6000 sign petition against Roseburn cycle path

A petition against the controversial Roseburn cycle path plans has attracted 6000 signatures ahead of a crunch meeting next month.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 1:52 pm
Roseburn residents Judy Probert and Sahin Katil at the City Chambers in February to protest against the plans. Picture: Greg Macvean
Roseburn residents Judy Probert and Sahin Katil at the City Chambers in February to protest against the plans. Picture: Greg Macvean

Proposals for a new £9 million “cycle superhighway” between Roseburn and Leith are set to go before the city council’s rransport committee on August 30.

But Peter Gregson, who is leading the fight against the scheme, wants the council to adopt alternative blueprints developed by the campaigners.

The Roseburn Vision focuses on off-road routes amid claims that current proposals could destroy livelihoods and passing trade.

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The campaigners will present the petition to the city’s transport leader, Lesley Hinds, ahead of next month’s meeting.

Mr Gregson, a former council employee who helped deliver the Kings Haugh to Innocent Railway cycle link, said: “In spite of assurances from the SNP group that our scheme, the Roseburn Vision will be considered at committee on August 30, the council cycling officer dismisses it out of hand.

“The council has changed its plans slightly, with two options now on the table, but it’s not nearly enough.

“The main problem is the width of the street. If we had very wide streets we could accommodate this but we don’t, not without taking away all the bus lanes and all the parking. If they want to improve congestion, they should not take away bus lanes.”

But Ian Maxwell, from cycling group Spokes, urged the council to be “bold” and vote through the plans.

He said: “There is too much congestion and atmospheric pollution. Pavements are too crowded. My worry is that a very local concern about deliveries to shops doesn’t take the bigger picture into account.

“Any bold scheme will generate opposition but this is an opportunity to make a really dramatic improvement to the way people move about in this part of the city and it would be a tragedy if we lose it.”

A public meeting will be held at Murrayfield Parish Church Hall at 7pm on Tuesday, August 2, at which the cycling officer will present his plans.

The proposals affect a half-mile stretch and would see the main road around Roseburn Terrace narrowed, with a segregated cycle path along the northern side and the westbound bus lane on West Coates removed.

But opponents say these changes would lead to increased congestion as drivers contend with fewer lanes, and argue plans to remove loading bays could hit shop trade. They have also pointed to the existence of the nearby National Cycle Route 1 – along Balbirnie Place – as an alternative, and have suggested changes to West Coates.

Under their vision, on-street parking would be removed and a cycle lane created on either side of the A8.