Posted by chdot on November 26, 2007

After weeks of waiting it’s now available in all good bike shops and on-line.

This is the 8th edition of the Edinburgh map produced by Spokes and published in the 30th anniversary year of the “Lothian Cycle Campaign”.

A lot of volunteer effort has gone into the maps over the years. They have undoubtedly helped to encourage more people to cycle in the City. They show off-road paths, cobbles, hills, one-way streets, bike shops etc.

Spokes also publishes maps for each of the adjoining Lothian council areas. Earlier this year it helped Go Bike! publish a cycle map for Glasgow. (Buy any four of the five maps for the price of three.)

Profit from the maps has part funded a range of initiatives including Castlecliff Bicycle Workshop – which developed into The Bike Station – and TryCycling in Edinburgh.

Posted in BikeStation, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Glasgow, HEALTH, Maps, Midlothian, paths, ride, Spokes, Spokes maps, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

SEStran Restores Cycle Cut

Posted by chdot on November 8, 2007

Earlier this year SEStran (South East of Scotland Transport Partnership) faced a budget deficit (CE.i report). In the words of Spokes in the 06 01 07 Spokesworker (PDF 169kb) the amount involved for cycle projects has been “massacred from £610K to a mere £100K in 07/08″.

So today’s news of significant spending on cycle routes – in Edinburgh and across the borders into neighbouring council areas – is particularly welcome.

SEStran is accelerating granting funds to partnership local authorities, to ensure that outstanding work on a number of cycle ways is completed before the end of the financial year.

A total of £785,000 will be spent on completing a range of projects that will enhance and extend the facilities available for cycling across the region. The projects that will now be completed within the 2007-8 financial year include:

£180,000 on upgrading a footway to a shared pedestrian footpath and cycleway on the A8000.

£150,000 on upgrading an existing footway on the North side of the A8 to a shared use cycle/pedestrian path, from the footbridge at Ratho Station to Ingliston Park and Ride site and to the airport. Work will include resurfacing the existing path, adding dropped kerbs at side roads, direction signing and fencing.

£200,000 on upgrading an existing footway on the South side of the A8 to a shared use cycle/pedestrian path from the footbridge at Ratho Station to the airport roundabout. Work will include resurfacing the existing path, including widening it where necessary, adding dropped kerbs at side roads, direction signing and fencing.

£180,000 to upgrade an existing footway to a shared footpath and cycleway at Gilmerton Station Road, on the Midlothian boundary.

£75,000 to upgrade an existing footway to a shared use cycle/pedestrian path, from Newcraighall Station to Queen Margaret University, including the installation of new lighting.

Complete press release.

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Midlothian, paths, ride, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans | 1 Comment »