By Susannah Radford
With reports of further troubles between Edinburgh owned Tram company TIE and German company Bilfinger Berger who are contracted to undertake the Edinburgh tram works, it may be time to rethink your commuter route and get on your bike.
The Evening News recently revealed that Bilfinger Berger claimed that they are owed millions of pounds by TIE. TIE responded saying that these claims amount to “malicious misinformation” which may mean that Bilfinger Berger are in breach of contract. This may lead to further delays so maybe it’s time to bypass the trams and get on your bike.
Edinburgh has a wealth of cycle routes, not least the beautiful Water of Leith cycle path that bypasses many main traffic routes as it meanders past the water of Leith. From the beautiful and lush green sections in Stockbridge to the wide expanses near Murrayfield Stadium this cycle path leads you all the way to the Gyle. The canal cycle links Edinburgh to Falkirk.
Spokes, the Lothian Cycle campaign, who work towards raising awareness of all things cycling in the Lothian area are one of 60 groups to join the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition (SCCS), which has produced a manifesto aimed at getting Scottish parties to commit to some of the recommendations as part of their electoral promises. They are primarily focussed on the transport section of the manifesto “which asks that 10% of national transport investment goes to active travel (walking and cycling), funded by reducing the trunk roads budget, and that the national speed limit on single-carriageway roads (where motorist/cyclist crashes often result in serious injury) is set at 50mph.” We can also play our part by taking part in the e-action highlighting to parties that these transport issues are important to us.
While we can stick to the relative peace of the cycle path it’s also important to be aware of the hazards of cycling on roads with tram tracks laid. Last Sunday Joanna Arendt came off her bike when the wheels of her bike got jammed in the tram tracks. TIE teamed up with The Bike Station to conduct training sessions showing how to manoeuver the tram tracks. The Bike Station also holds other bicycle training courses in Edinburgh.