Speaking at Spokes’s 2017 Bike Breakfast, Cllr Adam McVey, incoming Council Leader, said the new Council would be the most cycle-friendly in Edinburgh’s history…
This is a bold promise, coming after a Council which raised the cycle budget to 10% of transport spending (capital and revenue), commenced city-wide 20mph implementation and achieved all-party agreement to the controversial largely segregated west-east cycle route.
However, it is a promise that we believe can be achieved. Cllr McVey, as Deputy Transport Convener and Cycling Champion in the previous Council, developed an impressive understanding of the practicalities and the politics of cycling provision. In addition, new Deputy Council Leader, Cllr Cammy Day (who spoke at our public meeting on Cycling and Health and was Health Committee Deputy Convener in the previous Council) has similar qualities – and both councillors are regular bike users for much of their everyday travel.
Moreover, expanding the City’s cycling infrastructure was mentioned the following day by both councillors, representing SNP and Labour in the new Council coalition, in their short first joint interview by the Edinburgh Reporter [NB: the reference in the video to £100m for roads is purely for road maintenance, not for new roads!]
Our one caveat is that this depends not just on the Council, and not just on groups like Spokes, but also on individual people like you. It is vital to continue to contact your local councillors every so often about cycling issues that concern you – by social media or, better, by email or, best of all, going to their surgery (ask them where/when). A big reason why Edinburgh Council is relatively bike friendly is because a wide range of councillors hear often from their constituents about what needs done – and most also give praise where it is due, which really helps create a positive atmosphere for going further. Find your councillors at writetothem.com. Without this continuing pressure and support from constituents, cycling will slip down the priority list for many councillors and for the council as a whole.
There are loads of great photos and comments, including…
- Our twitter hashtag #SpokesBB
- A lovely video by Edinburgh Reporter (includes short extract from all 3 speeches)
- Illustrated article by Edinburgh Reporter (includes detail from the Adam McVey and Alison Johnstone speeches)
In other speeches, Alison Johnstone MSP, Spokes member and Co-Convener of the Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group which deals with cycling, congratulated Spokes on our 40th anniversary and highlighted the continuing inadequate Scottish Government investment in cycling and walking. Investment on a Danish scale would contribute to tackling the obesity epidemic and climate change. She urged concerned citizens to lobby their politicians.
For Spokes, Dave du Feu pointed out that the £146m increase in trunk road spending in the Scottish Government 17/18 budget was nearly 4 times as much as their £39m total investment in cycling and walking. The £39m represented 1.6% of government transport spending, compared to Edinburgh’s 10% – a commitment repeated in the Edinburgh Council election manifestos of the SNP, Labour and Green parties.
Thank-you to the stallholders …
- The Spokes stall!!
- Edinburgh Bicycle did a massive job on chain-cleaning and ran a £50 prize draw
- Police Scotland security-marked large numbers of bikes and demonstrated #OpClosePass.
- Sustrans Scotland
- Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
- City of Edinburgh Council, cycle team
- Cycling UK (Scotland)
- CycleLand – rent your bike out, or rent a bike
Councillors/MSPs at the Bike Breakfast
Full list of politicians attending – please tell us if anyone is omitted
* = member of Spokes
Ward 1 – Almond
Cllr Norman Work SNP retweet
Ward 4 – Forth
Cllr Cammy Day Lab – Depute Council Leader tweet
Ward 9 – Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart
*Cllr Gavin Corbett Green tweet
Ward 11 – City Centre
*Cllr Claire Miller Green tweet
Ward 12 – Leith Walk
Cllr Marion Donaldson Lab tweet
Ward 15 – Southside/Newington
Cllr Steve Burgess Green tweet
Cllr Cameron Rose Con
Ward 17 – Portobello/Craigmillar
*Cllr Maureen Child Lab tweet
*Alison Johnstone MSP Green retweet