Cycle event sparks Linlithgow lockdown complaint

editorial image

Questions are being asked about the future format of the Pedal For Scotland event, which sealed off Linlithgow and beyond on Sunday.

Some traders have accused the organisers of the Glasgow to Edinburgh charity cycle extravaganza, Cycling Scotland of simply failing to address public concerns .

The firms claim that the upshot goes far beyond a slump in their takings as it sparks a perilous lack of access to the wider area.

This includes Winchburgh, which was completely sealed off during the race.

Linlithgow BID’s chairman Jim Walker said: “You can’t, of course, criticise people for wanting to raise money for charity and I know it is only one day but there needs to be some sort of balance here.

“This event shuts off not only High Street but the whole of Linlithgow and the rural areas around it.

“Yes, it affects businesses who would be as well closing up for the day but that is not the only worry.

“It means that carers cannot reach patients for example and I hope there will never be any sort of incident where the emergency services cannot get through.

“The organisers are only paying lip service to the public. There is no real consultation here.

“They need to meet us somewhere in the middle.

“So we’ll be writing to them before next year’s event about this.”

Meanwhile, Councillor David Tait added: “If anything, attitudes towards this have hardened and further action will be taken to ensure that the community voice is heard and taken into account before the 2019 event.”

A Cycling Scotland spokesperson said:“We are sorry for the disruption.

“This year, we shortened the start time to enable roads to open more quickly, provided maps demonstrating how people could use the streets in Linlithgow, changed the route of the longer Big Belter ride and had volunteers on pedestrian crossings – all because of views we received from the public.

“Emergency services always get through and managed access plans were provided to enable carer access and other essential journeys.

“ We appreciate parking restrictions have an impact on other businesses and would be happy to receive views on how to adjust traffic restrictions and also to enable other businesses to benefit from the event.

“We cannot take steps that risk the safety of people from Linlithgow, around Scotland and further afield who take part in the event and raise money for good causes.”