Many local residents are concerned about aspects of the Cycle Route Proposal.

A few of these concerns are easy to tackle, because although people may fear there is a disadvantage, the evidence suggests there will be an advantage.

  • If you don't want to cycle you don't have to.
  • The Proposal will help tackle congestion.  Bikes take up less space on the road.
  • Residents would also benefit from reduced local pollution.  Bikes don't emit toxic gases.

We have found an excellent website that covers these and many other cycling fallacies.

What Roseburn could lose

Edinburgh Council are offering local residents substantial investment top improve our area, giving us preference over other districts.  Sustrans are considering 50% funding, although there are strong bids from other cities.

The Proposal would bring wider pavements, additional pedestrian crossings, reductions in motor traffic, and streetscape improvements — all features that would attract shoppers to the area and boost local businesses.  chance for substantial investment to improve our car-dominated street into a more pleasant, safer place where business can thrive on custom from local pedestrians. 

We have a one-off opportunity and, if we fight it, the money will go elsewhere.  How will we ever persuade the Council to listen to our requests for improvements in the future?


Our group have found the evidence of the benefits greatly outweighs the disadvantages.  We don't believe in showing just one side of the argument, so here are the main concerns we have found.

1 Pedestrian safety

Some people are concerned about the risk to pedestrians from collision with bicycles.  We investigated the plans and found that the Cycle Route Proposal has pedestrian safety as a priority.

  1. Existing cycle routes such as NCN1 ask pedestrians and cyclists to share the same path, which in places is narrow.  In contrast the Proposal is fully-segregated and much wider.  The cycle path is very clearly distinguished from the pedestrian space, with a drop down curb and different coloured tarmac. 
  2. The Proposal adds extra signalled crossings on Roseburn Terrace.
  3. Pedestrians especially school children are protected by blocking of the dangerous Roseburn Gardens "rat run", which is currently used by over 200 vehicles per hour at peak times.
  4. The Proposal gives pedestrians priority crossing side streets with a continuous pavement (see image).
  5. Read more

2 Loss of parking and loading

Based on the initial design, local businesses were concerned about the reduction of parking and loading in Roseburn Terrace, and the corresponding loss of business.  The Council listened, and have found a solution which preserves off-peak loading for around 10 cars (down from 18 at present). In compensation, there is an increase in peak time loading available from zero to 5 cars and the two parking spaces on Roseburn Terrace will be available 24 hours rather than off-peak only.

There are additional parking and loading spaces in the adjacent streets, all less than two minutes walk from the shops.

Businesses can look forward to new custom from passing cyclists, and increases to pedestrian shoppers coming from the more attractive shopping environment.  Studies show that these can easily compensate for the motorists.Read more

3 Loss of bus lane

Residents and politicians are quite rightly looking with concern at the proposed removal of the Westbound bus lane on West Coates.

Surveys and modelling suggest that the impacts of these changes will be modest

— Transport and Environment Committee Public Consultation for the Preliminary Design [3.9a]

However, notice that the bus lane comes and goes throughout the length of the A8.  The main purpose of a bus lane is to allow buses and taxis to have priority to pass queues of cars.  There are minimal queues Westbound on West Coates, even at peak times.  Earlier in the year, roadworks on this section reduced the traffic to a single lane each way, shared by cars, buses and bicycles (so considerably worse than the Proposal), and the traffic was still flowing freely at morning rush hour.Read more

4 Existing Route - NCN1

Some people are suggesting that we don't need a new route because there is the existing cycle route National Cycle Network 1 (NCN1) is in the vicinity of the proposed cycle route.  NCN1, shown on this video, is not a segregated cycle path — it's just a signed route along shared-use paths.  NCN1 takes a route beside the tram lines down Haymarket Yards, then through a residential car park to Balbernie Place.  After that, it heads North, so Westbound cyclists have to join the main road along Russell Road.

Since the introduction of the trams, NCN1 is dangerous, and what's more it's longer than the alternatives, has sections which involve conflict between cyclists, pedestrians and trams, and at each end leaves cyclists on busy roads.  Without the proposed new cycle route, the cycle journey from Roseburn Place to Haymarket via Russell Road then NCN1 is not attractive and will not result in the uptake in cycling that the city needs.Read more