(Image: via Edinburgh Council Consultation Hub. Proposed Dalry Road bridge on the ‘Roseburn to Union Canal cycle route’)
Edinburgh residents with an interest in walking, cycling and linear urban parks may be aware of the proposed Roseburn to Union Canal cycle which, according to the website, is now in the design and planning phase. The project aims to plug a “missing link” between the regenerated Union Canal and existing walking and cycle paths elsewhere in the Scots capital. From an Urban Ghosts perspective, this would mean incorporating a historic part of the city’s 19th century transport infrastructure into a 21st century cycle network.
Stages 1 and 2 – the initial feasibility study and route development and stakeholder engagement – are both complete. Stage 3 of the project – design, planning application and tender preparation – is understood to be currently ongoing.
The artist’s impression (above) shows what a new bridge across Dalry Road might look like. The “painted steel” structure, which was highlighted by the Edinburgh Evening News in February last year, would lie alongside an existing bridge that carries the West Approach Road along a stretch of abandoned railway line near the disused Dalry Road station.
(Image: via Consultation Hub (pdf). Map of proposed Roseburn to Union Canal cycle route.)
Edinburgh boasts an extensive network of pedestrian and cycle paths utilising old railway trackbed built in the Victorian era by the Caledonian Railway and its rival line the North British. But between Roseburn and the Union Canal riders are forced to brave busy streets, passing under the West Approach Road via the historic Telfer Subway (connecting Caledonian Crescent and Dundee Street).
A new Dalry Road bridge – a key part of the Roseburn to Union Canal cycle route – would also connect the Gorgie-Dalry neighbourhoods to much-needed green-space on the redundant branch line running behind the tenements of Downfield Place and Duff Street Lane. In doing so, an important part of Edinburgh’s Victorian industrial heritage would be revived and repurposed for modern users.