"Roseburn Vision"

A group of residents have put forward what they refer to as "The Roseburn Vision", which we will refer to as the RV.  Unfortunately, this proposal has a number of fundamental flaws.

  • The RV is likely to double the cost due to loss of 50% funding from Sustrans as it doesn't meet their criteria.
  • The RV was created by a small group of residents, and ignores years of accumulated research and consultation with everyone else.
  • It seems unlikely that the RV will bring significant increases in cycling, nor does it have the capacity to carry extra cyclists safely.  It proudly ignores all the evidence of what has been shown to work and instead leaves us with a route that is meandering, mostly shared-use, and missing keys links including Haymarket.

In contrast the Council are offering a Cycle Route that is safe, direct and connected, and can realistically persuade thousands of ordinary people to switch to cycling .  It's a part of the overall Vision for Transport, based on policies proven to work around the world, including recently in London.

The Council have responded to the RV in detail in Appendix B of their "You Said — We Did" document.

Misunderstandings and unjustified claims

Claim Evidence
3,500 residents support the RV based on petition

Residents signed the petition before the RV even existed.

The residents want to protect the community and are alarmed by posters saying "save our shops".  The Council have listened and altered the design — traders benefit from retained loading and new passing cycle trade.

Safer for vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians Much less safe than the Council Proposal due to cycling on busy roads and cycling on paths shared with pedestrians
Easier to implement RV acknowledges that "The Council would need to seek a wayleave from the land’s owner, or a CPO" — which could take years
Reducing congestion Unacceptable delays at junction of Roseburn Street with Roseburn Terrace on account of the extra phases needed and the long gaps required to allow vehicles to clear the much lengthier junction
Scheme meets the needs of cyclists Cyclists and cycling organisations disagree — what's the point in investing money in a scheme where the target users don't want it and won't use it?
Protected cycle route is for the existing cyclists on Wester Coates

Completely fails to understand the Council's Transport Vision — protected cycle routes are forecast to attract to attract substantial numbers of new cyclists by making safe, direct routes

List of specific routes as only ones taken by cyclists Cyclists are ordinary people who have chosen to make a particular journey by bike rather than another means and so need the same routes that motorists do — the RV misses vital connectivity to Haymarket Station, Morrison Street, Costorphine Road and Murrayfield Avenue
Fraction of the price

Likely double the whole route cost because of loss of 50% funding from Sustrans

The RV requires funding to develop two separate parallel routes, and requires compulsory purchase of land

Detailed analysis

Square brackets [] refer to numbered notes in the RV document.

Southern Route via NCN1

In summary this route seems unattractive to all users whether experienced or novice.

  • The removal of the Western pavement on Roseburn Street forces pedestrians to make two unnecessary road crossings.
  • The segregated cycle route along Russell Terrace is very welcome, but unfortunately many problems remain beyond this.
  • The steep, narrow zig zags when leaving Russell Road are not suitable for less confident cyclists or heavier loads.
  • There are potential conflicts with other users in the Balbernie Place residents' car park, especially if cycle numbers were to increase.
  • The route across waste land [20] ends up on a narrow, steep private car park entrance, which seems dangerous and unsuitable
  • The cobbles on Devon Place [17] are unattractive especially for less confident cyclists.
  • 83% longer than the direct route.

Main Route on Wester Coates

We have identified only two changes from the status quo, and unfortunately in each case, the plan seems inferior to the Council Proposal.

  • The proposal [2] to block the rat run by means of a one-way street would bring some reduction in traffic, but residents and children are still in danger.
    • Cars coming from Murrayfield Stadium direction can cut the corner drive down Roseburn Crescent, cutting straight across the route of children walking to school and the park.
    • The bollards [1] at the entry to the park "to indicate traffic danger to kids" are welcome but surely it is better to reduce the danger.
    • The Council proposal to close the street seems better for pedestrians, children and cyclists.  This is exactly what people would expect for any modern residential development, and the Council are gradually protecting older streets where possible.
  • Removal of parking on both sides of West Coates would improve conditions for cyclists.
    • However it is potentially controversial in comparison with the Council Proposal that leaves off-peak parking on one side of the road.
    • This could flood local Roseburn residential streets with more commuter parking.

This means that many problems remain, and it's unlikely there will be any significant change to how people make journeys.

  • No provision for cyclists coming along the Costorphine Road, Murrayfield Terrace or Murrayfield Gardens.
  • Roseburn Terrace junction layout is dangerous for cyclists.  Although cycle lanes have been marked through the junction, this seems like it will make minimal difference in practice.  The narrow entrance to Roseburn Street doesn't permit two lanes of motor traffic plus two cycle lanes.  Each of the cycle lanes is cut by turning motor traffic.
  • The RV revisits an old idea of using Magdala Crescent, even though the road is busy with motor traffic at peak times.  Magdala Crescent has been rejected in the past as it is much less suited to cyclists that the alternative taken by the Council Proposal up Roseberry Crescent.  It's not clear how cyclists get across and along Palmerston Place to Bishop's Walk.
  • The RV fails to help cyclists heading for Haymarket Station or beyond along Morrison Street.