CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » General Edinburgh

Innocent to the Meadows: A Photographic Comparison

(22 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from Claggy Cog

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  1. Following on from discussions on how to create a link....

    There is no real way to avoid riding on the road between the Innocent Railway and the Meadows in Edinburgh, but that hasn't stopped the Sustrans routing from trying to find a 'quiet' route. The problem is it's a route that just seems to cause more problems than it solves. Here I compare the Sustrans route (heading from East to West) with the route I would normally ride.

    Sustrans 1/8

    Here is where the Sustrans route (NCN1) turns off for its meander - awful photo, but you can see the shared use sign on the right on the lamppost.

    Sustrans 2/8

    The Shared use path skirts round a car park, courtesy of a nicely blind corner.

    Sustrans 3/8

    The ubiquitous 'End' sign a few yards on - you'll see the Sustrans signs pointing left which....

    Sustrans 4/8

    ... takes you up the side of St Leonard's police station on one of the worst cobbled streets in the city.

    Sustrans 5/8

    At the end there is a right turn to make, then a left. And occasionally you spot a cyclist you know. Hi Min!

    The lights here CAN help to get out.

    Sustrans 6/8

    This is the best bit of the Sustrans route. The road you turned left on ends in this junction to take you across a main road. Yes, you ARE supposed to ride through that barrier. There's a pedestrian crossing 20 yards left, but no cycle phase, and no shared paths on either side. 'Cyclists Dismount'.

    Sustrans 7/8

    You then have to turn left, at a gloriously blind exit. Okay, so you could turn left and hug the left side, but...

    Sustrans 8/8

    ... you're turning right at that red booth over there to access the Meadows, so you need to cross traffic which is travelling at (allegedly) 30mph which has just come round a blind corner... So what of the 'road' route. Will there be 8 steps?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. Road 1/4

    Instead of turning right down the path that leads to the police station cobbles, keep straight on. You'll notice this road has a surface called 'tarmac' (and usually no cars parked along the side narrowing it - that's a council cleaning lorry ahead).

    Road 2/4

    There's no escaping having to cross this main road. On the Sustrans route it's a right then left. Here it's a left then right. Possibly the most awkward bit (there's a pedestrian crossing to the right which can help).

    Road 3/4

    Hang on! I've missed out a main road haven't I? The one that on the Sustrans route is crossed at a barrier on the other side? Well on this route it's crossed at a traffic-lit crossroads. No real need to show the step! You do, after that junction, have to get yourself right so you can turn right at this next junction (there IS an ASL at the head there, but I stopped to take the photo further back to show the junction).

    Road 4/4

    Et voila, turn left at the dropped kerb by the red cabin there and you're in the Meadows (the yellow building up ahead there is where the Sustrans route comes out at the blind bend).

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. Dave
    Member

    I can't see flickr at work, so am having fun trying to deduce the routes from the text! :)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    Useful set of photos.

    Think 'optimum' is to avoid Engine Shed/St. Leonards but follow the rest of the Sustrans route.

    Obviously needs improvements at St. Leonards Street, Clerk Street, Buccleuch Street.

    Of course this will require a bit of money - but this is a Capital City with pretensions to be a World Class cycling one...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. wingpig
    Member

    I can't remember what the beside-the-Engine-Shed bit of the path was like prior to the annexation and resurfacing of the brownfield car park. I'm sure it never used to be quite as blind-bendy as it is now.

    Now that Bowmont Place's cobbles have been relaid slightly more smoothly (seems recent but was probably three years ago now) it's not as bad to go up as St Leonard's Lane.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. Min
    Member

    I always use the second route pictured if I am going that way. There is no way I would even consider using the first. It's crazy. The route throught the meadows from here is not too bad but only because it is quiet, presumably most people avoid it as really, it is rubbish too. Bumpy and extremely narrow.

    Only thing I will say is that the right hand side of the road in picture 3 is as rough as a badgers backside and so I only signalled right the first time. Now I just position myself right to begin with and stay there, clinging to the handlebars as I go. This might not be very easy for everyone but probably no worse than all of the weird stuff on the Sustrans route.

    I must find my photo of the Route 75 stupidity in St Andrew's Square. Might just be easier to take a new one.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. LaidBack
    Member

    I don't see the crossings at East and West Crosscauseway? these whilst longer do offer assistance to get across both The Pleasance and Clerk St.

    That's useful for my tours and allows a right turn into Buccleuch, Meadows Lane or Burroughloch. All of these have good sight lines.

    D

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    Don't want to sound like an apologist for Sustrans (been mildly involved, on and off, since the early days), but it's not 'all Sustrans' fault'.

    It has worked with LAs and landowners throughout the UK for over 30 years - some are worse than CEC!

    It has built new routes and encouraged many 'new' people to take up cycling. It has designated and signed routes, some of which are less than satisfactory.

    At times there are elements of 'if we show people where to go, councils will improve things if enough people use them'.

    Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. I'm sure there are councils who say 'well you've got a signed route, what more do you want?'

    I'm not sure if CEC has delivered on all its Millennium Network 'commitments'. I've been at plenty of meetings before and after 2000 where various Sustrans people showed various degrees of 'unease' about CEC torpor and justifications.

    The people in CEC directly concerned with 'cycling' generally do a good job - there just aren't many of them.

    CEC has all sorts of good policies, intentions, aspirations, etc...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. Kirst
    Member

    I live on St Leonard's Hill so I have to deal with the cobbles every day. :-(

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Member

    I've always found the road the preferable option, take a hard left out of the tunnel, right onto the Park Road past Pollock Halls, right at Commonwealth Pool onto Dalkeith, left onto East Preston, straight across South Clerk. Sorted. I can then either take a right onto Causewayside for Melville Drive or cut straight acrsoss through the little lane with bollards blocking the cars and cut through to Sciennes then home.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    "I've always found the road the preferable option"

    I think most experienced cyclist would agree, but many of the 'issues' around routes like this are about encouraging less-experienced people - and those with children.

    The roads around the Commie Pool (inc. right turn + Salisbury) are not much fun sometimes.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. SRD
    Member

    The roads around the Commie Pool (inc. right turn + Salisbury) are not much fun sometimes.

    I do a couple of versions of this daily, and as chdot says, not fun. Do-able, but you have to be tough. Not fun. For some reason I never do East Preston though. Salisbury place makes sense for Grange, while Bernard terrace works better for the Meadows, except that 8.30ish you need to be waaay too worried about the parents dropping kids off for school at Preston St. Maybe when that is on it does make sense to turn at East Preston.

    Went this way (north up dalkeith past school) yesterday for the first time since July, and it seemed much worse than I remembered it from last year, as in more cars, even thought it was a gloriously sunny day. I never did get a reply from the school when I complained last year about the parents dropping off and opening car doors w/out a glance.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. kaputnik
    Member

    I suppose it has a lot to do with what time of the day it is - I only ever go this way on weekends during the day and have never tried in low light or rush hour conditions. Horses for courses I suppose!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. ruggtomcat
    Member

    I used Knicks route for about 3 years before I even knew there was an off road option. I use Anths route, merely because there is less hill but commie pool is quicker because the lights sync there and you can generally get from the pool to the meadows all in one go.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. Arellcat
    Member

    Seeing as how I was working in Leith today, and fancied a homewards run up Queen's Drive, I experimented with my own Innocent-Meadows route (BikeRouteToaster).

    Take Bowmont Place and use the toucan crossing to East Crosscauseway, and then the next toucan crossing to West Crosscauseway and to Chapel Street. Herein lies the problem: there isn't a good crossing to the other side, but at least the sightlines are good. Take a left and then turn right into Buccleuch Place, and then Buccleuch Place Lane to Meadow Lane and onto the Meadows proper. It's about the quietest route I could think of.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. Claggy Cog
    Member

    I too would opt for Kaputnik's route coming up from the Innocent past the commonwealth pool, with the filter into East Preston St, then West Preston St. I would and do not like sitting in the middle of the junction at Hope Park Tce to turn right into Buccleuch Street, when going the other route means you can either use the path (which does say no cycling) that runs down past the Sick Kids (not using the road which is a nightmare and the road surface is dreadful) down to MMW or simply cross the at the junction with Hope Pk Tce into Buccleuch street and left at the old police box now painted red. I would not even necessarily use that section of the path as there is usually quite a lot of broken glass by the entrance from Buccleuch St and the surface is pretty bad, and waiting for pedestrians so that you can get across the pavement onto the path...nope, wouldn't bother.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. Claggy Cog
    Member

    I remember a tricycling run where we came off Westcross Causeway, left into Buccleuch St with the intention of turning right onto the meadows path at the police box, with about 10 new cyclists, what a complete nightmare. Using the roads and the lights in my opinion would have been the better option. They were wobbling about, had to get over to the right of the left hand lane, being undertaken on the left whilst waiting for oncoming traffic to pass. I am not sure who was more frightened!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. Nelly
    Member

    Past Scottish Widows, left in front of the Commonwealth pool, filter right into Salisbury Road, stright on to Salisbury Place, Grange Road, take any of the right turns (Chalmers Crescent if you like), over to Argyle place and bobs yer uncle ?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. LaidBack
    Member

    Liz with the intention of turning right onto the meadows path at the police box,

    I usually would have turned at Meadows Lane or Burroughloch at latest as by the time you get to the police box drivers smell the traffic signals and seem to speed up... (hang on was I not leading that ride?.)

    The problem at police box is that it's a bit round the corner and what drivers can't see they rush towards!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. Claggy Cog
    Member

    @Laidback, I think you may have been leading but I certainly was the back marker!! In fact, now you come to mention it, yes you were leading. We may have turned into Boroughloch but either way you still have to get over to the right and wait for any oncoming traffic to pass whilst being undertaken, scary stuff for a novice, bad enough for one seasoned cyclist!!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. SRD
    Member

    turn left and go to dagda instead!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. Claggy Cog
    Member

    @Laidback. My we had some memorable outings with Tricycling, forever seared into the memory bank. Here was I thinking that I might go and see what the cyclist trainers training is about...mmm I will have to think about that one or go for a sanity check!!

    Posted 3 years ago #

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