The success of a £1.9m cycle and walking route between Edinburgh and Midlothian has been celebrated ahead of European Mobility Week 2016 (September 16-22).
The 4.9-mile long Gilmerton to Roslin route, known as Route 61, is the only QuietRoute which crosses the city bypass, providing an attractive, family-friendly link between two local authority areas.
Funded jointly by the City of Edinburgh Council, Sustrans Scotland, Transport Scotland and Midlothian Council, Route 61 has proved popular with commuters, recreational users and dog walkers since it was completed in December 2015.
Route 61 forms part of Edinburgh’s QuietRoutes, a network of cycle routes for younger, new or less confident cyclists.
It consists of a new tarmac path along a former rail line from the existing Roslin cycle path to Lasswade Road, with a widened shared footway/cycleway alongside Lasswade Road, which has been reduced to a 40mph speed limit. There are route signs at frequent intervals.
The route offers safer and more attractive cycling and walking access to leisure, retail, and business destinations including Edinburgh, Straiton Pond, Straiton Retail Park and Bilston Glen Industrial Estates.
Transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “It’s such a pleasure to come and see how popular and well-used this great new route is, connecting south Edinburgh with Midlothian and providing an easy and accessible path for pedestrians and bike-users across the bypass, which we know can seem like a bit of a barrier for active travel.
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support and cooperation of all the partners and it stands as a great example of what can be achieved if organisations pull together.”
Councillor Derek Rosie, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for commercial services, said: “The route is off-road, tarred, has street lighting and is ideal for families and less confident cyclists. In the longer term, it is hoped the route can be extended to Penicuik, Gilmerton and Shawfair and will form part of Edinburgh and Midlothian’s future cycle networks connecting to local communities, local amenities and economic sites.”