Cycling Scotland has awarded more than £49,900 to improving cycling facilities for residents at social housing developments run by The City of Edinburgh Council and Dunedin Canmore.
More than 275 households will benefit from secure bike storage at their homes which will enable more people to use bikes as their main form of transport.
In addition the council has been awarded £10,000 from the fund to install public cycle parking as part of a meanwhile project in Craigmillar. There the Council is building a park in an area of unused land beside newly built affordable housing. The new bike parking will benefit more than 190 households nearby and is intended to give an active travel boost to South East Edinburgh.
Mark McHale, Block Manager at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “We had been asking residents in multi-storey blocks to store bikes and mobility aids inside their properties rather than in communal areas, due to fire safety. Many residents complained there was insufficient storage and it made cycling difficult for commuters and families alike. We surveyed the residents to gather opinions on installing storage, and we received overwhelming support from residents.
“The funds will be used to install bike storage at Coillesdene House and Craigmillar and Peffermill Courts, where there will also be a bike repair station built for residents to maintain their bikes. We want to encourage cycling as a means of commuter transport and for leisure. Adding the facilities is a great way to encourage residents to cycle and removes the barriers of limited storage space and bike maintenance. We are extremely grateful at for the positive response to our survey from residents and our successful application to the Social Housing Partnership Fund and support through Cycling Scotland.”
Councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar, Kate Campbell, who is also Convener for Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work, said: “We’re very grateful to have been awarded this £10,000 from the Social Housing Partnership Fund which will give us the opportunity to deliver bike racks and a bicycle repair stand at the Walk-Up Avenue site in Niddrie. This will play a key role, both as part of our ambitions to transform this unused site on Niddrie Mains Road, and for the wider the area, helping to improve and enhance the cycling infrastructure throughout Niddrie and Craigmillar.
“We know that a lack of adequate bike parking can be a real barrier to cycling so this investment will help even more people choose to cycle to the area. This, alongside a growing network of quiet, protected and off-road routes will support residents to make more journeys by foot, wheel or bike, in turn benefiting people’s health, air quality and the environment.”
Hugh Macgregor, Social Housing Development Officer at Cycling Scotland, said: “Cycling should be accessible to anyone, anywhere – the Social Housing Partnership Fund supports people living in social housing to access the benefits of cycling. Through the pandemic, we’ve collectively realised the importance of green space and getting outside for maintaining good health and wellbeing. By providing grants for secure cycle storage and parking, more residents can make journeys by bike. Every journey cycled makes a difference in tackling the climate emergency. We encourage social housing providers interested in accessing the fund to get in touch.”
The funding comes from the Social Housing Partnership Fund which prioritises support for social housing in areas experiencing high levels of deprivation.