Greens welcome new funding for inclusive cycling in city

Greens welcome a reprieve for Edinburgh’s only inclusive cycling project.

Cycling UK’s All-ability Bike Centre based in Saughton Park closed in May after failing to secure funding. It provided adapted bikes to enable people with physical or learning disabilities, older people and people with health conditions to enjoy cycling.

But today, the City of Edinburgh Council’s Transport and Environment Committee supported a £71,000 grant to the Thistle Foundation to continue to operate the service in Saughton Park, and also from Craigmillar.

The Thistle Foundation is a health and wellbeing charity providing wellbeing support to people living with disabilities and long-term health conditions.

Thistle will re-launch the service as Thistle Outdoors in the next few weeks, with the inclusive cycling programme being part of a broader programme to promote wellbeing through walking and cycling in the city.

Funding was secured through a Green amendment to the council’s budget in May 2021 and will pay for two full time staff to operate the service; training; engagement and overheads.

Council officials are now also working to secure a longer-term future for the project beyond the end of the interim funding.

Scottish Greens representative for Sighthill-Gorgie where the service has been based until now, Dan Heap said:

“The All Ability Bike Centre has provided a valuable service to people who need a bit of extra help to access cycling, and the service was very close to being lost entirely.

I am delighted to see that Green Councillors have worked behind the scenes to ensure people of all abilities can enjoy the health benefits of cycling in Saughton Park.”

Green Councillor Gavin Corbett worked closely with council officials to ensure that Edinburgh continues to have an inclusive cycling service and said:

“I am really grateful to residents who got in touch to explain what a valuable service it has been. Cycling has a huge part to play in the city’s future, both as a way of getting around and with all sorts of health and wellbeing benefits. So today is a good day.”

The report approved by Transport and Environment Committee today is on