As a recent convert to cycling around Edinburgh, for both pleasure and commuting, I know how important it is to raise awareness of the benefits that cycling holds. Obviously, as city planning is a devolved matter, I cannot make decisions upon this matter directly but you may rely upon my support in encouraging cycling across the entire UK. Locally, I am particularly keen to see proper cycle paths completed along Leith Walk and Lower Granton Road. In Edinburgh we have many excellent cycling routes but far more should be done to connect them up fully.
I am proud of the Liberal Democrat record in Government on cycling. Since 2010, we have invested £588m in cycling, including match funding, almost trebling the investment the last Labour Government made in the previous Parliament. We spent a further £159m in 2012 to create better cycle links for communities, improve cycle facilities at railway stations and create more cycle-friendly layouts at road junctions.
We also introduced a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy to ensure there is a clear plan to support cycling and walking schemes and spell out how they will be paid for. It will also build on the £1.5m we made available to support the Active Travel Consortium to build capacity in local government to deliver local cycling and walking strategies.
Making our roads as safe as possible for cyclists is vital and I want to see more done on road safety and a greater roll-out of Trixi mirrors at busy junctions (which this Government has started), so that more people can be encouraged to ride on our roads with confidence.
Going forward, Liberal Democrats want to implement the measures contained in the Get Britain Cycling report; update planning laws so that all new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport; and increase the amount spent per head on cycling to £10 per head within existing budgets.
I see cycling as very much part of the nation's future, both for general fitness but also as a part of reducing pollution in our cities. I do believe that Edinburgh Council's initiative to restrict most speed limits to 20mph on our roads with also help to make our roads more safe.
If you have any further issues or questions you would like to raise, I would be delighted to hear from you.
Scottish Liberal Democrats
Edinburgh North and Leith.