Calls for cycle lanes on roads to Sheriffhall

Professor Chris Oliver
Professor Chris Oliver

Cycling campaigners say bike-friendly measures planned for the revamped Sheriffhall roundabout must be extended to the key routes from there to Edinburgh and Dalkeith.

And they are looking to the £1.1 billion Edinburgh City Region Deal as a way to achieve the improvements.

Campaign group Spokes says Transport Scotland listened to pleas for a rethink on the original plans, with the plans now including separate paths for cyclists.

But Spokes warns the new roundabout risks being “an oasis of cycling excellence in a desert of under-provision” because the surrounding roads are “very poor” for cyclists.

And the campaigners have written to Edinburgh and Midlothian councils and the Scottish Government, urging them to improve cycling conditions on routes from Sheriffhall like the A7 and the A6106, using the City Deal.

In their letter, Michaela Jackson said: “The City Region Deal presents the opportunity to expand the Sheriffhall project from a ‘trunk road silo’ project to a genuinely integrated project including not just the roundabout but also a high quality, separate, ‘aspirational’, cycle route linking Edinburgh, Dalkeith and wider Midlothian.”

Professor Chris Oliver, spokesman for Spokes, said: “The roundabout is going to be fine, it’s all the routes in and out of it we’re concerned about now. I was a trauma surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and Old Dalkeith Road is awful to ride up and down.

“We want to see cycle lanes everywhere. The more people we can get cycling the better.

“The two councils and the government need to work together and create a joint project, and the City Deal is the way to do it.

“The flyover/roundabout is being funded through the deal, and it is vital it becomes an integrated project so that the connecting cycle routes are part of the same project and are opened at the same time as the new flyover/roundabout – not left to the individual councils to build as, when and if they find the cash to do so from some other source at some unknown time in the future.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish government is committed to increasing levels of cycling and walking.”