The City of Edinburgh Council have published proposals to develop a new cycle route linking the Roseburn path to Leith Walk, forming part of the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 1. A consultation was undertaken by the Council on this matter between November 2015 and February 2016, with a summary of the results to be published in June 2016.
I have received a number of letters and emails from constituents of Roseburn expressing their concerns over the impact these proposals could have to traffic, transport and local businesses, and I have been liaising with residents, councillors, campaigners and local business to understand their views on this matter.
Whilst I do in principle support the promotion of cycling as alternative methods of transport around the capital, particularly given the high levels of pollution being experience along Corstorphine and St John’s Road, I have a number of concerns with the Council’s proposal.
- Congestion – Roseburn Terrace and West Coates are part of the A8, arguably the main arterial route into Edinburgh from the West. The reduction of the inbound route to a single lane seems likely to only increase congestion and by extension vehicle pollution through idling engines.
- Removal of Bus Lanes – The bus lanes along West Coates are part of one of Edinburgh’s busiest bus routes, serving communities such as Clermiston, South Gyle and East Craigs, as well as the airport bus route. The removal of the bus lanes could directly impact on the city’s award-winning public transport system.
- Impact on small businesses – It is very unclear from these proposals how shops and other businesses along Roseburn Terrace and West Coats will be able to have deliveries unloaded and I would welcome the Council’s clarification on this.
It is clear to me that, with these proposals, Edinburgh Council are making a commitment to combat the city’s congestion and pollution problems whilst encouraging sustainable travel. However we must take into account both the needs of nearby residents and business owners, as well as those who regularly commute though the area on public transport. Edinburgh has an infrastructure problem, and we need bold, new and inclusive proposals by governing bodies and local communities alike to tackle this.
Having already made representations to the Council’s transport committee, local councillors and with Sustrans, I will be looking to further engage with all parties in making sure any development along this route is fit for all uses.
Full details of the proposal can be found here: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/roseburntoleith