Edinburgh's Spaces for People cycle lanes have cost £64,000 in maintenance, council reveals

Maintenance and cleaning of temporary cycle lanes created under the Spaces for People programme has cost more than £64,000 so far, the council has revealed.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:55 am

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But Tory councillor Jason Rust claims cyclists have complained the road surface in some of the lanes is crumbling and uneven.

He warned that although the cost was currently met nationally from the money awarded to the council for the scheme, if the lanes become permanent it will be council taxpayers who have to pick up the tab – and he questioned how viable that would be because of the tight financial position facing the authority.

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Maintenance costs for temporary cycle lanes are currently met nationally
Maintenance costs for temporary cycle lanes are currently met nationally

The costs were published in response to a Freedom of Information request, which also asked if the council cleaned and maintained all Spaces for People (SfP) cycle lanes itself or if a private company was used.

The council replied: “The council’s Waste and Cleansing service cleans the SfP cycle lanes with Road Operations maintaining the surface. The cost is funded from the Spaces for People programme, funded from the Scottish Government. The cost to date is £64,454.48.”

Councillor Rust said: “We would expect there to be maintenance costs, but this does seem a very large sum of money.

"And one of the complaints that has come forward, actually from cyclists, is that the condition of the cycle lanes is not great and the Lanark Road cycle lane, for instance, is in quite bad condition in places.

"At present the cost is being funded from the Scottish Government, but Sustrans stated in the route map to permanency that councils would need to cover maintenance, so I’m not sure how sustainable this will be going ahead, given the council’s budget.”

Transport vice-convener Karen Doran said Spaces for People measures were introduced to help people make stay safe at the height of the pandemic.

"During this time we’ve carried out a programme of maintenance to make sure the routes are clear of debris and surfaces are safe to walk and cycle on.

“Our decision to keep some of these schemes longer term is in line with our commitment to encourage and invest in infrastructure to support travel on foot or bike. As part of this we will, of course, continue to maintain them and make improvements where possible. We’re continuing to explore funding for future years.”

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