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I support John Finnie’s amendment 174, which would simplify the RSO arrangements to remove overtly difficult barriers to active travel. We should simplify such processes, because active travel uptake is in need of a boost.
The Edinburgh west to east city centre cycle route Government inquiry is still under way after a year, after there were formal objections to the council scheme. The City of Edinburgh Council responded to the inquiry and refuted all the objectors’ arguments, showing the scheme to be line with council and Government policies. That has taken up a vast amount of the City of Edinburgh Council’s time and effort. Furthermore, I understand through Spokes Lothian that the same delay is expected to the second phase of the project.
That key example is in Edinburgh and, although the position often depends on whether there is a determined local objector, it is notable that Glasgow City Council and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, as John Finnie highlighted, are also in support. Such problems and inconsistencies can have a big impact on cycling infrastructure projects and are often about very localised decisions, which should, in our view, be sorted out through secondary legislation.
As co-convener of the cross-party group for cycling, walking and buses, and a wary urban cyclist, I support the amendment.