The future of GoBike as a campaign is sadly currently hanging in the balance.
As a group of prior caretakers of the campaign, we hope you don’t mind us contacting you to see whether you might be able to give some time to GoBike.
We have no one actively running GoBike. The volunteers who have helped run this campaign over the last many, many years have gradually stepped back to the point where we now have no caretaker group running the campaign. We are currently in the position where we don’t have anyone to lead / chair, or to keep communications going to and from and within the campaign. Similarly, we don’t have anyone to carry out the treasurer’s role.
Both of these roles are essential to a campaign with paid membership, and one with a good communications channel with the council and other related organisations. We have a great team keeping our consultations section ticking over, and we still have our monthly rides on the go. However, we also need help with our social media, with campaign ideas and their organisation, and with other admin tasks.
In my nearly 20 years of policy work, I’ve never known a time where there have been so many major consultations live at the same time. It’s time to get busy – plus there’s the local elections on 5 May, now less than 100 days away.
Early on Wednesday morning, hundreds of cycling activists, campaigners and residents of Glasgow marked ‘Transport Day’ at COP26, and joined GoBike to form a line of people with bikes stretching along the River Clyde to the conference. People of all ages stood peacefully along the side of the road asking that active travel is recognised at the conference as a part of the solution to the climate crisis.
This Wednesday morning (10th November) from 7:45am – 8:45am we are asking people with bikes to peacefully form a line along the edge of the pavement along Lancefield Quay, stretching out from the conference for everyone attending to see. We want to remind people going to the conference on that day (COP26 Transport Day) that active travel is a part of the solution to climate change. Please come and join us!!
Join Gobike, Pedal on Parliament and everyone else from around the country who knows that safer cycling can save us, to let the conference know that sustainable transport is a key part of the solution to the climate crisis and needs to be on the table for discussion.
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.
Peter Hayman, who has long been an active and effective GoBike campaigner, is a true cycling legend. Today, the 28th of March, he turns 80, and to celebrate his birthday, he is planning a hefty 80 mile cycle ride. For this adventure (and Peter is no stranger to adventures), he hopes to cycle to the coast via his previous homes in the West of Scotland and through the home town of his adopted football club, Kilmarnock FC, before returning to Glasgow.