All eyes on Lib Dems as Mound parking vote draws near

Liberal Democrats’ commitment to cycling in Edinburgh will be under scrutiny as a knife-edge vote looms in the City Chambers tomorrow (Thursday).

Cycle campaign group, Spokes, has been campaigning for double yellow lines to be provided for the full length of the Mound in the city centre, in order to prevent cars clogging up the cycle lane and to ensure passage for buses at the weekends.

The proposal has been backed by opposition parties in Edinburgh but the ruling administration wants to have a mixture of single and double yellow lines.  This would retain some parking on the Mound but opponents say it would create a transport “hokey-cokey� for buses and cyclists.

Last year a City Council working party on bus priorities agreed to back full yellow lines.  At the City Council’s transport committee in February, however, officials recommended no double yellow lines in parts of the Mound in order to allow car-parking on Sundays.  The ruling SNP-Lib Dem councillors voted for the officials’ recommendation, with the Greens, Conservatives and Labour backing full yellow lines.  The vote was then tied and, at Green councillor, Steve Burgess’ prompting the matter has been referred to the full Council meeting tomorrow (13 March).

With the opposition parties set to vote the same way and back full yellow lines, all eyes are on the Liberal Democrat councillors, to see if they can make good on their manifesto commitment to make Edinburgh a model city for cycling.  Only one Liberal Democrat needs to back the proposal to give it an overall majority. 

Green Councillor, Steve Burgess, said:

“Keeping the Mound free of car-parking will open up the cycle lanes at the weekends, keep buses moving and prevent tailbacks of traffic.

“A pick and mix of single and double lines simply creates a transport hokey-cokey, with buses and cyclists having to weave in and out of parked cars.

“Liberal Democrats promised much for cyclists pre-election but have delivered little so far.  This very modest measure is the perfect chance to show they can walk the talk.�

Notes

1. The report to City Council is here:

http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=109127

The original motion to the Transport, Infrastructure and Environment Committee recommended that only some of the single yellow lines be converted to doubles.

ENDS