Edinburgh Council's emergency cycle paths hit a snag as snow falls and gritters can't reach them – John McLellan
With a dream of everyone in Edinburgh cycling around like it’s Amsterdam and a sunny episode of Van der Valk and with emergency Scottish government funding, the council grasped the opportunity to throw up miles of cones and wands to encourage active travel.
They usually throw in walking and wheeling but most people accept it is first and foremost a cycling scheme.
So up have gone barriers but, in the last few weeks, down have come the skies, culminating in this week’s monster dump of snow. The gritting teams have been out in force to keep as many roads clear as possible and well done them, but guess what, wherever the wands and blocks are in place the grit doesn’t always reach the kerb so while the main carriageways are passable, new bike lanes are snowbound.
There might be fewer cyclists about than before – I’m not out on my bike – but the unintended consequence of hard barriers in extreme winter weather, not unknown in these parts, is the roads are actually more dangerous for those who brave them than they were before.
They cope in other cold places like Copenhagen because they are geared up for it and the cycling infrastructure was properly installed over many years; Stockholm has had centrally heated pavements for decades.
There are no magic wands for sensible development.