Monday, December 03, 2007

Bikes banned from trams?

I generally try and steer clear (sorry!) of Council transport issues ...

... five and a half years in that particular 'front-line' was enough for anyone :-(

... but, more seriously, I don't think politicians should bang on about issues that relate to a previous portfolio they may have held when they no longer have any responsibility for it; shadow or otherwise.

BUT - I'm going to break my rule on this occasion, because I feel the Council is about to make an error over the carriage of bikes on trams ... or should I say, the 'banning' of bikes from trams?

I hear on the grapevine that Spokes, the Edinburgh cycling campaign, are being told that the carriage of bikes on trams is unlikely but that the possibility is not being ruled out indefinitely. And you "would" think this was the case, given that Green Party Councillor Maggie Chapman's motion on this was passed at the October Council meeting - it read thus:

"To reaffirm the commitment in the Local Transport Strategy to maintain or improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and investigate ways whereby bicycles can be carried on trams (as suggested by the Council's Tram Design Manual), especially during off-peak operation."

I supported Maggie's motion in October, and was pleased it was passed by the Council ... but has this clear Council decision reached those who are planning the detail of the tram implementation? ... is the internal layout of the tram vehicles being designed to allow the possibility of bike carriage??

I do think the current Convener of Transport should come clean and just make an unequivocal statement on all of this ... I'm receiving some very contradictory messages from different quarters, and it's one role of good leadership to ensure that doesn't happen.

Will bikes be allowed on trams, off-peak, yes or no?

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