Edinburgh's cyclists need to do something in return for 'pop-up' cycle lanes – Helen Martin

Cyclists need to stay off Edinburgh’s pavements, use lights and luminous jackets at night, and obey traffic lights, writes Helen Martin

Monday, 4th May 2020, 7:30 am
Many people have taken up cycling for their daily exercise with roads quieter than normal (Picture: John Devlin)

ONE of the most continuous Edinburgh conflicts is the future of cycling investment including a £10 million plan for Scottish “pop-up” cycle lanes and wider pavements for pedestrians.

Among complaints are that cyclists don’t pay for road tax, insurance etc but motorists do; cyclists don’t stick to cycle lanes; they endanger pedestrians on pavements; and with such austerity and debt, this is the wrong time to pay millions for cycle lanes.

The positives are that increased cycling reduces toxic emissions and contributes to the planet’s future; cycling is a cheaper and healthier form of transport; lanes are needed to protect cyclists from lorry, bus, tram and car accidents; and for me – my son is a cyclist, not a driver.

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My opinion never goes down well with bikers but here it goes. I think the £10m pop-up lanes are a good idea to achieve all those positives for cyclists and the rest of us.

What matters is that lanes are used, and not pavements or pedestrian paths; cyclists have lights and luminous jackets (not wearing black) at night; and they obey traffic lights where they apply.

Failure of any of those could involve a small fine just to make sure they adhere to the investment.

Generally, widening pavements is fine providing the road width accommodates buses in both directions, and allows overtaking at bus stops until or unless cars are banned (otherwise traffic jams will worsen).

To get the support of everyone for this investment it would be only fair to have cyclists comply with reasonable rules.

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