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Spokes public meeting, Weds 24 May 2023 “A City where you Don’t Need a Car

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  1. chdot


    Cllr Scott Arthur, Edinburgh City Transport Convener – the Council’s plans

    Phil Noble, Strategy Manager for Active Travel and Streetspace – more detail on the policy delivery documents, including ATA, the Active Travel Action Plan

    Adrian Davis, Professor of Transport & Health at Napier Transport Research Unit – he will critique the policies – are they sufficiently ambitious? will they work?

    … followed by our one-hour panel QA, chaired by Dr Caroline Brown, Spokes member, Transform Scotland policy adviser, transport academic – your chance to interrogate and challenge the speakers


    Where Augustine United Church 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL

    Date Weds 24 May

    Time Starts 7.30, Ends 9.30. Doors open 6.45 for coffee, stalls and chat

    Queries & Questions Queries, or questions for the speakers, can be emailed to However, questions in person from audience members are likely to have greatest priority on the night


    We hope to live broadcast on our youtube channel – details nearer the time on Spokes website. We also intend to make the recording available a few days later.

    More info

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. Rosie


    Posted 11 months ago #
  3. chdot

    Lime launches global campaign aimed at ‘making a clean break’ from cars

    Posted 11 months ago #
  4. Rosie

    Live stream of tonight's meeting.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  5. LaidBack

    Certainly enjoyed Adrian Davis's presentation. Majority would of course agreee that too much consulatation has resulted in painfully slow progress.

    'throw everything including the kitchen sink at it' - A. Davis

    'we're in contact with all stakeholders and expect to make a decision within the year' S. Arthur

    In a climate emergency roads will close with flooding and tar melting. Look at the action Scottish Water are taking at the Meadows. Huge chuck of land allocated while active travel has to squeeze through the chicane to a (now) both directions Valleyfield.

    Conflict of 'Circulation' needs to be protected at junctions versus a 30% reduction of car miles? Circulation is generally used I think to mean cars, delivery vehicles and buses. Does not seem to apply to active travel? if it did you wouldn't have to wait aeons before green lights came on at crossings.

    The overlayed maps basically showed that 'everything' wants to move down same corridors. Of course at any time some of these get closed or obstructed by building works or repairs. It's rarely used to make cycling and walking easier.

    "You can either have the Western Approach Road as a car free corridor or Dalry Rd with bus gates. You can't have both." ??

    "Social exclusion means despite having the 'best public transport system in Europe', some communities are without bus trackers and have poorer services."

    "The bike hire scheme failed to get bikes into socially deprived areas."

    That comment of Scott Arthur made me laugh. The Just Eat bikes were often unlocked and taken to these very places - so more people got active - albeit not legally. Not having a bike hire scheme is a huge hole in transport. Frieburg in Germany was cited by Adrian Davis as an example of a small city that's doing so much more than Edinburgh.

    Lastly chatting with Harts Cyclery and another forumer we were trying to think which year traffic was 30% less than now. Maybe 1990?

    Posted 11 months ago #
  6. Morningsider

    @Laidback - using UK figures for 2021 (as online Scottish figures don't go back far enough) a 30% reduction would take you back to 1986 traffic levels.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  7. Yodhrin


    Jeezo that's actually a bit dispiriting - I was born in '86, so add on a few years for "old enough to remember stuff" and then a few more for "actually start to notice stuff like traffic" and I've literally never experienced the roads even close to as quiet in my entire life as they pretend they're going to make them within *checks notes* 7 years.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  8. neddie

    In 1986, we used to play kerbie in the street, stopping for the occasional car. Only one side of that street was parked on, now it is both sides.

    The city bypass was only starting to be constructed and certainly wasn't complete, probably just covering the section from the A71 to Fairmilehead. No M8 extension, no multi-lane junctions at Hermiston Gait / M8/M9 etc.

    The A71 still crossed the old stone bridge at the car emporiums and cars could still use Cultins Rd to pass underneath the often-flooded rail bridge at the tram stop

    Jeez, when I think back that far, there really was very little traffic

    Posted 11 months ago #
  9. acsimpson

    On a more positive note. 2021 saw more cycling than any year since 1965 (other than 2020)

    Posted 11 months ago #
  10. chdot

    In her opening remarks, Caroline Brown emphasised the urgency of the climate situation. Significant climate change meant that ‘time is very tight’. There were plenty of good ideas and high-level policy targets being presented, but they weren’t enough. There were issues about ‘translating’ these ‘fine words’ into ‘actions on the ground’. Actions that would ‘change the way we live, change the way we move’. She noted that there was no shortage of policy and plans and that, as a consequence, it was ‘easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of policies which are on the table’. One aim of the evening was to try and make sense of this multiplicity this policy and proposal.

    Posted 11 months ago #
  11. neddie

    Phil Noble still thinks there are “conflicts between public transport and cyclists” Without mentioning privately owned cars at all?

    God help us if this is his attitude

    No Phil, this “conflict” only exists because you’ve given all the space to both moving and stationary cars. Public transport and cycling can coexist on every street when you get rid of the cars

    Utter despair at these council officers - they just don’t get it

    Posted 11 months ago #
  12. chdot


    Spokes written deputation to Transport and Environment Committee 2 February 2023

    Posted 11 months ago #

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