Lanark Road: Protest arranged over planned removal of cycle lane on busy Edinburgh road
A protest has been organised in response to the proposed removal of a cycle lane on one of Edinburgh’s busiest roads.
Lanark Road saw new cycle lanes installed on it as part of the Spaces for People programme earlier this year.
Yet, during a Transport Committee meeting last week, SNP and Labour councillors threw members a curveball and voted to have the lanes removed just months after being installed.
The move has sparked outrage among cyclists and residents in the city, many of whom will be cycling together in single file on Lanark Road on Wednesday at about 6pm to protest.
Ewen Maclean, who organised the demonstration, said those taking part in the protest will be urging Edinburgh Council to “take more leadership” by protecting “much-needed” cycle lanes in the city.
"The point of this protest is to point out the people who didn’t have a voice in this decision – our children,” said the father-of-two.
"These cycle lanes, and this goes for others across the city, are so important in the long term for the children in this city.
"They help reduce traffic volume by offering children and adults other ways to travel, but they also provide a safer way for kids to travel by bike. Not only is this a more green way of getting about, but it’s also encouraging physical exercise for children in a country where this needs to be a focus."
It is understood, in the current proposition, that the Lanark Road cycle lanes will be replaced with parking spaces.
Mr Maclean added: "The council is seriously lacking in leadership with this decision, and it needs to really think about the impact removing cycle lanes like this will have on the future of our young citizens. There are some people who seem to just value parking over well-being.”
Fellow cyclist and parent Sara Dorman added: “It’s just insane that these lanes might be removed.
"We are trying to make Edinburgh a more environmentally-friendly and safer place, so this sort of decision just has no logic to it.”
A decision on the future of the Spaces for People programme will be made on Thursday this week during a full meeting of Edinburgh City Council.
Ahead of the meeting, Green councillor Claire Miller has published an amendment calling for the Lanark Road project to be reviewed.
Ms Miller said: “Over the last year there have been many projects to provide more safe space for people walking, wheeling and cycling. Some have been more successful than others as was always going to be the case in a programme like this. But, overall, there can be no doubt about the need for Edinburgh to take the same path as other cities and transform travel. That is why Lanark Road is such a test. It is a four lane highway with low density housing, a park, and a golf course on either side. If there isn’t space for segregated bikes lanes here where is there space?”
Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We’re aware of the reaction from the public in favour of retaining the Lanark Road scheme.
"We’re currently considering what our next steps should be on the matter and will be confirming this in the course of the next couple of days.”