** UPDATE 2 ** Side Streets

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:

and 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.
 
Yours sincerely
 
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 sustainable.transport@glasgow.gov.uk . Our collective voice can help to add credence to the issue within the council.

New Transport Scotland Statistics Out

The latest lot of Transport Scotland statistics are out (for 2017) and make for some pretty depressing reading, particularly with the demonstrated continued massive increase in car use and provision.

We’ve added the full document to the Statistics section of our Evidence pages and have pulled out some of the key facts for you here:

Continue reading “New Transport Scotland Statistics Out”

Side Streets

We’ve had a lot of disquiet from our members this week about a side street that has been unveiled on the South City Way. While we do know and understand that our council is making great steps forward with schemes such as the SCW, and that UK design guidance on side street treatments has a long way to come, the safety of people cycling is at the heart of what we campaign for. We are so aware that side streets are a common source of collisions and so for the sake of safety, we want to work to get this right.

We’ve been in touch with GCC and Sustrans as follows, and will keep you updated on any progress.

Hi to our contacts in LES, Sustrans, and Cllr Richardson,

First of all thank you for the work you are doing to create safe places to cycle in Glasgow. We can see how hard everyone is working on getting this right, however we at GoBike wanted to get in touch to express our concerns about the designs on side streets that we are seeing emerging on the ground, particularly in reference to the most recently completed junction on the SCW at Turriff Street, but also in the wider context of other schemes in the planning stages.

Continue reading “Side Streets”

** CANCELLED ** GoBike Cycle Ride – Sunday 3 February – The White Cart Wanderer

Unfortunately due to icy conditions we have taken the decision to cancel tomorrows ride. Although main roads are clear, untreated side roads and paths are still frozen and icy in places.

We are really disappointed to have to cancel, particularly as we know that these same paths affect the ability to cycle for people trying to choose active travel all year round.

Glasgow Cycling MindMap

We have just added a new resource to our Cycling Info section of our website – the Glasgow Cycling Mindmap.

Check it out – it’s really useful! Big thanks to our friends at the Glasgow Eco Trust for pulling this together. They have just launched their brand new website today where you can find out more about their community led sustainable regeneration in the West of Glasgow. Continue reading “Glasgow Cycling MindMap”

Glasgow Connectivity Commission Report – Phase One

We were in attendance yesterday at the release of the phase one report from the Glasgow Connectivity Commission, requested by Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council. We were delighted to see the findings, which we believe will go a long way towards pushing Glasgow forward towards becoming a truly sustainable and connected city. Continue reading “Glasgow Connectivity Commission Report – Phase One”

Bike Life Report – Glasgow

Sustrans Scotland in collaboration with Glasgow City Council yesterday launched the Glasgow ‘Bike Life’ report that has brought to the fore many interesting findings specific to cycling in Glasgow.

Significantly, that 30% of people don’t currently ride a bike, but would like to, and that 82% of residents support building more protected roadside cycle lanes, even when this could mean less space for other road traffic. Continue reading “Bike Life Report – Glasgow”

Busting the Myths About Business and Bikes

In the second of our two blogs looking at how increased provision for active travel to the area might affect local businesses, particularly in relation to Byres Road, GoBike members continue to examine the economic benefits that come with providing safe space for active travel.

Big changes are afoot on Byres Road. But big changes bring uncertainty – and one particular area for discussion has been how introducing segregated cycle lanes might affect local shops, cafes, and restaurants. Here, GoBike aims to clear up a few common myths by summarising the existing evidence about business and bikes. Continue reading “Busting the Myths About Business and Bikes”

Is Parking really so good for Business?

Following on from the release last week of an important Transport for London study on the Economic Benefits of Walking and Cycling, GoBike members have been looking at our local example of Byres Road, to see how increased provision for active travel to the area might affect local businesses. The conclusions are really heartening – in the first of two blogs, Jim Collinson looks here at parking.

Want to grow your business? You need less parking.

For businesses to grow, streets like Byres Road in Glasgow need more capacity. Here’s why traders should demand less parking, and a street designed for people, not cars. Continue reading “Is Parking really so good for Business?”