Edinburgh: bike use on the rise, car use on the wane

25% of vehicles commuting into the city on main roads are bikes, finds survey. But cyclists get less than 1% of Scottish transport budget.
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The mid-monthly transport count by Spokes, the Edinburgh cycle campaign, has revealed more residents are cycling, and less are driving.

Spokes has conducted its rush-hour count every month for the past six years. Yesterday's tally showed the largest ever number of cyclists on Edinburgh's roads and the lowest number of cars.

Spokes counters measured vehicle use northbound and southbound on Lothian Road and Forrest Road in Edinburgh.
Between 8-9am there were 445 cyclists, up 12 percent on the same position on the same day last year. At Forrest Road citybound, bikes made up nearly 25 percent of traffic.

At Lothian Road, one of Edinburgh’s most cycle-unfriendly streets, but an almost unavoidable access to the city centre, bikes formed 17 percent of all citybound vehicles.

The car count fell year on year to "the lowest level we have ever counted," said Spokes.

Almost 75 percent of private cars were found to contain only a driver, revealed the survey

While cyclists account for 25 percent of the traffic on some Edinburgh roads, less than one percent of Scotland's transport budget is spent on cyclists. 

Despite a manifesto pledge to increase spending on sustainable forms of transport, the SNP plans to reduce investment in cycling projects by £15m. However, £97m has been found for boosting spending on build even more trunk roads and motorways.

Total transport spending in the SNP's draft budget rises from £1804m in 2011-12 to £1884m in 2012-13. If the cost cuts go ahead, spending on cycling will equate to less than 0.8 percent of total transport spending.

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