Glowride lights up Edinburgh as 20mph rollout completes
A luminous procession of cycles took part in a celebratory three-mile glow in the dark bike ride around the heart of Edinburgh tonight to celebrate the Capital becoming Scotland’s first 20mph city.
The GlowRide, organised by the Council and supported by Cycling Scotland and Sustrans Scotland, was held to mark the successful introduction of the fourth and final phase of the 20mph rollout earlier this month.
Residents of streets from Colinton to Comiston and Oxgangs to Liberton have been enjoying the benefits of calmer, quieter traffic since 5 March, marking the end of the citywide rollout, which started in the city centre and rural west Edinburgh in July 2016.
Residential and shopping streets across the Capital – plus the city centre – are now 20mph, with a strategic network of roads maintained at 30mph and 40mph.
A striking procession of ‘blinged up’ bikes joined the GlowRide, departing from the City Chambers quadrangle and led by qualified guides from Cycling Scotland.
The free event also promoted safe cycling at night and national campaigns such as Be Bright Be Seen.
Councillor David Key, Cycling Champion, said: “What a great event! It was fantastic to see all the blinged-up bikes cycling through the heart of the city in celebration of Edinburgh becoming Scotland’s first 20mph city. I’d like to thank Cycling Scotland, Sustrans Scotland, Spokes, Evans Cycles and all our partners for helping us make the GlowRide happen.
“Now that 20mph limits have been rolled out to the vast majority of the Capital’s streets – excluding a strategic network of streets maintained at 30mph and 40mph – it will be far clearer for road users that lower speeds are now the norm in residential and shopping streets. Communities right across Edinburgh have told us they really value the benefits of calmer traffic in their areas and we have had requests from all over the city for additional streets to be included in the rollout. We will carry out a comprehensive review of the scheme over the next year, looking at all aspects and impacts including traffic speeds, road casualties, public perceptions and walking and cycling walking stats.”
Superintendent Bob Paris said: “People travelling around Edinburgh have been getting used to the new speed limits for some months, which are now complete. All the zones have implemented their 20mph areas and all road users should be aware of the limits over the course of their journeys.
“The GlowRide has brought people together from all areas of the capital, and this will positively reinforce the message that 20mph limits are now in place citywide and they must be followed.
“We will continue to carry out education and enforcement to remind drivers to slow down, particularly in areas where any concerns are raised to us or there are vulnerable groups like children near schools, to ensure Edinburgh’s streets are safe for everyone.”
Dave du Feu, Spokes lead organiser, said: “Spokes has from the outset been a strong supporter of Edinburgh’s pioneering decision to implement 20mph city-wide, which will greatly improve safety on our roads. With very encouraging recent evidence from another pioneer city, Bristol, Spokes urges the Scottish Government to make 20mph the default speed limit for urban areas across Scotland.”
William Wright, Marketing and Development Officer, Cycling Scotland, said: “Events like this encourage people to make that shift to travelling by bicycle and to enjoy all the benefits of cycling.
“Many more people will be encouraged to cycle and walk now that 20mph has become the norm across Edinburgh – calmer speeds make it so much more attractive to leave the car at home.
“A massive thank you to all partners for delivering such a great event.”
Sunny Murray, Edinburgh Manager for Evans Cycles, said: “With concerns about road safety representing one of the biggest barriers to people when it comes to taking up cycling, we can only congratulate Edinburgh City Council – with support from Cycling Scotland and Sustrans Scotland – for becoming Scotland’s first 20mph city. Needless to say, we were delighted to be able to support the GlowRide with free bike check-ups and Ride to Work advice. Let’s enable more people to enjoy the ride.”