Greens call for City cyclists not to slip off gritting programme

Green councillors have called for cyclists to be given equal treatment in gritting paths after a spate of accidents.

As the coldest winter for years draws to an end, the Greens have drawn attention to the fact that many dedicated cycle paths have remained iced up and untreated for up to a week, making them dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians.

Now, in a motion to the City Council, Green councillor, Steve Burgess has called for cycle routes to be given the same priority as key roads and pavements.

Green Environment spokesperson Steve Burgess said;

Hundreds of cyclists use these routes every day but during the recent freezing weather, these routes have been treacherous, causing accidents and forcing cyclists to take to the roads which have been treated. Pedestrians using these paths have also been affected.

If we want to encourage cycling and walking in the City we need to make sure these traffic-free routes are just as a priority for treatment as the main roads.

Council-tax payers would not tolerate Lothian Road or London Road going untreated so cyclists should not have to suffer the loss of some of the main routes in the city.

Notes to Editor

The motion to City Council on 12 March 2009 reads:

10.5 By Councillor Burgess – Priority Gritting for Cycle Routes

That the Council:

– Notes the aim to make Edinburgh a model cycle-friendly city and recognises that the city’s traffic-free cycle routes are well used by hundreds of cyclists every day;

– However understands that during recent cold weather, these cycle routes have become treacherous due to ice, resulting in accidents and forcing cyclists onto treated roads;

– Understands that cycle routes, such as the Innocent Railway, have remained iced-up for as much as a week;

– Notes that these routes are dual-use and that pedestrians are also affected ;

– Notes that the Council operates a priority system for gritting the city’s roads and pavements;

– Believes that the main traffic-free cycle routes could be incorporated into the system for priority treatment and therefore calls for a report on this to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee.