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One in four vehicles on rush hour Edinburgh street is a bike

Forrest Road, a popular city-centre route for cyclists, saw record numbers of cyclists using it in the morning rush hour, while motor traffic was down

One in four vehicles heading into Edinburgh city centre on one street on Tuesday morning was a bicycle, according to a local cycling group, after its annual traffic count.

Spokes cycle campaign counted traffic between 8-9am on Forrest Road, a popular city centre route with cycle commuters, and found 26.1 per cent of vehicles was a person on a bike. A separate count, on Lothian Road, found cyclists accounted for 22.7 per cent of traffic.

The count revealed the highest ever proportion – and overall number - of cyclists using the roads. Meanwhile car numbers were down, 77 per cent of which had just one occupant.

Record numbers turn out for 2016 Pedal on Parliament

A Spokes spokesman said: “This is a big success for the council, which has a bold local transport strategy target to cut car use from 43 per cent of all trips in 2010 to just 31 per cent in 2020.”

The count registered more than 500 cycles for the first time in its 11 year history, while private cars dropped from 1663 last May to 1617 this May.

Spokes said of the growth in cycling on Lothian Road, which was up from 19.1% last year, makes a case for protected bike tracks.

“The level and growth of cycling demand, and the falling motor traffic, surely cry out for segregated cycling provision on this relatively wide, but scary, city-centre road.  There are few roads in the city which would benefit so strongly from such a scheme and, as shown by the London Superhighways there is almost certainly a big pent-up further demand from people who’d like to cycle but don’t feel safe until they have the right conditions,” it said.

Plans to link east and west of Edinburgh via new cycle route

Spokes says the Council should use the growth in cycling to speed up its plans to invest in infrastructure for cycling, as well as walking and public transport.

It says: “The planned East-West segregated route should be progressed robustly; there is an ever stronger case for cycle facilities on Lothian Road and the council should certainly think again about its inexplicable proposal to allow motor traffic to use all bus lanes off-peak and to scrap Saturday bus lanes altogether.”

With the growth in bikes, comes a perhaps unsurprising growth in bike shops – in 2010 Spokes bike map listed 13, while in the forthcoming edition, there will be a record 32.

 

 

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5 comments

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MoreCoffeeNeeded | 7 years ago
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Spokes has been doing their counts for years and they always do them in the same places - Forrest Road is one of those places. I don't know why they chose that spot 10 years ago! 

I think that Spokes are trying to give the council some encouragement by their comments - I thought that for Spokes they were unusually pro-council!! Definitely a bit of carrot rather than stick on this occasion. 

Avatar
fizrar6 | 7 years ago
3 likes

 I have to ask -  Why did they pick Forrest Road for the survey?

Nothing to do with Forrest Road being right next to the University where bike population will be at a peak.

Nothing to do with Forrest Road being at the top of The Meadows which is a huge open area for cycling.

No, it's all down to the Councils Transport policies.

 

Avatar
SteveTheFish | 7 years ago
2 likes

Living in Edinburgh and having cycled lejog Edinburgh centre definitely had the worst roads for cyclists. 50 miles away in the Borders they have the best roads though.

Good to see lots of cyclists in Edinburgh though, but it's not due to any council schemes.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
1 like

Edinburgh council. Completely fucking hopeless. It's like they recruit only the most dense and incompetent people in Scotland. 

Spent seemingly a decade fixing the roads non-stop, yet the roads are utterly shit to ride on. All over the city, consistently shit. It's actually noteworthy when you find a smooth patch that isn't booby trapped in some way.

If anyone from Edi council ever stumbles upon this, here's a clue - before you make something random like bus shelters a bit shinier, you fix the things that are broken first. 

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StuInNorway replied to tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
5 likes
unconstituted wrote:

It's actually noteworthy when you find a smooth patch that isn't booby trapped in some way.

If anyone from Edi council ever stumbles upon this, here's a clue - before you make something random like bus shelters a bit shinier, you fix the things that are broken first. 

 

Are you saying cyclists are still having to avoid the same potholes as I did when I lasst cycled in Edinburgh in the mid 90s ?   I was pretty sure the council went round filling in some and making new ones each year just so we can't "learn the sequence" and avoid them by instinct.  Watch until most cyclists know to swerve left THERE, then fill that hole and make a new one a foot to the left.

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