A CANNY cafe owner told transport bosses to get on their bikes - after they tried to charge him £3,000 to bring Just Eat cycles to Cramond.
Eddie Tait has been haranguing the city council for bike racks on the promenade outside his Boardwalk Beach Club for three years with no success.
So when the Capital’s first street cycle scheme was unveiled last month he grasped the opportunity, only to be told he would need to pay.
“I told them to shove it,” he said. “A small cafe, if it’s doing well or not doing well, shouldn’t have to fork out for a public resource.”
Mr Tait said cycle racks would help more families enjoy the three-mile promenade along the Forth.
“The council keep going on about following the healthy agenda, following the sports agenda but they don’t follow it up with action - is our experience.”
Mr Tait said he was visited by Just Eat cycle representatives a fortnight ago and was told it would cost him £3,000 to have a bike rack installed. There should be Just Eat cycles here. People might say I’m asking for them for selfish reasons but even if I didn’t own this business, if I was just staying here, I’d want facilities to improve.”
Mr Tait said a social media reach of his business of ten million means folk are coming to the promenade from all over the country.
“People are using the promenade and visiting it because we are promoting it,” he said.
Popular with cyclists, dog walkers and families out for a stroll, the Boardwalk Beach Club is a finalist in Visit Scotland’s regional Scottish Thistle Awards next month.
He urged councillors to look beyond the New Town and Old Town in promoting the city to visitors rather than being “blinkered.”
He added: “This promenade is beautiful and it should be a pinnacle. They shouldn’t be asking us for money they should be spending their own money better.”
Charles Graham, General Manager for Just Eat Cycles, said: “The scheme’s initial hire points are located in the busiest spots in the city with the highest footfall. Each docking station costs more than £3,000 to install and because the scheme comes at no cost to the tax payer, we are speaking to a number of businesses in less densely populated areas of Edinburgh who see the business benefit of having doorstep access to the cycle hire scheme for their customers and staff.
“We are looking at a range of options for these commercial partnerships which are essential in order to maintain, grow and expand the scheme to the benefit of businesses, residents and visitors to The City. We are also looking to develop specific and cost effective options to work in partnerships with small businesses in The City.”
Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “Recognising the increasing popularity of cycling on the waterfront promenade bike racks will be installed in the near future and we will be updating local partners on timescales. Demand for more facilities like this to support cycling is growing throughout the city.”