THE Scottish capital's £5.5m cycle superhighway has been given the go ahead along the most direct route linking the west to the east of the city.

The cycleway from Leith to Roseburn was backed by the majority in the city who took part in Edinburgh City Council's consultation but the final route became a divisive subject among residents.

Read more: D-day for Edinburgh's £5.5m cycle superhighway 

Some residents and businesses campaigned for a less direct route called Option B through the Roseburn area but the council backed Option A, a route with fewer road crossings, supported by others in the community.

Detailed designs are now set to be drawn up for an ambitious project to create a family-friendly cycle route through the city centre intended to encourage many more commuters to choose to travel into town by bike or on foot instead of by car, reducing congestion and contributing to improved air quality as well as boosting health and fitness.

Following motion approved by the council, a new stakeholder group was created to help project staff finalise the design.

Read more: D-day for Edinburgh's £5.5m cycle superhighway 

The council said in recognition of local concerns it was also agreed that a comprehensive review would be carried out 12 months after the implementation of the route.

Lesley Hinds, transport convener, said: “I recognise the concerns of local residents and businesses and I hope we can work with them in the coming months to ensure the project works for them too."

Daisy Narayanan, acting director, Sustrans Scotland, said: "It has come after an extensive consultation and stakeholder engagement which has been exemplary in terms of tackling a sensitive issue and taking account of both the aspirations and concerns of all communities involved.

Read more: D-day for Edinburgh's £5.5m cycle superhighway 

"We believe this project would be a strong contender for the competitive grant funding round as part of the Community Links funding programme.

"Indeed, we view this project as a step change for the City of Edinburgh - one that acknowledges and emphasises the substantial benefits the scheme can bring to the city via efficient, healthy, active transport."

Green transport spokesman Nigel Bagshaw said: "I am delighted that the right decision has made.

Read more: D-day for Edinburgh's £5.5m cycle superhighway 

"A direct route through Roseburn is the most sensible option and one that I have supported throughout.

"The city urgently needs a network of segregated cycleways if it is to turn the corner on air pollution and congestion.

"So this should just be the start.”