Council bid for more than £200,000 to make cycling and walking safer

Midlothian Council is bidding for an initial £208,000 of Scottish Government money to make it safer for people to walk, cycle or ‘wheel’ locally. It is also inviting local people to get in touch with more suggestions to apply for a second tranche of funding. 

53 kilometres of cycle lanes

If successful, the money from the initial bid would be used for temporary measures including installing or widening more than 53 kilometres of cycle lanes for cyclists commuting to and from Edinburgh, cycling safety banners on approaches to town centres, reduced speed limits signs and the temporary widening of paths.

Extra space for shoppers

Other initiatives included in the first bid are barriers to give shoppers extra space in four busy town centres, rural Covid-19 cycle route signs, physical distancing signs at the busiest leisure paths in Midlothian and cutting back vegetation on paths.

Active travel should be the norm

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for green travel, Councillor John Hackett said: “As a council, we’re committed to a future where safe and convenient walking and cycling routes are available for all Midlothian residents and visitors, with active travel being the norm for everyday journeys.

Community council suggestions

“With the Covid-19 outbreak, it’s now even more important we can exercise and travel safely. We’ve, therefore, focused on matching priorities in our Active Travel Strategy with the eligibility criteria for the bid while incorporating some early suggestions from community councils. We should know within the next week or so if we’ve been successful.

What else can we do?

“What we now want to know is, what other measures should we submit bids for? We’re hoping people will get in touch and tell us.”

Spaces for People Programme

The council has submitted the bid to Sustrans Scotland, the walking and cycling charity, which is managing the Spaces for People programme for the Scottish Government.

More about the bid

The measures include:

  • More than 12kms of cycle lanes to and from the main A7 roundabouts at Sheriffhall, Gilmerton Road, Melville Dykes Road, Eskbank Road and Hardengreen
  • 6.2kms of cycle lanes from the A703 Seafield Moor Road, to A702 Biggar Road and on to the A701
  • 13.4kms of cycle lanes from Eastfield Drive Penicuik to the Edinburgh boundary
  • Barriers and ramps for town centre car laybys at Dalkeith, Loanhead, Gorebridge and Bonnyrigg.
  • Signage asking drivers to ‘Slow Down’ or Give Cyclists Space from  Dalkeith to Pathhead
  • A full list of the measures (PDF)

Second bid

In order to develop a second bid for funding, the council is now inviting suggestions from members of the public and local communities for temporary active travel measures that could have an impact on space/safety during this crisis but also has an acceptable level of impact on other road users.

Give us your views

4 Jun 2020