Consultation Digest Issue 29, 05 March 2019: The Good the Bad and the Ugly news from all around.

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.

Contents

Section 1: Current Consultations

  1. Glasgow City Centre Congestion Improvement, closes 08 March
  2. Glasgow, Heathcot Avenue Drumchapel, proposed one-way operation, closes 08 March
  3. Transport Scotland A830 Shlatach Road over Rail Bridge, Glenfinnan, reconstruction, closes 14 March
  4. Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) Regional Transport Strategy – Public Survey, closes 20 March
  5. **NEW** Glasgow Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework, closes 05 April
  6. North Lanarkshire Council Local Development Plan, closes 05 April

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

  1. Battlefield Street Design – Public Consultation event 19 March 2019
  2. Glasgow Byres Road Design Workshop, now postponed from 06 to 21 March
  3. Renfrewshire, cycle lane from Renfrew to the Glasgow boundary at Shieldhall, who knows when?
  4. Lanarkshire, South and North – sounding positive

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

  1. Woodlands Phase 2 Consultation closed 03 March, GoBike response
  2. GoBike monthly ride 03 March including a trip along the cycle facilities leading to the Knightswood BMX track.
  3. Glasgow City Council (Maxwell Drive and Bruce Road) Traffic Calming Scheme 2018
  4. Glasgow, University Avenue
  5. East Dunbartonshire Council, Local Development Plan newsletter 50
  6. Glasgow Sauchiehall Street and Elmbank Street one-way, Community Council meeting

Section 1: Current Consultations in date order for responses

1.1 Glasgow City Centre Congestion Improvement, closes 08 March

Do please support this proposal, which was featured in Digest 28, Item 1.3 and brings in some parking restrictions in the city centre, some amendments to taxi ranks and 7-day parking charges – all in the hope that motor traffic will flow better and people will try out the bus or the subway to get into town, or even walk or get on their bike. The City Council’s report is here and here’s a map of the area to be affected.

Here’s the letter of support that GoBike submitted last week.

1.2 Glasgow, Heathcot Avenue Drumchapel, proposed one-way operation, closes 08 March
Heathcot Avenue, showing on-verge parking.

Here is the Press Notice for these proposals, which were featured in our last Digest as Item 1.4. The city council is apparently concerned that two-way operation and parking at junctions is causing concern, not only for the motor traffic, but for pedestrians trying to cross the roads. GoBike is concerned that one-way motor traffic, with no opposing traffic, will tend to travel faster, that parking at junctions is already not allowed within the Highway Code and that absolutely no consideration has been given to active travel. Drumchapel is an area of the city with very low car ownership and no cycle facilities.
The GoBike letter of Objection to the proposals is here.

1.3 Transport Scotland A830 Shlatach Road over Rail Bridge, Glenfinnan, reconstruction, closes 14 March

This consultation for works well out with the area normally considered by GoBike was Item 1.5 in our last Digest, Digest 28 and we have responded with this letter. We thought it worth responding on the grounds that some of us might get this far away on our hols.

1.4 Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) Regional Transport Strategy – Public Survey, closes 20 March

We featured this welcome survey last time too, Item 1.6 in Digest 28. If you haven’t already completed it, please do – it’s really quick and easy. Here’s the link to the survey.

1.5 **NEW** Glasgow Broomielaw District Regeneration Framework, closes 05 April

Glasgow City Council have published a draft District Regeneration Framework for the Broomielaw District – the link is here. Interestingly, the area covered is both north and south of the Clyde and the main document includes the following statements:

“The aim of this project is to promote the riverside boulevard, first and foremost, as a continuous pedestrian promenade, rather than as a busy car road.

  • The amount of space taken by cars should be reduced to allow more space for separate bike lanes, wide pedestrian footways with enough space for external cafe/bar terraces and trees.
  • Through car traffic along the riverside (other than local access) should be discouraged with a nett reduction of car trips along the river. This should be part of a larger review of the city centre car circulation.
  • Road carriageway width should be reduced (currently dualled two way traffic with filter lanes) and design speeds reduced through passive street design measures. Centre
  • Fastlink bus lane exacerbates severance along the quays. It should be reviewed and adjusted / integrated into the reduced carriageway layout. (GoBike emphasis)
  • Crossing points should be located on natural ‘desire-lines’ straight, wider and safer and clearly indicate pedestrian and cyclist priority over cars. (GoBike emphasis)
  • North-South streets should be connected to the quay roads from both North and South banks of the river with special attention to improving pedestrian and cycle access and connections at existing bridge crossings.”

This all seems quite promising and well in-tune with pronouncements from GoBike, so you might want to have a look at either the full document or the summary and complete the survey. GoBike committee member, Brenda, is reviewing the document and we are hopeful that her final summary will confirm the nirvana promised by the above extract!

1.6 North Lanarkshire Council Local Development Plan, closes 05 April

Folk in North Lanarkshire have been very quiet on this – please let us know if you have any views you’d want us to back on this! Here’s the flyer we published two weeks ago:

Information on the Modified Proposed Plan is here and the Local Development Plan Modified Proposal Plan is here – there might just be a prize for the first person who can find a mention of active travel or even public transport in the documents. But do please have a look at them!

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

2.1 Battlefield Street Design – Public Consultation event 19 March 2019

GoBike received this email on 28 February:

Hello,
Over the past few months, we have asked for your opinion on various ways to improve the centre of Battlefield and Battlefield Road and have listened carefully to all that you’ve had to say, whether that be at events, meetings or online. So far, your views have helped shape our thinking and have guided us to create the first draft of the concept designs.
We’d now like to invite you to feedback on these designs and help shape the proposals going forward.

From the 18th March until the 12th April the design proposals will be available for public feedback when you can:

  • Visit the website battlefieldproposals.commonplace.is to leave your comments
  • View the designs at Langside Library or Langside Parish Church and complete a feedback form
  • Attend the drop-in event at Langside Library on Tuesday 19 March between 3pm – 8pm to view the designs in detail, ask any questions and meet the team. Presentations will be held at 5pm and 7pm and refreshments are available throughout. Please find the Facebook event here and share with anyone else who lives, works or travels in the area.

I’ve also attached a poster for the consultation period if you are able to share it or put one up at your local community group, noticeboard, church, school etc.
To find out more about the project as well as other opportunities to get involved please visit our project website where you can subscribe for updates on the ‘News’ page:
https://battlefield.commonplace.is/news

If you have any questions at all or would like further details on the project please don’t hesitate to contact me on my details below.
Best wishes

Community Engagement Officer | Street Design
Sustrans Scotland

Do get along to the event if you can, particularly if you live, work or travel in the area. GoBike has been involved in the working group meetings along with the local Community Council and other people and groups from Battlefield and this does all look promising from an active travel and neighbourhood – building point of view.

2.2 Glasgow Byres Road Design Workshop, now postponed from 06 to 21 March

We are somewhat concerned – on 20th December last year, four people from GoBike and Space for People Byres Road attended a meeting with Glasgow City Council and Sustrans, at which we were given the good news that it is feasible to have segregated cycle lanes on Byres Road. In addition, we were told that the design would be completed by the end of January and the Traffic Regulation Order issued soon after. We reported this in Digest 25, Items 2.2 and 3.4.

Byres Road now.

As we still await the TRO, we were, in February, invited to a workshop with other stakeholders, to be held on 06 March and the four of us made arrangements to attend. Then, on 27 February we were told that the event has been postponed to 21 February. Why? “ The date has been revised in order to maximise attendance from key stakeholder groups” the email invitation informed us. This date is not suitable for at least three people from the active travel community that we are aware of – could there possibly be more influential stakeholder groups than those who represent people who cycle?! We hope to have an update for you in our next-but-one Digest, due out on 02 April.

2.3 Renfrewshire, cycle lane from Renfrew to the Glasgow boundary at Shieldhall, who knows when?

So, who does know what is happening (see here)? It was all very frantic with the consultation events in Renfrew that we previously advertised on, then off, on and finally off. We know that some local councillors had been using their Facebook comments (which are never usually a great indication of balanced or informed opinion) as evidence that the proposed cycle lanes were “not wanted”. And they appear to have won the upper hand for now, the council stating that “further to initial consultation” the public information events will be rescheduled. Being that the actual consultation events were cancelled, and so the “initial consultation” hadn’t actually happened yet, we can only assume that they had been strong armed into cancelling by the councillors.

John, our Co-Convenor, called into the Tuesday consultation venue on his way home from work. Staff were there just in case people hadn’t heard of the cancellation. John, and another GoBike member, who also called in, were told that comments on the Commonplace map will be taken into account when the project is reconsidered. Unfortunately the survey is now closed, so the bikelash group might currently have the upper hand. Let’s hope that local councillors start to toe their party line on active travel, that sense does eventually prevail and we do get cycle lanes here.

2.4 Lanarkshire, South and North – sounding positive

News in from GoBike member, Derek Y, who attends the South Lanarkshire Cycling Partnership meetings. Lots is being discussed but, like the map mentioned below, not yet being made public. We await more definite news but it’s looking like progress:

“Map from Hamilton Active Travel presentation to SLCP. ‘High level’ overview of primary routes and ‘local links’. Not much detail about what form these would take but the consultant said most primary routes would be segregated off road. Local links may be like ‘quiet ways’ but not sure. It is progress but I was disappointed by lack of primary route in south of Hamilton.

Networks also in the pipeline for East Kilbride and Rutherglen/Cambuslang. East Kilbride active travel will be considered at a workshop this week.

More news to follow about a promising route in North Lanarkshire. Between North and South there’s quite a lot going on in Lanarkshire all of a sudden. I’d guess that increase in national funding is having an effect?”

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

3.1 Woodlands Phase 2 Consultation closed 03 March, GoBike response

Many GoBike members attended the two consultation events, looked at the proposals, spoke to staff, commented on-line and voiced their views on GoBike’s Slack workspace. From all of this we have developed and submitted this letter detailing our general welcome of the scheme but also voicing our concern about various points. Of particular concern is the hazardous road layout between St George’s Road and Sauchiehall Street, partly shown in this photograph.

Thanks to our member for their helpful input on this – more of that please!

3.2 GoBike monthly ride 03 March including a trip along the cycle facilities leading to the Knightswood BMX track.
Clydebank under redevelopment

Sunday’s GoBike ride was a delightful tour through the West End, up to Duntocher, down to Old Kilpatrick and out as far as Bowling, before heading back along the canal and cycle track to see the cycle-facility-free developments at Clydebank around the West Scotland College and new Leisure Centre. Next, a major attraction of the ride was riding the route to the new BMX park, constructed for the European Championships last year.

What a mish-mash this is with good quality segregated bi-directional cycle lanes, sub-standard bi-directional cycle lanes, all desperately needing to be brushed, shared footways of varying widths, painted-on cycle lanes with parking encroaching on the buffer zone, but at least the give-way and stop lines were either side of the cycle lanes. All, sadly, in line with the letters GoBike sent in at the time of the Traffic Regulation Orders back in 2017, see this letter about the segregated sections of the route and this letter about the footway redetermination. Unfortunately, there was pressure of time to get cycle facilities complete before the Games and GoBike was invited in to meet City Council staff in January 2018 and reluctantly we agreed to withdraw our concerns particularly about the shared footway section. Here’s the letter we submitted.

3.3 Glasgow City Council (Maxwell Drive and Bruce Road) Traffic Calming Scheme 2018

GoBike replied to the consultation on this proposed traffic calming scheme with this letter, which we published in Consultation Digest 25.

We have now received this disappointing response from the City Council:

Thank you for your letter of 3 January 2019 regarding the traffic calming proposals for Maxwell Drive and Bruce Road, and I apologise for the delay of this response.

I note the points and suggestions you make and would assure you that when changes are made to the road network by Glasgow City Council, we seek to incorporate improvements for cyclists. However, this is not always possible and with respect to these proposals, the funding is not available to amend the layout to reflect your suggestions.     
By way of background, following receipt of the notification email of 14th December 2018 about these proposed measures, officers were requested to attend February’s Pollokshields Community Council meeting to talk through the proposals, hence the delay of this response.

I trust that the foregoing clarifies the matter. If, however, you require any further information, please contact (details removed by GoBike)

Michael Brady
Group Manager – Traffic and Road Safety
Neighbourhoods and Sustainability”

Good that Pollokshields Community Council were involved. We are aware that they want a prompt response to the “boy racers” who drive at ridiculous speeds on some of our streets, and we are also aware that Glasgow City Council have a standard response when it comes to traffic calming and, guess what? It’s the installation of (funded) speed tables.

3.4 Glasgow, University Avenue

Since our last digest we have had a response from the University of Glasgow, who maintain that their plans make the street safer for cycling while continuing to avoid answering our questions, and who reiterate that the work will go ahead as planned. Read the full letter here.

Co-convenor Iona has responded to let them know that:

Our first focus on all of our campaigns is also safety, and that of all users of place, which is why University Avenue is bringing us such concern. Unfortunately we do not accept that the primary concern within your plans is the safety of everyone using University Avenue, or that University Avenue will be safer for all, as the safety of people using (or wishing to use) cycling for transport will remain unguarded. The plans for University Avenue do not account for the safety of staff and students arriving by bike, nor that of people travelling through the area. Cycling is, and will remain a dangerous activity on University Avenue.

Of course we welcome the needed improvements for pedestrians, and would always expect those to be first priority, but actually the planned prioritisation for University Avenue has put the private car and public transport above pedestrians, and those above cycling. This is directly contrary to the national transport hierarchy and your own active travel strategies. It is also worth noting that while the majority of users of the street are currently pedestrians, should safety conditions improve for cycling, a university campus would see a large uptake in people using bikes to travel to and through the campus. You can install state of the art cycle parking on campus but for as long as there is no safe cycling infrastructure to reach campus, active travel rates will remain low.

We have had numerous students and staff from the University contacting us to let us know that they were not consulted on your plans. We don’t see any public consultation process detailed online, and we know that Sustrans, the main sustainable transport organisation for Scotland were also unaware of your plans. Although a couple of our questions were answered at the meeting and we’ve been provided with info on another, we still have a number of questions outstanding as those remaining unscored below:

  1. Is Glasgow University carrying out the work On University Avenue by way of Planning Gain? No
  2. Did Glasgow City Council advise what was required for the road design? (Questions 3-5 assume Yes to this question)
  3. What date the council informed you of requirements?
  4. Was this advice either in writing or by reference to Planning Guidelines?
  5. Which department and officer provide this guidance?
  6. What are the current traffic levels on University Avenue?
  7. What traffic reduction level are the University looking for?
  8. What quantitative research has been carried out on cycle traffic on University Avenue? Could this be shared with us?
  9. Does the University have a target for growth in cycling and what is this?  37% of staff and students at Glasgow University have said they would cycle more if there were safer routes. The University has targets of reducing drive commutes from 27% (2015) to 15% by 2025 and to increase cycling to 15% by 2025.
  10. When will the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) Public Notice for University Avenue be published? Sitting with council
  11. Could you please share the scope and timescale of the public consultation on University Avenue, including details of: who was notified about any events; any surveys carried out; if any online consultation was held.
  12. Which independent active travel organisations were consulted?

We know that there is space to account for the safety of all users of University Avenue, including people on bikes. To retrofit would compromise an ideal design and so we hope to hear from you very soon.”

We continue to push on University Avenue and are still trying to find out how these plans could have been passed by the council. Since our last digest, we have had messages of support for our campaign for better active travel provision on the street from Sustrans, who have been surprised to hear that segregated lanes are not a part of the proposals, and from Patrick Grady MSP (SNP) and Patrick Harvie MSP (Greens) who have both spoken with the university and continue to look for answers from the council. There has been mention of retrofitting soft segregation on the lanes but as this solution is only temporary and would still be on only one side of the street, on lanes that are too narrow, and disappear to throw cyclists out into unprotected traffic at the top of the hill, we continue to push for proper safe space for cycling on the important network link, and keep our eyes peeled for the TRO. Keep up to date with the campaign here.

3.5 East Dunbartonshire Council, Local Development Plan newsletter 50

Received on 01 March, East Dunbartonshire’s latest LDP newsletter, giving us the news that over 200 responses (including 1 from GoBike) were submitted to the Local Transport Strategy consultation. Quite a bit of news for EDC residents, and others, in this newsletter.

3.6 Glasgow Sauchiehall Street and Elmbank Street one-way, Community Council meeting

As reported in Digest 28, Item 3.4, John and Tricia attended the February meeting of the Blythswood and Broomielaw Community Council 2 weeks ago. We explained our concern about the change in the northern part of Elmbank Street becoming one-way southbound and the Community Council members and the two City Councillors who attended were very sympathetic to the issue. Two members of the Community Council had already been out and looked at our concern about a legal cycle route from Charing Cross and the King’s Theatre to Sauchiehall Street, and the Community Council agreed to write to Andy Waddell, Director of Operations, Neighbourhoods and Sustainability . They were supported in that by Councillor Christy Mearns and Bailie Philip Braat, who has since sent us this message:

Many thanks for copying us into your email correspondence about about the cycling issue at Elmbank Street. Christy and I will support as best as we can.
Best wishes
Philip

Bailie Philip Braat
Depute Lord Provost”

So, at last, two years since we first raised this concern, we have a glimmer of hope!

And with that good news, we’ll let you get on and enjoy whatever you are doing next.