Promoting Roseburn shops and community

Living Streets Edinburgh and Murrayfield Community Council recognise that local residents want to minimise the impact of cars.

The vast increase in traffic has resulted in a noisy and congested area which is not a pleasant place for people. [...] The shopping area is hardly fit for purpose. The pavements are too narrow and the road too wide.

Murrayfield Community Council 2014 Roseburn Action Plan

The Cycle Route Proposal would bring wider pavements, additional pedestrian crossings — features that would attract shoppers to the area and boost local businesses.  The preliminary design preserves the majority of the loading and parking, and at the same time opens up new business opportunities from passing cycle trade. 


It's not easy to get funding and approval to improve our community.  The Cycle Route proposal gives the local Roseburn residents a golden opportunity to choose our future, offering

  • new pedestrian crossings by Tesco/Roseburn bar
  • blockage of the 200-vehicle-per-hour “rat run” at Roseburn Gardens, protecting children walking to school or the park and making a more pleasant environment for residents.
  • revised junction design with modern intelligent signals and improved throughput.
  • wider pavements and increased separation of pedestrians from cars
  • reduction of noisy, polluting motor vehicles — a safe, direct cycle route will convince some drivers to cycle instead

The Council have worked hard to create the Cycle Route proposal prioritising our street above others.  They are applying for 50% funding from Sustrans, which means local taxpayers would only fund half the work.  If we fight this opportunity, then how will we ever persuade them to listen to our requests for improvements in the future?

Local businesses

The evidence is pretty conclusive that the cycle path will not harm local businesses.  Detailed studies reveal that

It's perhaps natural for a shop owner to fear that losing a parking space means losing revenue. […] Generally speaking more road space for cyclists means less for cars.

But here's the thing about the "studies on possible economic impacts" requested by retailers […] wherever bike-lane plans emerge—they've been done. And done. And done again. And they all reach a similar conclusion: replacing on-street parking with a bike lane has little to no impact on local business, and in some cases might even increase business.

The website goes on to list 12 detailed studies including Bristol and Dublin.  The Bristol study reports

The retailers thought their customers lived farther away than they really did, underscoring another misperception: that 41 percent drove to the shops, when in fact only 22 percent did.

Independent experts Just Economics make the case for "The pedestrian pound", finding that

walking and cycling projects can increase retail sales by 30%

After reading carefully through the objections especially the petition against the new track and from local businesses, there is no sign of evidence that it will be different in Roseburn.  We are not aware of objective reports showing that business is harmed when cycle paths are introduced. If someone has this information please let us know.

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