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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Straiton Pond to Ellen’s Glen Cycleway

13/03404/FUL | Replacement of existing bridge deck over Lasswade Road and construction of a ramp to provide link from railway embankment to Lasswade Road. Surfacing and widening of path to create 900m cycleway along former railway line between tunnel beneath City Bypass adjacent to Straiton Pond and Lasswade Road. | Loanhead To Danderhall Cycleway

Existing rail bridge over Lasswade Road

Existing path along former rail line - running adjacent to the Edinburgh City Bypass

Interestingly, this stretch of disused railway line is also part of a feasability study into opening ten miles of rail line that would allow passenger trains to run into Penicuik off the new Borders rail link.

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is old news (summer 2012) and I posted something about in the Edinburgh General News thread at the time but I felt it was worth reposting here because, well, it's such a fantastic proposal.

Leith Walk Regeneration - Raised Pedestrian / Cycle Route and 'Leaf Bridge' by Biomorphis

From the architects:
There seems nowadays to be a confused relationship between the citizens of Edinburgh and our own city. Major decisions are born from consultations but their outcome can be so ill-managed that we are simply left estranged. Let’s not talk about the tram for a while. Let’s rather talk about tomorrow’s Edinburgh and what could be its next most important decisions.


The transport sector produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector in Scotland. But town planning strategies and local policies can call upon a number of initiatives to reduce this source of pollution. More than 300 communities around the world have already joined the “Transition Towns” movement, commencing the process of reducing their dependency on oil. In the same spirit, local associations in Edinburgh like Greener Leith and Leith Open Space are trying to raise citizens’ awareness about environmental issues which concern not only Leith. Edinburgh council has been looking for a vision for Leith Walk and we believe that this vision has to embrace the whole city: the network might be the key, but not any network. A network which belongs to the city’s history, which links the seemingly unlinkable. Edinburgh needs a new landscape which should depend on existing and underlying links. Some of them are missing, while the chains are already clearly visible from above. One can see patches of green, cycle paths but Leith Walk as a central divider. Why? Because Leith Walk has its own logic, its own flow. Going against it is like going against a river. Leith Walk needs a bridge which would link the east cycle path from Portobelo right to Pilrig Park and the west of the city. A bridge which would redirect the ever-growing flows of bikes and pedestrians who are simply crossing the city. The bridge would not only bring a solution to the network’s short circuit, it should also become a landmark.


One might argue that building a bridge above Leith Walk sounds almost Herculean. Yes, but for one location: The old elevated railway tracks from Gordon Street to Jane Street, where there was once a bridge. The structure is just there waiting.

So what would the bridge be made of? What kind of bridge should it be? The idea is to bring a lightweight structure with low embodied energy. Construction materials based on plant products represent the way forward in terms of diminishing our dependence on hydrocarbons. Therefore timber would represent an excellent choice of material. Locally and bio-sourced timber provides an excellent ecological solution. The whole frame should be sourced from local artisans and locally assembled.


We talked about the bridge but what would the new path look like? The idea is to emulate what has been done in other great cities like Paris and New York. In both cases, disused train tracks became not only public paths but elevated parks and gardens. The Paris experiment known as “Promenade plantée” had its doubters when in the 1980s the run-down area of La Bastille was designated for an overhaul that would not only preserve the old railway arches, but also would provide an unlikely park. The arches got renovated and new businesses arrived. The area is now a must-go for local residents and visitors alike. Years later, the New York “High-Line” seemed like a no-brainer. Chicago, Philadelphia and many more are also now actively reclaiming their lands.

So what kind of garden here? A garden for all, a park made of communal gardens. The new gardens would allow neighbours of all backgrounds to share time and experience to become the new eco-citizens of Edinburgh. Communal gardens can change the social relations of the city by giving a sense of ownership to all. The gardens would naturally encourage biodiversity and offer a natural animal habitat.

The idea of a bridge above Leith Walk is not new but our latest attempt is now generating a growing momentum which could prove decisive. Business leaders will remain sceptical about it. But the idea here could not bring more value for less money. Can our city afford turning 500m of disused train tracks into self- developed gardens and build a bridge out of timber boards? Let’s really hope so.

From Domus:
Scottish studio biomorphis has proposed a new "green bridge" for the centre of Edinburgh, in an attempt to kickstart the regeneration of the area. Leith Walk, as it is called, is one of the major thoroughfares of the city, and currently acts as a major divider in the city. Biomorphis proposes a bridge which would link the East cycle paths to the West of the city, redirecting the ever-growing flows of bikes and pedestrians and also becoming a landmark for the community.

The concept is to bring a lightweight structure with low embodied energy. Construction materials based on plant products represent the way forward in terms of diminishing our dependence on hydrocarbons. Locally and bio-sourced timber provide an adequate ecological solution. The frame has been developed as an optimized system of simple straight timber boards suspended from two main steel cables anchored to the remains of the old structure. All boards would have an identical standard width for a purpose: the whole frame should be sourced from local artisans and locally assembled.

The bridge's design is generated from an algorithm which responds to three guiding principles: suspension, repetition and alignment. The script provides an ocean of choices which have to be carefully selected to address the specific issues.

The elevated garden would be a park for all, made of communal gardens, which will encourage biodiversity by creating a wildlife corridor above the city and offer a natural animal habitat, with a careful selection of plants requiring very little watering from collected rainwater.


4,074 Posts
I think that Leith bridge and "green corridor" plan is absolutely fantastic. What are the chances of it happening?

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Minister announces funding allocation for cycling infrastructure

Transport Scotland - 24th September, 2013

Transport Minister Keith Brown today announced at Scotland’s first cycling summit how the additional £20m, recently allocated to cycling, will be spent over the next two years.

The funding will enhance the Community Links programme run by Sustrans Scotland, which is open to bids from all local authorities across the country for infrastructure projects to promote cycling and walking.

It will provide a significant enhancement to the support the Scottish Government is already offering to local authorities to promote active travel and provides a real opportunity for them to plan ambitiously for the infrastructure improvements needed in their areas.

Local authorities are encouraged to look at developing flagship schemes that will make a difference to helping more people to walk and cycle for everyday local journeys.

In support of this aspiration, the Minister also announced that some of the new funding will be allocated to the City of Edinburgh Council’s scheme to implement cycling improvements on Leith Walk. The Scottish Government will offer up to £3.6m to help realise the scheme’s potential for promoting active travel along a key commuter corridor.

The funding, which was announced as part of Mr Swinney’s draft budget statement on 11 September, is in addition to the £58m already allocated to active travel in the 2011 spending review.

Scotland’s first cycling summit provided local authorities, regional transport partnerships and other bodies involved in active travel with an opportunity to discuss what more can be done to make cycling a safe and attractive option for all, to deliver on the vision in the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland of 10% journeys by bicycle by 2020.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“This new additional funding demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to delivering infrastructure to make cycling a safe and realistic travel choice.

“We are offering local authorities the chance to promote active travel and encourage them to look at developing exemplar projects that will make a difference to helping more people to walk and cycle for everyday local journeys. We are also looking to local authorities to contribute too, given the considerable potential for local benefit from investing in their communities.

“The City of Edinburgh Council’s ambitious plans for improving Leith Walk aims to deliver an exemplar commuter corridor. Subject to finalising designs, the Scottish Government is pleased to be able to offer support for this project which has significant potential for promoting much enhanced levels of walking and cycling by across the city.”

Ian Findlay, chief officer of national charity, Paths for All said:

“Paths for All welcomes the announcement of additional funding for active travel. Any increase in funding will encourage more people to make short everyday journeys by foot and bike, which helps to meet many Government priorities relating to transport, health, the economy and the environment. We also particularly welcome the Government’s practical leadership in organising the first national cycling summit and look forward to positive outcomes from this that will help to achieve the vision of 10% of bike trips by 2020.”

John Lauder, national director of Sustrans Scotland said:

“Sustrans Scotland is pleased with the announcement of an additional £20m of new funding for cycling over the next two years. We want to see many more people in Scotland having the choice to travel by bike in the future.

“The role of local authorities in helping realise the vision of the CAPS is crucial given that people want their local shopping and residential streets to be welcoming places to get about by bike. I hope that this announcement will help local authorities to see the merit in dedicating more of their own funding to help people make short trips under their own steam rather than relying on their car.”

Ian Aitken, chief executive officer, Cycling Scotland said:

“Cycling Scotland welcomes the announcement of additional funding for cycling infrastructure. The research that Cycling Scotland conducted to inform the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland clearly showed that improvements in infrastructure is one of the most important measures in getting people who don’t currently cycle to consider getting out on their bikes. Improved infrastructure is also a key measure in improving cycle safety and that has to be the main priority to ensure that we achieve the CAPS vision of 10% of trips by bike.”

Cllr Jim Orr, the City of Edinburgh’s Council’s vice transport convener said:

“I’m delighted that Edinburgh was given the opportunity to host the first ever cycling summit as we are making great progress in increasing cycling rates by making it easier than ever. The summit provided local authorities and Government agencies such as Cycling Scotland an opportunity to work together and learn from each other. Investing in cycling is a top priority in Edinburgh via our ongoing Active Travel Action Plan and we have committed to spend 6% of the entire transport budget for 2013/14 on promoting it.”

921 Posts
^^ Great news. Channeling cash into cycling infrastructure will make a huge difference.

A long term goal should be to create segregated cycle lanes on city streets to link the various clusters of dedicated cycle paths together, as seen on the 'Inner tube' map


13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cyclists now fifth of Edinburgh commuters

Edinburgh Evening News - 14th November, 2013

One in five vehicles commuting into the city centre during morning rush hour on one of Edinburgh’s main roads is a bike, new data counts have shown.

The count was carried out by cycling campaign group Spokes on Lothian Road on Tuesday. A record proportion of bikes were counted travelling northbound on the main city thoroughfare.

Almost 21 per cent of the traffic between 8am and 9am was cyclists, with 192 bikes counted heading into the city centre.

The proportion was even higher on Forrest Road where cyclists made up 22 per cent of the traffic heading into the heart of Edinburgh over the same period. The number of bikes was less than half as high for southbound routes.

A statement from Spokes said: “Perhaps this reflects the Haymarket road re-opening, enabling some drivers to avoid diversions, whilst a few cyclists might be seeking an alternative to the Haymarket tramline crossing. Whatever the reasons, it is astonishing that over 20 per cent of city bound rush-hour vehicles on Lothian Road are now bikes.”

3,369 Posts
Bike counters to tally number of cyclists

DIGITAL cycling counters are to be installed on two of the city’s busiest bike routes in a Scottish first.

Already widely used in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, right, the devices will be put on Middle Meadow Walk and the Union Canal at Edinburgh Quay, and will show a live LCD bicycle tally that will constantly update as bikes pass the device’s sensors.
Had a fun read of the comments...

Utter waste of £250k
...Put up cameras that catch the cyclists going through red lights
Putting pedestrians and other road users in danger. They are a law to themselves our roads are safer without them.
I was at a meeting at Bernard Street/Constitution Street this morning. I arrived early 8.30, not meeting my collegue until 9.05. On a dry crisp November morning I counted 6 cyclists in and around the area. That's one every 5 minutes.
Hardly worth the special boxes at the junctions so recently installed by the Council. Complete waste of money.
People just don't get it. Is 250k really that much? The more hard data a city has, the better.

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
New cycle route: Meadows to Holyrood Park

Edinburgh Evening News - 25th November, 2013

A cycle route running from the Meadows to the edge of Holyrood Park would be created under new proposals.

The proposal would link the popular parkland to the Innocent Railway tunnel – the start of a longer bike path that heads east, passing through Duddingston, Brunstane and Musselburgh.

Under the fresh plans – which have been laid out by the city council – cyclists would ride along Buccleuch Street, Gifford Park, Rankeillor Street and St Leonard’s Street.

Pavements would be widened on some roads such as Hermit’s Croft to make room for both pedestrians and cyclists to share the space, according to the plans.
Innocent Railway


13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Consultation on new cycle path closes next week

Edinburgh Reporter - 10th December, 2013

A major cycle route through Edinburgh is to be created under plans announced by the council and green travel charity Sustrans.

Under the proposals a mixture of dedicated cycleways and shared pedestrian and cycling paths will be laid between the Meadows and the Innocent Tunnel at Holyrood Park, joining up two existing cycle routes.

Edinburgh council cycling spokesman, Councillor Jim Orr said he hopes the plans will make cycling in the city safer and more attractive to families, and that the council will be able extend the route to link to the Union Canal.

Councillor Orr said: -”One of our primary priorities is to encourage people to switch to public transport and active travel. This is better in many ways such as reducing congestion, air pollution and wear and tear on the roads.

“Every journey on foot or by bike as opposed to car (or public transport) saves the city a little bit of money.”

The council’s Active Travel Action Plan set citywide targets for 10% of all journeys, and 15% of trips to work, to be on bike by 2020.

A spokesperson for Sustrans Scotland said:- “If these targets are to be realised, it is essential that high quality cycling facilities are put in place.

“People need to be able to cycle with ease from where they live to where they need to get to – be it the shops, school or the workplace. If there are any obstacles in the way, this will put many people off before they have even started.”

Sheila Gilmore, Labour MP for Edinburgh East, who is a cyclist herself, also backed the plans. She said:- “One of the lacks in Edinburgh’s cycling provision is the joining up of the off road cycle routes via safe routes, so this is very important.

“I am sure there can be some debate about the exact route chosen and that will emerge in the consultation.”

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
£10m cycle path to cut through heart of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Evening News - 14th January, 2014

A major £10 million cycle path will cut a swathe across the heart of the city under radical plans seen by the Evening News.

The child-friendly bicycle corridor will link Roseburn and Leith – via George Street – making it one of the most significant cycle paths in the city.

Work on the project is likely to begin later this year, *bringing disruption to the city centre.

And while the expected roll-out has been welcomed by cycling lobbyists, motoring campaigners have warned it could extend journey times for drivers.

Neil Greig, of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, fears that would be the case if
traffic lights were used to control junctions where the path and motorists meet.

He said: “My only concern would be that there is only a certain amount of time at signalled junctions and to use up time for cyclists means others lose out.

“The more time that motorised vehicles are held up results in more *pollution and congestion.”

However Ian Maxwell, of cycling charity Spokes, has described the proposals as a “key move”.

He said: “It won’t be easy but they built a tram system so should be able to install such a cycle path.”

The cycleway which begins at Roseburn Path will run through picturesque Charlotte Square before joining up with the two-way George Street cycle route which opens this spring.

Cyclists will then either be sent down York Place or Princes Street to tie in with the £3.6 million Leith Walk

Another option open to developers includes routing the westward section though *Haymarket and Shandwick Place or along Melville Street.

The entire scheme will be part of the National Cycle Network, which states that a 12-year-old child must be able to ride the entire route unaccompanied.

As a result, junction remodelling and footway removal will be necessary within the city centre sections. Keith Irving, head of Living Streets Scotland, welcomed the plans but advised that providing safe space for one group of vulnerable road users should not be at the expense of another.

He said: “We have made clear to the council our view that an increase in cycling should be accommodated through the reallocation of road space, not redetermination of footways.”

A spokesman for The Charlotte Square Collection, which manages 19 properties around the square, said: “We have always advocated that improvements to the public realm will enhance the area and providing improved amenity for pedestrians and cyclists would have a positive impact.”

Contractors are being asked to submit feasibility studies for the project which the council hopes to deliver over the next three years.

Councillor Jim Orr, city vice-convener of transport, said: “We are very keen to see a high quality, family-friendly east-west cycle route created right through the city centre. This project is another key part of our commitment to making it as easy as possible to cycle in the heart of Edinburgh.”

The city council aims to work in partnership with Sustrans Scotland to help fund and deliver the project.

A spokeswoman for Sustrans said: “This tender shows real ambition on the part of the council given the scale of the project and we look forward to receiving their bid for Community Links funding.”

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Upgrades to Craigleith Junction set to start

Edinburgh Innertube Map - 9th February, 2014

The next two months will see a major improvement project underway at Craigleith Junction – part of which will see it re-named Craigleith Quarry Junction.

The junction is seen as a major entry point to the path network, serving the nearby shopping centre linking it to Maidencraig Crescent, and is the junction between the Roseburn Path and the route to Queensferry and Silverknowes, but heavy use and bad drainage have left it lookiung a bit neglected.

The plans include landscaping the central triangular island, with brick edging round the grass to help keep growth off the path surface, and new trees planted which won’t obsucre sightlines. The Sustrans sign will be sunk into the ground so that the concrete base can’t be used for seating.

The bad drainage will be solved, so that flooding, puddles mud and ice will no longer be a problem (a common complaint) and in places the paths are being widened to 4m. Another common complaint has been undergrowth growing right up to the path edges on the corners, restricting sight lines and visibility – this will be thinned back to allow the verges to be maintained and mown.

To try and solve the problem of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, the line of the path between the shopping centre and Maidencraig is being resurfaced in a different colour to highlight this heavily used pedestrian route, and rumble strips and give way markings on the paths at the approach to the junction – as used in Copenhagen – will encourage cyclists to slow before reaching the newly-coloured path. The metal chicane barriers at the exits to Maidencraig Crescent and Telford Road are being replaced with artistic railings.

Back in October the Edinburgh Council held a consultation exercise to see which issues local people and regular path users wanted to see addressed at the junction which led to these designs, and hopefully this will be but one of many more improvements to come at key points along the paths.

The project is part-funded by Community Links – a Scottish Government grant managed by Sustrans, and worked on by the city council in partnership with Cycling Scotland – which, as the name suggests, aims to improve community links by bike and on foot. It should all be ready by 31st March – so the next two months will see a lot of activity, so watch out if that is part of your regular commute.

Question. Any thoughts/opinions on separating the cycling related stuff from General Transport and giving it a thread of its own?

13,919 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Council pledges to give all primary school pupils cycle training by 2016

Edinburgh Evening News - 12th February, 2014

All primary pupils across the Capital will get on-the-road cycle training by 2016, council transport chiefs have vowed.

Children would be given all the skills needed to get around the city on two wheels under the bold plans.

It would make Edinburgh the first city in Scotland to train pupils in all its schools to the national standard – known as Bikeability Level 2.

At the moment, cycling classes are provided in 51 schools, but the council’s Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019 would see this rolled out to all 88 primaries.

The plans were universally backed by cycling safety campaign groups – including Cycling Scotland, which has promised a £20,000 grant for equipment.

Lynne McNicoll set up the Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust after she lost her stepson Andrew, 43, in a cycling incident with an HGV on Lanark Road in January 2012.

She said: “Good on them. All we have ever wanted is to make it as safe as possible for cyclists on our roads.

“This really bodes well for the future that they are prepared to make such a commitment to the city’s children.”

The Scottish Government outlined a vision to train all primary children to Bikeability Level 2 in its Cycling Action Plan 2013.

However, until now it had been seen as an aspiration rather than a key target for most cities.

City council cycling spokesman Jim Orr, lodged a motion calling for “focus” on the ambitious goal at December’s full council meeting.

He said: “We are determined to succeed and are taking the target very seriously. Bikeability is a vital part of our active travel action plan.

“Added to infrastructure improvements across the city and plans for more 20mph zones, this means that we continue to improve the environment for cyclists in this city.”

UK cycling charity Sustrans will work with the city council to deliver the project, which will also aim to benefit the I Bike scheme, set up to tackle inequalities in the cycling population.

Keen cyclists at primary level often drop their interest when they move to secondary, while fewer girls enjoy taking to the saddle than boys.

Charlotte Gardiner, Sustrans’ I Bike Officer for Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted to hear that all children in Edinburgh will now receive Level 2 Bikeability training.

“This training, which is delivered both in the playground and on the road, will equip children across the Capital with the skills and confidence they need to cycle more often. It will also provide reassurance for parents.

“It is great to see Edinburgh taking the lead with this, and hopefully other local authorities will follow suit.”

Last year, the number of casualties among cyclists on Scottish roads rose nine per cent to 901, serious injuries were up seven per cent to 167 and the number of deaths increased by two to nine. In total, there were 1164 child casualties, including two fatalities.

Chris Hill of popular city cycling forum CityCycling, also hailed the council’s plans.

He said: “This is good news. It’s been clear for a long time that schools that have a commitment to cycling, such as Sciennes and Stenhouse, do a really good job.

“The council has consistently underestimated the amount of time and effort this involves and has so far been unable to support and encourage schools adequately.

“Now there seems to be a genuine will to enable schools to achieve it.”
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