500 copies of the new edition of the Glasgow Cycling Map (£4.95) are being distributed by the Greater Glasgow Health Board to encourage exercise

Cities plan for bikes

500 delegates wheel into Scotland. Words: Richard Moore

n an all too rare spirit of co-operation. Edinburgh and Glasgow are joining forces to host Velo-city. the world's biggest and most important cycle planning conference. from 17—21 September.

And as well as fostering team spirit between the cities. there are high hopes that the prestigious conference will prove successful in highlighting cycling issues and. in the long-term, in acting as a catalyst for new initiatives and improved facilities for cyclists throughout Scotland and beyond.

To prepare for the arrival of over 500 delegates. representing 40 countries. various initiatives have been introduced in both cities and it's hoped that these will continue apace in the coming years as a fitting legacy to Veto-city 2001.

Earlier this year Glasgow won the so-called ‘Oscars of Integrated Transport' for the innovative new cycle lanes surrounding Central Station. Velo-city Director Erl Wilkie welcomes such projects as a sign that ‘Scotland is starting to fall in love with the bike again'.

And he believes that the benefits extend beyond cycling and cyclists. ‘Once again the bike. and ways of catering for the bike. is civilising our streets.‘ he says.

Veto-city 2001 will spend its first two days in Edinburgh at the ElCC before transferring to Glasgow and the SECC. with delegates being given a novel opportunity to demonstrate that they practice what they preach by cycling between the cities.

They will be presented with two options. both showcasing some of Scotland's spanking new routes. one being the 50-mile off-road ride along the upgraded canal paths linking the two cities. the other a 40-mile tarmac stretch along the flew National Cycle Network.

“On the business side. the conference will bring together some of the most influential national and local politicians. town planners. civil engineers and cycle campaigners. with papers covering topics ranging from cycle tourism to sustainable transport and issues facing women cyclists.

‘We hepe Velo city will play a very useful role in allowing local authorities. developers and planners throughout Scotland to share the very best of "best practice" in developing our built environment with facilities for cyclists.’ says Dave Maish. of the Scottish Cycling Development Project.

,And Marsh hopes that the 'wealth of experience' of 'further advanced countries in continental Europe Will spur on our own towns and cities to invest more in making roads safer for cycling.’

' The focus of pro-cycling efforts is often on improving city roads. but other projects will he discussed and showcased at the conference. One such initiative in Glasgow Will see duality cycling maps by CycleCity Guides. detailing dedicated routes and paths. being made available for free in Glasgow GPs‘ surgeries.

I To. register as a delegate fol Ve/o city 200/, call ()l/II 434 1500, or see www.ve/o cifj'QOU loig

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6—20 Sept 2001 THE LIST 7