Starting this Thursday 21st October many of our city’s most used cycle paths and flyovers are due to close around the site of the COP26 at the SEC (and wider), and will remain closed until at least Monday 15th November.
GoBike have pushed hard for improvements to the initial diversion proposals and have had a few of our suggested improvements taken on board and implemented. We are however deeply disappointed that stronger decisions were not made to keep our sustainable form of transport safe and attractive to everyone during the climate conference. This was a missed opportunity for the city to make active travel the easiest choice during a period of road closures and predicted traffic chaos around Glasgow. We outline more on that further below.
Get Ready Glasgow (the COP communications arm of Glasgow City Council) have issued the following updated map to illustrate GCCs proposed diversions.
Our petition on Active Travel Routes during COP26 was heard at council on Thursday and we are happy to say that we have made positive moves forward on points 2 and 3 of our asks.
The chair of the committee has asked officers to engage with GoBike about the closures, and to keep councillors updated. Officers also presented some new plans to include soft segregation along some very short stretches of the diversions. We have identified other stretches along the diversion route that also desperately need protection, as well as a suggested shortening of the diversion route, avoiding one of the most dangerous stretches. We have sent this suggestion map in to council officers for review.
We expect to meet with a representative of the Scottish Government shortly to also push them to go further and we will continue to push for cooperation between the council and Police Scotland in redetermining a lane of Finnieston Street for cycling. We were told at the hearing that security measures to ensure people’s safety is paramount, yet we don’t feel that the safety of people who would usually travel by bike on a traffic free route is being afforded the same protection. We also heard that people driving will also be affected by long diversions however we responded to say that the motor traffic diversions will be suitable for all people driving, and the cycling diversions will not.
The full statement and asks we gave to the councillors at the Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee is as follows:
Glasgow City Council have put their planned closures of cycling and walking routes around the COP26 security cordon out for what they are calling “consultation”. The link to their Section 11 Order is here. This means that we now all have an opportunity to submit our representations or objections, giving our grounds for objection if so.
COP26 – the United Nations Climate ‘Conference of the Parties’ – is coming to Glasgow in November 2021. The eyes of the world will be on our city and we have a key opportunity during the conference to demonstrate that active travel – walking, wheeling and cycling, for commuters, key workers, shoppers, and everyone getting around our city under their own steam – is a large part of the solution to the climate crisis we face.
Many of our streets are rapidly changing around us, and with that change brings understandable concern for people running businesses in those areas. We have brought all the current evidence together that we can find, into a useful resource to for you to share with any communities expressing concern over bike lanes coming to their area.
With possible bikelash looming, we are also asking our members to respond to Commonplace consultations on the latest bike lanes such as this one. Your voice could be really important to add balance and stop misinformation from spreading, so thank you!
Our friends at St. Paul’s Youth Forum and On Bikes have been successful in gaining a grant from Sustrans to develop their proposals to drastically improve walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure in the north east of Glasgow. This is brilliant news, but to make it happen, they need your views. In order to progress to the next stage it is important that they gather as much data from everyone that uses the North East – living, working or playing – to find out what the barriers are and what everyone thinks is needed.
As lockdown starts to ease and shops are preparing to reopen, we are seeing a resurgence of Business Improvement Districts lobbying councils to make on-street parking free. This is counter to council plans for widening pavements for social distancing by removing parking. It also goes against all economic evidence, and as traders on Byres Road have also taken up the call, we look at the evidence here, particularly based around Byres Road.
One of our committee members Ali McCay, has written a new post for the Urban Big Data Centre. This sets out clearly how we can go about creating temporary cycle facilities during lockdown, and outlines exactly why there is an urgent need for creating spaces for people to walk cycle and wheel during the Covid-19 crisis.
Please be aware that as of now the orange expressway flyover bridge from the SEC to Minerva Street has closed to people walking and cycling, as the SEC has taken on its temporary use as a hospital. There are suggested pedestrian and cycling diversions in place as follows: