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New Path Open

Union Canal Update

New Transport Man For Edinburgh

Previous News
 
Here's a sign we want to see more of!

 

Minister arrives by bike

 

New Path Open
 

The steps from the Union Canal aqueduct at Slateford to the Water of Leith Centre have been open for a few months. Now (July 2001) the path downstream, past the cemetery and allotments is open to Chesser Loan (off Chesser Avenue). A new bridge is planned across the WoL to join up with another new section of path that runs from the back of the Fiat garage on Gorgie Road, 

The path is fenced off from the cemetery because of local fears that 'cyclists may cycle over the graves'!! SPOKES is a supporter of the WoL Millennium Project. The original purpose of the project was "The completion of a walking and cycling route along the river from Balerno to Leith". The fact there are no crossings on Slateford,Gorgie and Balgreen Roads and signs like this

must at least raise questions about whether the spirit has been honoured!

 

Meanwhile work continues on the Union Canal. The towpath has been resurfaced from Tollcross (NOT including the S&N car park) to the turn off along the 'railway path' to Balerno. Work continues to and through Wester Hailes. It won't be too long before the canal and towpath can be taken all the way to Falkirk.

Most of the route is a barely adequate 1.8 metres (British Waterways wanted a 'traditional' ONE metre!. Around the thorn hedge at Meggetland it is much less. For several months much of the surface has been in a disgraceful state due to the work being abandoned after the stones had been laid but before the whin dust 'blinding'. Now there is a great riding/walking surface - but sadly the drainage is inadequate. This is partly because in places the wooden retaining strips have been kept, in spite of general acceptance by path building groups that this isn't a good idea.

However the main reason is that the path hasn't been built higher than the surrounding verges. This basic problem also affects paths such as North Meadow Walk.

If cycling and, particularly, walking are to be encouraged basic factors such as water and gravity have been understood by councils and others who build paths!!

 

New Transport Man For Edinburgh

Councillor Andrew Burns is the new Executive Member for Transport. This is the job title under the City of Edinburgh Council's new 'Cabinet' system of government. His predecessor Mark Lazarowicz is now an MP was the last Transport Convenor as well as the first EMfT.

One of his first jobs was to go the SPOKES Bike Breakfast where he stayed and talked (and listened) to SPOKES members for nearly two hours. He also waved off a group of cyclists from a number of European countries on the next leg of the newly opened 6000 km North Sea Cycle Route.

Another task was to call a halt to the controversial CERT guided busway scheme. If this had been built it would have had parallel cycle lanes. SPOKES will be keen to see an early start on the long planned Edinburgh Park railway station, delayed by uncertainties over CERT.

Better cycle access to Edinburgh Park from Cultins Road and the Union Canal are also crucial.

Photo Callum Macdonald. More from the Bike Breakfast

The photo shows Cllr. Burns with SPOKES planning expert Sandy Scotland (glasses) listening to CEC's Cycling Officer Matthew Simpson

 


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