CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Edinburgh Union Canal Towpath Study – Consultation Event

(35 posts)
  • Started 1 month ago by nedd1e_h
  • Latest reply from nedd1e_h

  1. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Hi there,

    You are invited to join a consultation workshop event;

    at Polwarth Parish Church, Drennan Hall, on 11th May 2017

    there are two sessions: 1430 to 1630, and 1730 to 1930.
    Please pick the time that suits you best.

    The primary aim of the study is to look at solutions to ease congestion and resolve conflict issues with Union Canal towpath users.

    We would very much welcome your input at our event, which will be a forum for you to express your particular concerns, observations and ideas.

    Please RSVP to this email address or register via Eventbrite to give us an idea of numbers.

    Project Summary

    Scottish Canals have appointed HarrisonStevens Landscape Architects with a comprehensive consultant team, funded by Sustrans, to carry out a study to identify opportunities to improve the Towpath along the Union Canal from Lochrin Basin to the Almond Aqueduct.

    Improvements will focus on the following key issues; towpath widening, surface improvements, lighting, conflict areas and proposals to mitigate the conflict, and improve accessibility and connection onto wider city cycle networks.

    We hope you will be able to attend, and if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards,
    Mette
    On behalf of the Union Canal Towpath Study Team

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    "to identify opportunities to improve the Towpath along the Union Canal from Lochrin Basin"

    Perhaps need a time machine to go back to the start of planning processes for the new Boroughmuir.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. Klaxon
    Member

    The towpath is a great example of induced cycle demand

    It is a low resistance, direct route from the city, through a lot of residential, to decently the city's largest single employment centre.

    It is imperfect - due to narrowness, walkers, dogs, viaduct etc, and most of the 'antisocial' commuting would now go elsewhere if alternative routes on main roads existed.

    The canal's success is all the evidence needed to show an equal quality 'superhighway' path on the A71 corridor would be an instant hit.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. Ed1
    Member

    Traffic lights at the aqueduct but would take an age or a widening of the path would be ideal. Its never clear what to do , as sign says dismount but is this best. In respect to the countryside code from what I recall a walker has priority over a cyclist. There is no correct side to be as far as aware have read about conflicts over what side to be on but not sure this is applicable on path. Generally I would go on the left unless the person coming the other way has a different preference.
    Is the dismount sign legal or not? if Scottish canals own the path and put the sign up for health and safety reasons and someone did not obey the sign and an accident occurred could may be consider negligence.

    Cyclists are the cars of the canals going 20 mph round blind bends or past entrances where a child could walk out, hooting rear ending slower cyclists and expect walkers to get out the way -)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. Morningsider
    Member

    The canal is a scheduled monument, the bridges can't be moved and there is very limited scope to widen the path in most places due to land ownership or practical matters.

    How about building an on-road segregated cycle lane along Fountainbridge/Slateford Road/Lanark Road so people don't have to cycle on a three foot wide towpath?

    Nice work for the consultants though.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. Klaxon
    Member

    A pet idea of mine for the aquaduct is a drawbridge or submerging platform that closes to turn the full width and length of the canal into the path when there isn't a boat passing (which is the vast majority of the time)

    Such technology is not beyond Scottish Canals, their network is littered with automatic and operator controlled bridges, gates and locks.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. Ed1
    Member

    The aqueduct could be made dry and boat drivers could dismount and carry the boat over that part of the route. The sign could be changed to boatists dismount

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. ARobComp
    Member

    TBH in 4 months commuting on the canal I've seen a reasonably low level of actual conflict. Not sure if others differ in this experience. There will always be idiots. MAny of them don't even have a bike. If it's not bikes it's runners, or dog walkers etc.

    Better infra along colington road, slateford road the answer.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    "in 4 months commuting on the canal I've seen a reasonably low level of actual conflict"

    Well this thread doesn't get as much use as it once did.

    People adapt...

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=3913

    "Better infra along colington road, slateford road the answer."

    Very much so, in some ways more more important than towpath tweaking.

    Anyone responding to this should perhaps say so.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. gembo
    Member

    Not spotted anyone in the drink recently and all aqueduct crossings this week (six I think) have been worked out with reciprocal good will.

    When heading east I stop and hug the rail to let oncoming heading west pass. THis is mostly reciprocated when I am heading west. I have a big flagpole out my back end at the moment of course

    The flagpole of peace

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. jdanielp
    Member

    I've yet to be berated for not dismounting to cross the aqueduct so far this year, but it's only a matter of time as warmer weather looms.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. cb
    Member

    "A pet idea of mine for the aquaduct is a drawbridge or submerging platform that closes to turn the full width and length of the canal into the path when there isn't a boat passing"

    I've often thought that opening up the 'path' on the other side via a couple of simple boat-owner-operated lifting/swing bridges might work.

    Could be used by cyclists unless a boat was passing in which case you could just revert to standard conflict on the north side.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. cb
    Member

    Or maybe it's time for a 3rd bridge. If we can do it over the River Forth...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. AKen
    Member

    Better infra along colington road, slateford road the answer.

    For many people, the infrastructure would need to be really good to be better than the uninterrupted, motor-traffic free and level option of the tow-path. (And when I say 'really good', I mean the kind of 'really good' that we never get in this country.)

    Even if there was a fully-segregated lane the length of Colinton Road/Gilmore Place from the Kings Theatre to Colinton, I'd still possibly choose the canal simply to avoid all the hills.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I suspect the answer lies in un-scheduling what isn't so much a monument as a crucial, lovely and lively transport corridor.

    There is no prospect of infrastructure to match the hyperspace quality of the canal. It's a flat, car free leeap into the west of the city that will never be bettered.

    Un-scheduling, compulsory purchase, sympathetic enlargement, technological imagination. Those are things required.

    For those blanching in horror a thought experiment suffices. If monuments are scheduled for all eternity and added at any finite rate then as time tends to infinity the whole world tends to become scheduled. Why not decide which aspects of the canal are dear to us and retain just them? It must be possible or the bypass would have a huge flyover at the Scott-Maxwell and the canal path would have no runway lights.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    I tend to agree with AKen and iwrats - without infra giving cyclists priority at virtually every junction between Fountainbridge and Longstone, the on-road route will be a hard sell to many cyclists, and even then you've got the significant gradient differences.

    The towpath does need to be wider in many places. There's not room for a cyclist to pass 2 people walking side-by-side, it's a recurring annoyance for all concerned.

    If the towpath itself (not the canal) could be prised out of the dead hand of British Waterways, I think we'd be in a better place for progress to be made.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. AKen
    Member

    Unfortunately, there is very little space to widen it in many places.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    If this was a motor way space would be found.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. steveo
    Member

    It was a motorway, space was found, they just filled it with water. Tarmac the whole thing out to the bypass, boaters can cycle it from there and the kyak club can be given a clean pool somewhere else, maybe at Ratho.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    I would miss the water and the shoals of urban roach in Wester Hailes. And what would become of the Kingsnowe Rat?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. jdanielp
    Member

    I would say that I would miss the kingfishers if I wasn't already missing them following the cutting back of lots of overhanging branches by Scottish Canals earlier this year.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Tarmac the whole thing

    Steady now. Wouldn't want motorists to get hold of the new Tarmac.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. steveo
    Member

    Wouldn't want motorists to get hold of the new Tarmac.

    Got you coverd, we'll put saftey chichanes up ever 20m or so.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. Ed1
    Member

    Well the 976 million predicted spend on the tram could have been better spent on cycle paths, as the tram largely duplicates the bus, sure its electric, but could have bought a few electric buses to run the route also the impact in building the tram and extra emission created through congestion means may be difficult to know when if ever turns positive but that is using 2 criteria carbon or local pollution.

    If the same money had been spent on cycling could have had a skycycle. However like the parliaments over expensive building or other such wasteful cost over running projects, cycle lane may be don’t create a large gravy train for contractors and officials like the Edinburgh transport job scheme.

    It’s not that I don’t like the tram its old tech poorly delivered (some people say) if trams cost 100 million a mile would not have trams in secondary European cities. Its creates a gravy train, I like it now its here but not the best value.

    What if someone had suggested spend similar amounts on a skycyle people would have laughed or even ground cycling spend at this level yet would possibly be more added value but would not be quite the gravy train of other type projects

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    Perhaps a large gravy tram is the answer? I'd like to see one of them.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. LaidBack
    Member

    German visitors triking over on way to Helensburgh and Arrochar.

    Trike tour to west - Slateford Aqueduct by LaidBackBikes, on Flickr

    I did go on bridge first and was very grateful for the oncoming cyclists assistance. Dismounting trikes doesn't work when towed from the rear with two front wheels behind there's a bigger risk they could drop over edge.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. gembo
    Member

    @laidback nice action from the crazy Germans. The crazy Swiss who are in the band Not the sensational Alex Harvey band were at sneaky pete's last week

    @iwrats, heard of a gravy boat but not a gravy team, see also a cow creamer in the works of pg wodehouse

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

  29. jdanielp
    Member

    How is the bike parking at Polwarth Church? I'm going along at half five.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  30. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    @jdanielp

    Can you represent me to the consultation? I'd go, but I'm entertaining my mum.

    Basically the canal towpath needs to be wider and that means de-scheduling and re-building some of the bridges and widening the aqueduct.

    No on-street facility will ever match its absurd beauty and car free utility.

    The aqueduct widening should be done using structural glass.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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