Narrow cycle lanes must not go ahead - your views

"It is time for transport leader Lesley Macinnes to stop defending the indefensible”

Monday, 1st March 2021, 7:00 am

Narrow cycle lanes must not go ahead

Conservative Cllr Andrew Johnston has challenged the council on the dangerous width of the proposed cycle lanes at the bridge on Longstone Road (News, February 25) .

Although the council acknowledges width problems, it will press ahead with advisory lanes.

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Our transport leader says: “Designs for this scheme have been carefully considered by Spaces for People officers to ensure cyclists are protected.

“The alignment of lanes leading to and under the bridge is an improvement to cycle safety compared to the current situation.”

If the designers have given careful consideration, they are incompetent. Cllr Johnston very accurately says that they are “shoe-horning in changes which simply don’t work.”

Give Cycling A Push says: ”The risk gets even worse when cycle lanes are dangerously narrowed. When space is limited, the designer may feel that putting in a narrow lane (below 1.5 m) is better than nothing, even on busy and fast roads. Again, this is more dangerous than no cycle lane at all. The narrow lane forces motorised traffic to drive too close to the cyclist.”

It is time for Lesley Macinnes to stop defending the indefensible. She defended the disabled bay in the middle of the road until a safety audit pointed out the danger; she had to apologise a few days ago for exaggerating the good aspects of the SfP schemes.

She includes six commendations for SfP in the consultation on making the schemes permanent, though she knows that the vast majority of citizens oppose them.

We all want safety for cyclists but she is going about it in a dangerous way. It is time for councillors in the administration to ask her to think again.

Paul Bailey, Braid Road, Edinburgh.

Boulevards are fine in south of France

It is yet again with a sense of despair that I read of Edinburgh Council's plans for George Street as a people friendly setting, empty of cars, with street cafés and happy cyclists and pedestrians frolicking in the warm sun, enjoying the "European Boulevard feel".

The reconstructed image provided shows this very delightful scene in all its faux-European beauty.

Unfortunately, the reality of an admittedly very beautiful city, in any period of the year other than a few days in summer, would be a fierce wind, blowing either from the east or the west straight along the street, frequently accompanied by rain, sending these happy boulevardiers scurrying into the nearest shop or pub.

Banning cars from it would only result in more traffic in Queens Street, more buses in Princes Street and the only access to George Street being up a steep hill on both sides, causing inconvenience and extreme difficulty to older or physically impaired citizens.

I wonder how keen the restaurateurs, the shop owners and the office workers in the New Town are about this plan. Perhaps as keen as the local residents here in Murrayfield for the draconian parking restrictions planned by the same council for an area that manifestly doesn't need or want them.

Meanwhile, many of the streets of Edinburgh remain almost impassable due to the potholes in the roads and the disastrous state of the pavements.

The zealots in Edinburgh City Council, with their ten year "transformation project" need to be shaken out of their fantasies by the reality of life in an empty city centre.

Edinburgh is one of very few world capitals where many residents still live and work in the city centre, and turning it into a fantasy Mediterranean city would benefit no one.

Brian Bannatyne Scott, Murrayfield Drive, Edinburgh.