Safe, segregated and joined up

Edinburgh needs to have a joined up network of quiet routes with modal filters in place, and fully segregated routes where this isn't the case. The majority of residents do not have a car and as such the council has no obligation to provide for car owners first (and I am one).

The UK government has published key design principles which should be followed:

Cyclists must be separated from volume traffic at junctions and on the stretches of road between them. 

Cyclists must be separated from pedestrians.

Cyclists must be treated as vehicles.

Routes must join together. Isolated stretches of good provision are of little value. 

Purely cosmetic alterations should be avoided. 

Barriers and dismount signs should be avoided. 

Routes should only be designed by those who have experienced the road on a cycle. 


On that last point, I would be delighted to take any of the council's staff members on a short guided cycle on a hire bike, to show what a regular journey looks and feels like from the position of a person on a bike.

Why the contribution is important

Cities are changing by necessity and Edinburgh is no different. Cars are not for cities and public transportation capacity is severely reduced.

by MichaelMain87 on July 30, 2020 at 07:14PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 17 votes


  • Posted by niallanderson July 30, 2020 at 23:17

    Excellent set of principles to work from - see also the Dutch Sustainable Safety approach to road design, which incorporates these principles and others.
  • Posted by Spudgt2 July 31, 2020 at 07:11

    Agree with all comment. Plus Enforcement of existing routes from badly parked cars
  • Posted by ryanb July 31, 2020 at 09:52

    Completely agree! Junctions are a big source of anxiety for me and for many others I'm sure as cars frequently stop in the designated cycle space at the lights or simply do not leave enough space for me to overtake them on the left, when stationery. We can easily copy practice from other cycling hot-spots such as Amsterdam to ensure we are creating safe spaces and secure facilities that travellers are truly thankful for.
  • Posted by CameronFairfield August 07, 2020 at 22:34

    Great ideas. Isolated stretches are an issue. I live in the South of the city and have no viable routes for a family cycle at weekend other than large sections of busy road with traffic.
  • Posted by DJ August 10, 2020 at 20:39

    Well articulated and I completely agree.
  • Posted by edinburger August 10, 2020 at 22:31

    Unfortunately, all you've listed is just 'motherhood and apple pie' - personal opinions followed by a list of UK government principles that are hard to argue with. The problem is always how we implement these things and balance priorities in practice. What is needed is a set of tenets for how to work towards meeting the principles in an existing city. The tenets should help us reason in a consistent way about how we balance the desire for segregated bike lanes, ample pavements, ample roads, parking and loading spaces for residents, visitors and businesses (all of these matter). The tenets should help us to think about what we do when existing roads are too narrow or how we will prioritise when the infrastructure cost to meet the tenets would be prohibitively expensive. Personally, I think most of our streets are too narrow for additional infrastructure, and I would rather see us take more of a laissez fair approach where pedestrians, cyclists, scooters and drivers mix more freely, show care for one another, and where the council and government stop trying to control and limit what everyone is doing. Literally the biggest dangers to cyclists in this city are tram lines, buses and bin lorries, all of which are controlled by Edinburgh Council.
  • Posted by gsm_terra August 11, 2020 at 15:19

    Exactly what is needed, proper joined up routes that are properly segregated and legally enforceable lanes/junctions to make the city safe for all on two wheels. We need to make the city inviting to parents that want to encourage children to use their bikes to travel in a safe environment, free from ever more busy and dangerous roads.
  • Posted by Narom August 13, 2020 at 13:59

    I fully support these sentiments.

    I think that these are important steps forward for our city, however, the priority has to be people over bikes, scooters, and cars. Infrastructure for cycling is only a part of the story. It makes absolute sense to provide alternatives to the car, especially in these strange times. These steps can help protect vulnerable travellers and encourage young people to get out and exercise more.

    We still need to provide for pedestrians as a priority and protect them from the dominance of the car in an ancient city that evolved long before the car came to any of our roads.
  • Posted by Stellathomson August 14, 2020 at 20:30

    Agree. The priorities should be 1.walking 2.cycling 3 .public transport4. personal car . The infrastructure should be designed to give space to each and prevent them from coming into conflict with each other. Since private cars have a disproportionate amount of space and and are responsible for most emissions per person journey this is the space that will have to be reapportioned.
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