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Edinburgh golf club urges council to remove cycle lane – so members can park on the road

Kingsknowe Golf Club claims that the new Lanark Road bike lanes have had a negative impact on business, as members “need to travel by car”

Members of Kingsknowe Golf Club in Edinburgh have started a petition urging the council to remove a recently installed cycle lane on the Lanark Road – so golfers can park their cars on it.

Four miles of protected bike lanes, located along the Lanark Road, Longstone Road and Inglis Green Road in Edinburgh’s south-west, were introduced in 2021 as part of the city council’s Spaces for People project.

Funded by Sustrans and constructed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the pop-up scheme aims to “create more space for people walking, wheeling and cycling” in the city. 

The largest of the three roads covered by the scheme, the Lanark Road, has traditionally been viewed as particularly dangerous for cyclists.

In January 2012 keen cyclist Andrew McNicoll died from injuries sustained in an incident involving a parked car and a lorry driver, while riding to work. Following Andrew’s death, his family campaigned for changes to where and how motorists can park on the road.

> Family of Edinburgh cyclist killed last week launch safety campaign

However, this week Kingsknowe Golf Club launched a petition calling on City of Edinburgh Council to remove the new active travel scheme “with immediate effect”. 

Founded in 1908 and situated on the Lanark Road, Kingsknowe Golf Club has over 500 members and claims to “have successfully married the traditions of golf with a welcoming outlook on what is required for a 21st Century club.” 

The club says it opposes the recently installed cycle lanes because they prevent members from parking on the road when the course is busy.

The petition reads: “Prior to Spaces for People being introduced our members were able to use Lanark Road as an overspill for parking during major competition days.

“Since Spaces for People has been introduced, this has not been possible and we have received a large number of complaints from members regarding this.

“Due to the equipment used in the sport many of our members need to travel by car so that they can bring clubs, trolleys and other equipment. Use of public/other forms of transport are therefore not possible for members.

“We therefore request that City of Edinburgh Council remove the Spaces for People measures from Lanark Road with immediate effect due to the current/long term impact they will have on our club.”

> Edinburgh residents group threatens council with legal action over new cycle lane 

While the petition has so far attracted over 260 signatures, many appear to have signed it simply to criticise the club’s opposition to the bike lanes, with some pointing out that public parking is available within walking distance of the course.

Jamie Scott wrote: “This has got to be a joke. Are you seriously trying to convince people that golfers who are capable of walking 3.5 miles around the Kingsknowe Course with their ‘equipment’ are suddenly incapable of walking an extra couple of hundred yards from the nearest parking space to the club?”

“The safety of children and adults using a healthy sustainable mode of travel is far more necessary than parking for cars,” said Stephanie-Ann Gornall. “They can use some of their own acreage for cars if golfers are too lazy to use other modes of transport!”

Chris Guthrie wrote that anyone opposing the bike lanes were doing so for “selfish reasons”. He pointed out that “there is plenty of parking available, the lanes are wide enough to accommodate all travel types and provide safety and comfort for the most vulnerable. Please consider the wider benefits of having these in place.”

Oscar MacLean was somewhat blunter in his criticism: “I'm signing because anyone who wants to prioritise parking of cars on a public road for occasional private golfing events over every day cycling in the middle of a climate crisis in the most congested city in Scotland is an over-entitled idiot.”

> Residents blame increase in motorist-related collisions on recently installed cycle lanes 

Kingsknowe Golf Club isn’t the first group to call for the removal of the Spaces for People measures on the Lanark Road. In January last year, the residents group South West Edinburgh in Motion (SWEM) threatened the council with legal action if construction began on the pop-up bike lanes. 

Last month, SWEM’s chair Derryck Reid, a professor specialising in photonics at Heriot Watt University, blamed the new cycle lanes for the increase in collisions reported in the area. 

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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