Lots of people have really enjoyed the health benefits of choosing to walk, wheel or cycle more during this last difficult period, whether it has been for exercise, changing how we get to work or for living our lives more locally.
‘Meet Me Halfway’ will encourage people in every part of Edinburgh to keep choosing those methods of getting around this summer, especially when friends and family are meeting up to spend time in a park, going to one of Edinburgh’s festivals, indulging in a bit of retail therapy, or just enjoying a get together. It’s a campaign highlighting the great walking and cycling routes in Edinburgh, including Quiet Routes for less confident cyclists and the National Cycle Network. There’s lots of information available on the Council website to help you plan a new or unfamiliar route.
So why is this so important to the city? Edinburgh’s aiming to be a Net Zero Carbon city by 2030 – it’s a really ambitious goal which will give us all health benefits, reduce the impact our daily lives have on the environment, help us to play our part in tackling the climate change emergency and change how we live our lives, positively.
We‘ve all witnessed the ferocious weather changes here in Edinburgh and elsewhere in recent months – whether it is wildfires in Greece and Turkey, destructive flooding in Germany, and in Edinburgh too, or dangerous record temperatures in America. Climate change is impacting our daily lives more and more – and how we choose to react to these challenges will determine how we and our children and our grandchildren can live those lives.
Ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year we’re concentrating on what positive actions, large or small, we can take. This SNP/Labour administration has clearly recognised why we need to change, the need to work together with others to achieve significant progress and the need to really deliver for our fellow Edinburgh residents.
There’s a great deal of work going on inside the Council and with partners to turn things around. Our 2030 Climate Strategy has been created by working cooperatively with partners from businesses, universities and organisations from every part of Edinburgh.
And their message is clear – there’s a lot to do and it’s up to us to do it.
So please look out for the billboards, the bus shelter ads, the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat content about this – there will be lots to see in the next few weeks. There are so many great walking routes in the city, with our parks, historic streets and great green spaces. Cycling can be a fun, fast and reliable way to get about, especially with more protected cycle lanes which can make people feel much safer and more secure on bikes.
And to all of you who can choose to make these positive changes and walk, wheel or cycle more in this beautiful city – thank you. It will make a difference.
Cllr Lesley Macinnes is SNP Councillor for Liberton Gilmerton and Transport and Environment Convener