Away from busy roads – the University of Glasgow Travel Survey

When is away from busy roads not away from busy roads? When it’s beside it, but protected from traffic.

The results are out from the latest travel survey undertaken at the University of Glasgow and are online here and here for everyone to peruse.

We have been looking through it at GoBike and have major concerns with the wording of one of the provided responses to questions about cycling – “More cycle routes away from busy roads”.

Table 3.12 – Encouraging Cycling (top responses for Gilmorehill Campus)
What would encourage you to cycle more?
39% – Better / safer cycle routes and improved lighting
39% – More cycle routes away from busy roads
34% – Nothing would encourage me to cycle / cycle more
28% – More direct cycle routes

We would argue (and we know others had highlighted this during the survey process too) that “away from busy roads” could as easily be read as “protected from busy traffic” and therefore “segregated cycle lanes” as opposed to the assumption the report is making, that respondents are indicating a preference for quieter cycle routes through the campus, and away from direct routes such as University Avenue. We certainly would suggest that a fear of mixing with traffic is at the heart of why these respondents have chosen this answer for why they don’t cycle more, and not necessarily that they want to be able to cycle a longer more convoluted route to get to where they are going.

The finding of a preference for “away from busy roads” is repeatedly referred to within the final report (e.g. 5.3.2 The most popular response for both staff and students is a desire to see better / safer cycling routes and improve lighting around the University campuses and / or more cycle routes away from busy roads.)

We fear that the ambiguity of the wording may allow for this finding to be artificially skewed. UofG are likely to be looking for backing for their plans to provide cycle routes through their campus in lieu of ignoring the more important direct arterial route of University Avenue. We are highlighting it here in the hope that it might avoid this happening and the 700 people who signed our petition agree.

Protected bike lanes seem the most obvious solution to providing space for cycling “away from busy roads”, and they also tick the important requirement for routes to be direct.  The cost of inconvenience is that people will often choose not to cycle. There has also been another suggestion from within our team though. How about solving the need to create space “away from busy roads” by “making the roads not busy”. Now wouldn’t that be a mind blowing idea!

Buried within the appendices of the UofG Travel Survey Report 2019 are a couple more pertinent comments which we sincerely hope will be taken on board:

Winter Maintenance Update

After the extremely dangerous conditions of the cycle paths last winter, we called for action from Glasgow City Council for a drastic reprioritisation of the winter maintenance policy.  We requested a policy that more fairly reflects the right for all people to get around, not just those who have access to a car. 

We are gladdened that the Council not only listened, but have acted upon this, with the announcement of the purchase of a vehicle which will de-ice segregated cycle paths with a salt solution.

Continue reading “Winter Maintenance Update”

More evidence that improved cycling infrastructure is good for health.

We have recently linked to a new report published by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Scottish Government on our Evidence pages (see Health) called the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines that provides a wealth of evidence to show just how valuable exercise such as active travel is, not just to ourselves personally, but also on a much wider scale. We believe this goes a long way to show just how much of a health issue active travel is and should be treated as, particularly when it comes to funding considerations.

Here are some key quotes and infographics pulled out by one of our members for us.

Continue reading “More evidence that improved cycling infrastructure is good for health.”

Dumbarton Loop – ride out this Sunday with GoBike for a 35 mile tour.

Sunday 6 October – Dumbarton Loop
We will head out of Glasgow along the Loch Lomond Railway Path, but only as far as Dumbarton. After the lunch stop there will be a tour around the Dumbarton area to see some of the local attractions, including passing Strathleven House, before returning to Glasgow.
35 miles, largely on the flat.
Meet 10am Bell’s Bridge, Congress Road, Glasgow.

More details of GoBike Rides are on the Rides page on our website.


Consultation Extra: Active Travel for Everyone event in Edinburgh, 19 October

In Digest 43, Item 2.1, we told you about a forthcoming conference to discuss and progress active travel issues for all. It is to be held in Edinburgh on 19 October and here are the details and the booking link from the Walk, Cycle, Vote organisers:

Continue reading “Consultation Extra: Active Travel for Everyone event in Edinburgh, 19 October”

Keep National Cycle Route 75 Open During Public Events in Glasgow Green – GoBike member’s petition

GoBike member, Bob Downie, is very concerned, as are many of us, that the main cycle route by the River Clyde through Glasgow Green is closed during events. He has had a petition approved by Glasgow City Council, which he hopes will reverse this. To quote Bob:

National Cycle Route 75 (NCR75) where it passes by Glasgow Green is both the busiest and arguably the most pleasant off-road cycle route in Glasgow. However, due to the staging of large events in The Green it can be shut for days on end with poor or negligible diversion signage causing great inconvenience to cyclists.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can have events in the Green without closure of NCR75
If you are a Glasgow resident, please sign this petition to end closure

Here’s the link to the petition:

Let’s do all we can to keep this busy commuting (and leisure) route open.

Consultation Digest Issue 44, 24 September 2019: Speed cushions combined with traffic islands, car-free school gates and evidence that contraflow cycling is not the danger that some people tell us.

Would you believe it – Glasgow City Council are proposing an arrangement of speed cushions and traffic islands to daunt even the most foolhardy of us, but local residents in Hogganfield are looking for car-free school gates and we counter, again, anti-contraflow cycling moves. Read on for all the details:

Continue reading “Consultation Digest Issue 44, 24 September 2019: Speed cushions combined with traffic islands, car-free school gates and evidence that contraflow cycling is not the danger that some people tell us.”

Consultation Digest Issue 43, 17 September 2019: Even more traffic calming proposed and East Dunbartonshire aim to take the lead in banning school drop-offs

We are quite definitely in the traffic calming season, but we also have news of the current Pollok Park consultation and the good news that Scotland’s Active Nation Commissioner has expressed support for our opposition to plans for University Avenue – but in news just in, Glasgow City Council maintain their view that there is no space for cycle lanes! Do read on for even more:

Continue reading “Consultation Digest Issue 43, 17 September 2019: Even more traffic calming proposed and East Dunbartonshire aim to take the lead in banning school drop-offs”

Today is #GlasgowCycleInfraDay19

It’s Friday the 13th September and as well as being unlucky for some it’s…


So, when on your bike today, as part of your commute, group ride, or just popping down the street for some cake, take a photograph of that piece of infrastructure that you like, as well as one of that makes your heart sink every time you use it or pass it.

Continue reading “Today is #GlasgowCycleInfraDay19”