Readers respond to the new cycle path plans

The unveiling of two new planned cycle paths through the city has generated huge interest.

Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 2:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 2:09 pm
The planned new cycle path on The Mound.

The £12 million routes - one linking the Meadows to George Street and the other from Roseburn to Edinburgh Park - will be funded by Edinburgh City Council and Transport Scotland.

Scotland’s transport minister Humza Yousaf said the routes will allow more people to enjoy “greener and healthier” modes of transport.

But readers remain divided over the plans.

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Responding to the news on the Evening News’ website, Lawnmower James wrote: “Delighted we’re well enough off now to fund this. Why it was only this year that the council was saying they were going to have to cut services, due to being skint. Who is the fiscal genius that has managed to square this circle? I’d like to shake their hand!”

Níall Páraig Ó Treasaigh questioned the practicalities of the scheme. “The pedestrian crossings across the current carriageway are all controlled by traffic-lights... but the cycleway will get zebra crossings and will be required to stop far more often than any traffic on the main carriageway.

“Where the lane intersects with the main carriageway at the Market Street junction, the road markings will indicate that cyclist must give way to traffic turning onto Market Street from The Mound.

“This means that cyclists on a tricky uphill may be required to stop with minimal notice, and then have to perform a hill-start on a tricky junction.”

Ken Johnston warned of the hazards from tram tracks, writing: “Better watch out for the tram tracks when the cycle lane crosses Princes Street at The Mound. Hope CEC have enough cash in the coffers to pay for the “accidents” that will surely follow.”

Aileen Cardownie also sounded a note of caution: “If you have the misfortune to walk through the current attempts at creating a cycling ‘network’, you may find yourself wondering what the benefits of making large areas confusing, dangerous, inefficient and disjointed are.

“The knock-on effect of the ambiguity is that many cyclists now think there are no no-go areas, which renders the millions and millions and millions of pounds spent on isolating ‘safe’ areas useless.”

Nick Maycock thought the money might be better spent elsewhere: “Instead of wasting this money on what is essentially a small minority of road users why not use it to the benefit of all by reducing the number of potholes in the city. “Not only do the potholes make journeys by public transport uncomfortable they also present a hazard to cyclists, motorcyclists and even pedestrians crossing the roads.

“Stop pandering to vocal minorities and look to improving the lot of the majority, which incidentally will help this minority as well.”

Steve Haldane added: “Delighted if cyclists can have a safer environment to travel across the city. However my delight is tempered by the fact that current cycle paths are not used, instead cyclists cycle in amongst the trafffic on the roads that run parallel to the cylce paths. Until this stops no more cycle paths should be built.”

David Harrington called for high standards in the design of the routes: “If these routes are designed and built to the high standards of routes in countries such as the Netherlands then this is a potential game changer. To do so they need to offer advantages over staying on the road such as being more safe, less interrupted, more direct or all of these.”

But Pete Donald said: “If the Saughton to Edinburgh Park track is an example then cyclists won’t use the new tracks. The narrow road at Govt buildings is constantly snarled up by cyclists while the dedicated cycle track alongside the road is left to pedestrians.”

So, what do you think? A revolution in greener healthier city transport or a waste of public money?