City cycling fudge missed opportunity, say Greens

Green councillors in Edinburgh have lamented a decision to delay a landmark cycle route as both a transport failure and a political failure.

At today’s Transport and Environment Committee the council was due to give the go ahead to a new direct cycle route across the city centre which has been hailed as potentially transforming capital cycling.

However, despite Green councillors urging the committee to back so-called Option A – which provides the most direct route to the city centre through Roseburn – the committee as a whole opted to delay the decision.

Green Transport spokesperson Cllr Nigel Bagshaw said:

“Today was an opportunity for Edinburgh to up its game on active travel, to do what other European cities have been doing for decades and make bold choices which reduce pollution, reduce congestion and change the balance of our transport system.

“Local residents and traders have raised concerns about the impact of the route through Roseburn and, of course, those concerns must be listened to. Indeed, the adjusted design for the route has reflected some of the points made during consultation.

“But what did the council do?  It marched (or perhaps pedalled) the city to the top of the hill and marched it down again, with a fudge to delay a final decision, no doubt until after the next council elections.

“So the decision to delay, dither or dilute is a failure of transport policy. But it is also a political failure of the Labour-SNP “Capital Coalition”.  Of the 9 Coalition members at committee today, six say they support delivery of the option A direct route.  Yet they have been dragged into this fudge by some members of the Coalition who want to stand in the way of a better transport future.

The city council’s Transport and Environment Committee today voted 13-2 to delay a decision on the new cycle route. The sole dissension came from the two Green councillors on the committee who backed going ahead with the option A direct route.