GoBike are one of 25 signatories on a joint letter to Nicola Sturgeon urging her to put her government’s support behind the Restricted Roads (20mph) Bill (Safer Streets Bill). It appears that the Scottish Government is not yet convinced on the benefits of the bill, preferring to leave the matters in the hands of local authorities, and we believe that this will be a mistake, leaving the benefits of 20mph open only to better funded local areas, and further widening the transport poverty gap.
An open letter to First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon
The Restricted Roads (20mph) Bill (Safer Streets Bill)
We have previously let you know about concerns arising around side street design in new schemes within Glasgow, and as detailed in our previous blogs, have been in touch with Sustrans and Glasgow City Council about the safety issues we feel are important to urgently address.
If you haven’t caught our discussions so far you can catch up here:
We have now also had some discussions with Sustrans staff who have assured us that there will soon be a clear piece of published guidance on side streets, and now, just this week (six weeks after we emailed), we have had a response in from the council.
Further to your email dated 2nd February, which I believe was subsequently discussed with Cllr Richardson, please find attached our response. The Council’s primary design reference guide is Cycling by Design. However, we are aware that this requires a refresh as it was introduced before we had many segregated cycle routes in Scotland. Glasgow has been the pioneer in the installation of segregated cycle routes and also considers other design guidelines produced by TfL and Sustrans. The concept designs for South City Way have been widely consulted on and a pilot was undertaken to show how the first section would look. The current section is still under construction and all the lining and signing has not been completed for this section. For our major cycle schemes we undertake a series of Safety Audits where the designs are looked at by external safety auditors. These are reviewed at: · Stage 1 – After preliminary design is complete · Stage 2 – After the detailed design is complete · Stage 3 – After Construction. This is undertaken on site, where an external auditor, Police Scotland and members of the design team attend. The Audit Team will examine the scheme site during daylight and during the hours of darkness, so hazards particular to night operation can also be identified and the comments raised will also be highlighted to the audit team. Any issues that have also been raised are also highlighted. We will ensure that your comments are also highlighted as part of the Safety Audit review process and will consider your observations in a part of the design process in future schemes.
I trust this is of assistance.
Communication & Support Services Neighbourhoods and Sustainability
We don’t feel that there is an awareness of the urgency we believe is required within this response and so have reiterated why.
Dear Communication and Support Services
Thank you for your response dated 18th March. There was no attachment to your email but we trust that the text below was the response you referred to.
We need to press on the urgency of a safety audit for the latest side street junctions on the South City Way, including those currently under construction. Presumably your procedures for major cycling schemes audits are new, and being that you admit that guidance in safely designing segregated cycling routes is lacking, we feel it is pressing that should safety be flagged up as an issue, as we and many of our members have done, that an urgent and intermediary safety audit is performed. It is clear that as it stands, there is going to be a collision at this junction soon, and we should be doing all that we can to prevent that. Not only that, but were this treated with the urgency we think it needs, a swift redesign that takes safety into account would prevent further danger being built into the rest of this major cycling scheme. We have after all, been promised that the SCW “will ensure safe cycling every inch of the way”. We also don’t believe that it is enough to leave the danger built in to SCW and only consider different designs for future schemes. If the audit outcomes are deemed as dangerous, could we suggest that the side streets have a lot of potential to be filtered from traffic.
We appreciate the limitations that come with the current Cycling by Design guide and believe that Sustrans are working on updated guidance for side streets. GoBike would encourage you to look further afield in the meantime though and would point out that while Glasgow certainly are indeed pioneering with regards to segregated cycle routes in Scotland, segregated cycling routes are most definitely not anything new in other nearby countries. Thank you also for considering our observations and links to other guides as a part of the future design process.
Can we please press again on the urgency of the need for an immediate safety audit and redesign. We are desperately aware that the safety of people on bikes is currently at risk on the South City Way and feel that a timely response that reflects the imminent danger is required.
It is clear that design guidance is desperately in need of a refresh. Not just from a safety perspective but also for the sake of other projects going into the ground. We are also finding other great new schemes are falling down in other areas such as the pedestrian crossing at the Avenues end at Charing Cross that we detailed in our last digest (section 3.3).
And it is also clear to us that if something dangerous is put into the ground, the danger needs to be rectified as a matter of priority. We hope that the council will hear our plea to look at this soon – we believe that the South City Way can create a wonderful space for cycling and want to ensure that it is fully safe and usable from the outset.
If you have any comments or issues with the side streets, please let the council know on firstname.lastname@example.org . Our collective voice can help to add credence to the issue within the council.
In this issue we have two chances to input on public transport. The first is closing tomorrow, for the SPT, which is very active and public transport oriented, and the second is a Get Glasgow Moving petition. A strong voice on the Get Glasgow Moving input could influence official thinking on both the SPT and transformational frameworks such as that for the Glasgow Broomielaw featured below. Plus a late entry – a survey on a possible bike hire scheme in Motherwell! However, 2 further late entries to this Digest throw a cloud on the long-promised Sauchiehall Street avenue concept.
Here’s the text of a letter we were sent yesterday, not directly but by one of our members:
Important Information from Scottish Water Owner /Occupier 12th March 2019 Taking care of your Sewer Network in Glasgow What we are doing We are working hard to protect and enhance the natural environment in Scotland. Further to the investigation works carried out along the River Kelvin in August 2018, we now require to carry out preparation works in advance of the main project in the Summer of 2019. The project will help improve the environment of the River Kelvin and help prevent items such as rags, wet wipes that are wrongly flushed down the toilet from overflowing into the River Kelvin during storm events. Please visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/riverkelvin for a 2min video overview of the benefits of the project. When are we doing it Preparation works are to be carried out on the Kelvin walkway from 18th March for 5 days. A section of the walkway near Garrioch Drive will be closed on 19th March for 1 day. Diversions will be in place. See page 2 for details. Your water supply should not be affected during this period and toilets and sinks can be used as normal. What happens next • A manhole survey is to be carried out along the sewer near the Kelvin walkway. • Works vehicles will access down to the walkway from Garrioch Drive. • To make space for the new infrastructure we require to remove some trees. New trees will be planted upon project completion. We have also carried out ecology surveys and tree surveys before we started the project. Careful consideration has been taken in order to minimise the number of trees being removed. • A large tree that has a fungal disease (near the Kelvin walkway off Garrioch Drive) is required to be removed as it is in a precarious condition. Trees are normally removed section by section using a tree surgeon on a harness. This method is not possible due to the poor condition so the ‘timber’ method of the whole tree in one cut will have to be carried out on Tuesday 19th March. We expect the force of the fall of the tree may damage the footpath so will have a squad ready to reinstate the footpath. Project reference Capital/403104/aBV Our alliance partner amey Black & Veatch will carry out our work on our behalf. scottishwater
• You may notice minor noise from construction vehicles and an increase in construction vehicles parked in the street. • Our working times shall be Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Thank you for your patience and understanding while we complete this essential work. Yours Sincerely Paul Milligan aBV Communications Manager
A variety of news again, glimmers of hope with reducing motor traffic in Glasgow city centre, the regeneration of the Broomielaw, and the next phase of the Battlefield consultation, but concern about delays with Byres Road and the disappearance, hopefully temporarily, of the Renfrew to Shieldhall cycle lanes consultation. This, and lots more, below.
This ride will head through the West End to join the Forth & Clyde Canal at Maryhill. However, we will then leave the canal and visit Bearsden and the Garscadden Woods. We will see a former Roman fort in Clydebank before our lunch stop in Bowling. We will return into Clydebank, passing a lighthouse on the way, then we’ll take a look at the Clydebank waterfront development. After that, we will see the finished cycle route to the Knightswood Park BMX centre, and return back to the West End.
30 miles, including some off-road woodland paths with short but steep climbs..
We have been asked to comment in an article for The Evening Times about the dangerous side streets on the South City Way. These have recently opened and have been the subject of a lot of complaint and near misses. The article was published today with an initially pleasing headline (warning: don’t get your hopes up!):