Congratulations and a gold star to Councillor Elspeth Kerr, SNP, pictured above wearing purple, who doesn’t own a bike but yet cycled 6.5 miles round her ward on Thursday with Anne Glass, from Drumchapel Cycle Hub, also pictured and GoBike Convenor Tricia Fort. We are indebted to Anne and the Drumchapel Cycle Hub for the loan of Elspeth’s purple bike, shown above. The route we took, a shortened version of one devised by Andy Preece, is shown below:
Here’s a guide to the route: Councillor Ward Tour – Anniesland & Drumchapel final
There are some busy main roads in this ward and we cycled on the footway along Drumry Road East, through the roundabouts to Great Western Road, then from the point where we left the canal path up Great Western Road to Knightswood Cross and again at the end of our ride along Drumchapel Road and back up Drumry Road East to the Hub. There are no cycle facilities on these busy roads and although it is not correct to cycle on the footway, it is far safer for someone like Elspeth, who is not confident on the road.
So, in this relatively poor area with fairly low car ownership, what did we see apart from the lack of cycle facilities? As Andy points out in his notes, when we crossed from the Great Western Retail Park to the south side of Great Western Road, the footway is shared. At the Glasgow boundary, with no change of width in the footway, this stops, and people on bikes are directed to the canal towpath. What if they want to go straight up Great Western Road towards Knightswood? Tough, and they encounter a lack of dropped kerbs if they do venture here on a bike or they are pushing a pram or a wheelchair.
We went on the canal towpath for quite a bit of this ride, and one has to be aware of pedestrians and dogs. There are ground lights for part of the way, but to ensure these are effective, vegetation must be kept back. At Lock 35, we crossed to the north side to look at the garden that has been developed by volunteers, including members of GoBike:
Back on Great Western Road, we noticed that, although laybys have been provided for parked cars, some drivers prefer to leave their car in the inside lane of this 3-lane road!
This picture shows 1 car in the layby, 3 parked in the inside lane, and 1 car actually moving in the middle lane. This doesn’t leave much room for bikes, or buses. This dual carriageway, a major artery to the city centre, has plenty of room for a cycle way on each side.
At Knightscliffe Avenue we cut in round the Netherton Community Centre and onto the path, Temple Walkway, which runs from Glencoe Street right past the Community Centre and the disused Temple Swimming Pool to Shafton Road. The path has a good surface and could be used much more for cycling and walking if it were lit.
Shafton Road took us round, via Avenel Road to the canal, with a steep access path and we cycled west as far as Blairdardie Road Footbridge. From here, with no dropped kerb to help us down to the roadway, we made our way along Moraine Avenue, and to the path that took us under the railway to Essenside Avenue and more locations needing dropped kerbs:
Here, at the access to the path leading to Drumchapel Road, the fence is blocking the very bit of the kerb that is dropped, albeit only slightly. So, all in all, this is not an area that is active-travel-friendly, but with much potential for improvement.