HUNDREDS of cycle racks are to be installed across the Capital as part of an ongoing effort to make life easier for those getting out and about on two wheels.
Some 223 racks providing 466 new spaces will pop up along Edinburgh’s key thoroughfares including Princes Street, Leith Walk and Nicholson Street.
There will be 27 installed on Princes Street, providing 54 spaces, four on Elm Row and Leith Walk, and two on the High Street section of the Royal Mile.
Their arrival comes after the city council installed 400 racks offering short term bike parking during 2016.
Lesley Hinds, the city council’s transport and environment leader, said that the project showed Edinburgh was committed to being sustainable and environmentally friendly.
She said: “We are absolutely committed to encouraging cycling as a healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transport in Edinburgh.
“The public have told us that access to parking is really important when considering travel by bike and that’s why we’re installing these brand new racks, which have already proven popular in the first phase of the roll-out.
“We now plan to introduce racks to some of the city’s most-visited streets to enable cyclists the opportunity to experience all that’s on offer by bike.”
The initiative to increase bike parking has been jointly funded by cycling charity Sustrans, which manages funding for Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government’s transport agency.
Nine per cent of the council’s 2016-17 transport budget has been earmarked for cycling, following a pledge in 2012 to increase the proportion of cyclists by one per cent each year.
Ian Maxwell, of cycling campaign group Spokes, said the group had long since pushed for cycle racks across the city.
He said: “Having them on the main thoroughfares is really important because it’s where people want to go.
“For a long time we have been saying to the council that Princes Street is a major shopping destination and should have more racks. Up until now there’s been a real lack and it means cyclists end up leaving their bikes in places that are inconvenient to other road users.
“But when you have got a rack it means bikes are secure and won’t get in the way of anybody else.”
Mr Maxwell said it was inevitable that the Capital would require more bike racks in future and that it would good this was being recognised.
He added: “The positive thing is compared to providing car parking, cycle parking is cheap [and] it lasts a long time.
“We are pleased that major interchanges like the stations are getting more cycle parking.
“If there are good places to leave your bike it’s more likely you’ll cycle to the station, park the bike and use the train – that’s a good sustainable way to improve the way people move about.”
Installation of bike racks is currently under way and will run until mid-March.