Capital cyclists and green campaigners have called for a dedicated nationwide cycle network to be established in Sir Chris Hoy’s honour.
Grassroots campaign group Pedal on Parliament (POP) has joined cycling safety group Spokes and community body Greener Leith in urging the council to mark his glittering achievements by installing segregated cycle lanes on the soon-to-be revamped Leith Walk.
The group believes the plan should be the first stage of a Sir Chris Hoy Cycle Highway Network stretching right across the country.
Hoy himself lent his support to POP’s nationwide campaign for improved cycle safety.
Kim Harding, of POP, said: “This is Chris Hoy’s home town and he should be honoured for his fantastic achievement. The redevelopment of Leith Walk presents itself as the perfect opportunity to do this.
“When residents were consulted about what they’d like to see happen on Leith Walk, segregated cycle tracks came top of the list – but the city council have not included it as an option.”
Ian Maxwell of cycle safety group Spokes added: “There is a real groundswell of public opinion towards better cycling facilities as a result of Sir Chris Hoy, which the council would do well to capitalise on.
“We now know that there will be no trams on Leith Walk for some time so surely this offers the perfect opportunity for the council to take a fresh look at what they plan to do and consider cycle lanes as an option.”
However, Councillor Jim Orr, who serves as the city council lead on cycling, told how the issue of segregated cycle routes wasn’t just a matter of space on the landmark thoroughfare.
He said: There are technical issues regarding utilities and drainage as well as added cost.
“We did look at this proposal before but dismissed it. However, we are willing to consider the option again.”
Asked on how he felt Sir Chris should be honoured, Cllr Orr added: “My colleagues and I are at present considering the appropriate way to do this.”