Promoting pedal power in Penicuik

Efforts have started to make Penicuik a more cycle friendly community
Efforts have started to make Penicuik a more cycle friendly community

Penicuik could be the first cycle-friendly community in Midlothian thanks to new community-based initiatives in the town.

Penicuik cyclists are combining their efforts to work with the local council, Penicuik First and community council to identify new opportunities to promote cycling in the town.

The community-based initiative was kicked-off last month, with the creation of a new Facebook page following talks with community leaders in recent months.

Initial talks have demonstrated that there is a willingness by all of the key stakeholders to identify new sources of funding and bring cyclists’ needs to the fore in the town.

As well as generally promoting cycling in Penicuik and surrounding areas, the aim would be to commission an assessment of improvements that would make the town better for all cyclists through infrastructure improvements, cycle lanes and signage. Talks are ongoing with the local authority on a potential grant application to Cycling Scotland to fund a 
cycling assessment.

Midlothian Council and Penicuik First have already identified the tourism potential from cycling and are keen to maximise opportunities from increasing the cycle network.

However, the town initiative aims to create a cycle-friendly town for everyone and learn from other communities from across Scotland and beyond about how to encourage cycling.

The initiative has been founded by Ross Laird, a regular cyclist in the town.

He said: “There is obviously a real appetite to see what can be done to improve cycling provision in the town and create a behavioural change so that cycling becomes easier and a more attractive choice for people going to work, school, the shops or just to have fun.

“We are encouraging anyone interested in local cycling to visit the Penicuik Cycling Facebook page.”

David Wardrop-White, who represents cycling on Midlothian Tourism Forum, added: “This is a great initiative which I hope will really encourage people in Penicuik, Midlothian and beyond to get on their bikes and enjoy the great countryside, history and services the town has to offer.”