The City of Edinburgh Council Transport and Environment Committee today decided to agree with the overall principles of the East-West Roseburn to Leith cycle link, but deferred a final decision on the design of the Roseburn part of the route. It agreed to set up a Stakeholder Group to be brought to a Future Transport Working Group for final decision at a later date.

This route provides segregated cycling from Roseburn to the top of Leith Walk and is the capital’s largest cycling infrastructure project.

Friends of the Earth Scotland air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna commented,

“While it is encouraging that Councillors have approved the principle of a segregated cycle way, it is disappointing that they have deferred a final decision on the Roseburn part of the route, given the evidence in favour of Option A for the scheme. There are question marks now on when a final decision will be taken and concerns that the scheme could be bogged down in analysis paralysis.

“Edinburgh continues to battle toxic and illegal levels air pollution across many parts of the city, caused primarily by traffic fumes. It is clear that modal shift from motorised to pollution-free transport is required, and that segregated cycle routes which provide a direct, convenient and safe way to travel can deliver this change.

“Edinburgh Council has made bold strides on its commitment to cycling over the past few years, with a commitment to invest 10% of its transport budget on walking and cycling, but it must continue to deliver ambitious schemes if it is to deliver on its vision to comply with air quality safety standards.”

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

1. The proportion of Edinburgh residents cycling as their main mode of travel to work has increased from 4% to 11.8% over the last 10 years.
Nationally, just 30% of journeys to work were by public or active travel in 2014, down from 31% in 2004. These figures are from the Scottish Government Transport Statistics 2015 http://www.transport.gov.scot/sites/default/files/documents/rrd_reports/…

2. Edinburgh has 5 pollution zones, with the city centre pollution zone first declared back in 2000. You can see maps of the ‘Air Quality Management Areas’ at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/downloads/download/308/air_quality_managemen…

3. Air pollution is a cause of:
· Lung and respiratory conditions, including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer: http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/books/sp161/index.php
· Heart and cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina and heart failure http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.f7412
· Government figures show air pollution causes a 200 early deaths every year in Edinburgh. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimating-local-mortality-bu… . (see Table 3 for Scottish figures)

4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk