Our History

GoBike! was formed in the 1980s previously known as the Glasgow Cycling Campaign and, as such we produced a Bike Plan for a Better Glasgow, which is still relevant today: Bike Plan for a Better Glasgow.  The group was active in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire but then energy was lost with only a few people keeping the group going until a revival from 2010 onwards.

Check out the changes that have been made over the years – updates in italics:

WHAT WE PROPOSED

Improving facilities for cyclists should be part of an overall, integrated transport
plan for Glasgow.

  • Traffic calming, such as that already done in Partick, should be made city-wide.  Note that if there is a Scotland wide urban 20mph limit, traffic calming, which is expensive both to install and maintain would not be required. The speed limit should be lowered to 20mph. As the average speed of a car in traffic is about 10mph, what’s to be gained from doing 30?
  • Bridges are important in any transport network. We propose that action be taken to
    make crossing the Clyde safer for cyclists. The four road bridges should each
    have a cycle lane, and the four pedestrian bridges be made shared use
    pedestrian/cycle facilities.  There are cycle lanes on George V Bridge and Glasgow Bridge, shared bus lanes on the Clyde Arc Bridge and Victoria Bridge, and cycles are allowed on Bells Bridge, Tradeston Bridge and the 2 suspension bridges, ie the Carlton Place to Customs House Quay Bridge and the bridge in Glasgow Green.
  • Cycle Lanes already exist in some places. There should be a comprehensive
    network. There is great scope for cycle lanes on roads parallel to the motorway,
    such as Alexandra Parade and Paisley Road West.  There are now some good, segregated cycle routes in the city, with the South West City Way from Shields Road to the south side of the Clyde and through towards Rutherglen being the best example.  There is still much work to be done on the major arteries where cycling rates are high.
  • Junctions are a major source of danger for cyclists. All junctions should be examined
    and improved, starting with the twelve shown on the map overleaf. Junction
    improvement can be as simple as altering traffic lights from 3 to 4 phases (sorely
    needed at the top of Byres Road), or more involved, with advance stop lines and
    special traffic lights for cyclists.
  • Public Transport has its role too. With bikes already carried free on Strathclyde
    trains, highly convenient and efficient journeys are possible. This is good, and
    should be better advertised. Both local and Scotrail trains should have special
    places for bikes.
  • Secure park and ride facilities should be provided at underground stations, and bike
    lockers at mainline stations.
  • Workplace Facilities should be encouraged. All new buildings should have bike
    parking spaces, and showers and changing rooms.
  • Bike Racks need to be everywhere. The Region has made a good start, but many
    more racks are needed.  Cycle racks are now relatively plentiful in Glasgow.

WHAT THE BENEFITS ARE

    • Freedom to move. A city safe for cyclists is a better place for everyone. A bike
      friendly Glasgow will be quieter, cleaner, healthier and safer. It will be easier
      to cross the road, easier to breathe and more friendly.
    • Children will benefit. 20 years ago most children walked to school alone. Now many
      parents feel they must drive them to school as the roads are so dangerous. This
      is counterproductive. It should be safe for children to walk or cycle to school.
    • Old people, who grew up when cycling was a common and ordinary means of
      transport, are discouraged from cycling by modern traffic. They should be able
      to ride without fear.
    • Congestion relief. Stand beside any busy road in Glasgow and watch what goes
      past. Most cars carry only one person. This is appallingly inefficient in terms of
      energy and space. Most journeys made by car are short, the majority under five
      miles, and a large proportion under two miles. These short trips can easily be
      made by bike.

Cycling uses 1/10th the road space of car travel, 1/50th of the energy, causes
no pollution and in urban areas is faster.

The existing road system in Glasgow could accommodate everyone in the city
if they travelled by bike. There simply isn’t enough space for everyone to use a
car. Bike provision is very cheap. The whole of Glasgow could be traffic-calmed
and made bike friendly for less than the £51 million cost of the planned M77
through Pollok Estate.

  • Air Pollution. Motor vehicle exhausts are now the main source of air pollution,
    contributing 50% of CO2 and other noxious gasses. This has caused a marked
    rise in asthma and other lung complaints.
  • Health. Regular cyclists live an average of 10 years longer than those who don’t take
    exercise. You only need to do a few miles a day to reap the benefits.
  •  Public Safety will improve. Bicycles don’t kill people. Cars do.

Cycling Today

Cycling in traffic isn’t as dangerous as some people like to think. The BMA have calculated that there
is only one death for every ten million miles cycled. You can minimise your risk by
following these basic rules.

  1. Make sure your bicycle works properly, in particular the steering and brakes. Alloy
    rims will let you stop far better in the wet than steel ones.
  2. Learn basic bike control before you go on the road. Practise, in a safe place,
    stopping quickly, turning, and moving off from a standstill.
  3. When cycling, keep looking and listening. Watch for car doors opening, cars turning
    left across your path, potholes, broken glass and spilt oil.
  4. Remember you have every right to be on the road. Don’’t cower in the gutter, move
    out from the kerb and you’ll be given more room. Making eye contact with drivers
    is a good idea.
  5. Know where you are going. Don’t dither about in the middle of junctions. Walk
    across junctions if you are unsure. If you are lost, stop and get on the pavement.
  6. Don’t carry bags on your handlebars, or wear flappy clothing that could catch in the
    wheel.
  7. Always use lights at night. Reflective clothing is also helpful.
  8. Don’t scare pedestrians. It gives cyclists a bad name.

How to make things better

Join GoBike and continue to campaign for a Better Glasgow. See join GoBike for details.