Cycle event gone but not forgotten in Linlithgow

Linlithgow has seen the back of the annual Pedal for Scotland event – and there are many who are not sorry.

By Stuart Sommerville , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 5th December 2019, 6:44 am
Pic by Alan Murray. Pedal for Scotland 2018,
Pic by Alan Murray. Pedal for Scotland 2018,

The last cross Scotland cycle  took place in September after 20 years.

The town has been on the route of the race which has meant an annual weekend traffic headache of road closures for residents and visitors alike as the town was sealed off to let thousands of riders race through.

Linlithgow’s Local Area Management Committee heard a report last week on the final event. Record numbers – more than 8,000 cyclists – took part in the main and supporting events in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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In the past the event– organised by Cycling Scotland – generated dozens of written complaints and phone calls to West Lothian Council’s contact centre. They concentrated on the inconvenience of road closures over the  weekend run-up to the  mass cycle through the town.

This year, however, according to the report to committee, only one complaint was received at the call centre.

“The low complaint levels were put down to the event using the same route and improved communication,” the report said.

The road closures were removed within five minutes of the cyclists passing through the town.

Cycling Scotland  has said this was the last large scale event as it has achieved its aim in promoting cycling across Scotland.

In the future the organisation plans small scale events, concentrating on specific areas.

“The last until the next time,” said a sceptical Councillor David Tait, 

“When they want to come back and foist it on us.”

“I think the thought that there was going to be no more of it  would have discouraged people from complaining about it.”

Cycling Scotland will  only look at setting up town specific events where it is invited to do so, according the report compiled by council roads engineers.