Consultation Digest Issue 60, 12 May 2020: the lockdown goes on, but will we learn from it?

The Digest hits 60, so is it time to use the bus pass? No, certainly not; let’s keep cycling and we are now joined by so many others, it’s a delight. However, the news from North Lanarkshire is roads, roads and more roads but there are more promising signs from the Scottish Government and Parliament on the effects of Covid 19

Our headline photo shows cycling on a temporary Covid 19 cycle lane in Berlin, Credit: Frank Masurat. Published under the unconditional Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal license.


Section 1: Current Consultations
  1. Scottish Government — Just Transition Commission, closes 30 June
  2. Scottish Parliament EHRi Committee, Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Equalities and Human Rights, No deadline given
  3. Scottish Parliament, EEFW Committee, COVID-19 – impact on Scotland’s businesses, workers and economy, No deadline given
  4. #SpaceForDistancing Campaign still needs your support.
Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

Nothing for you this time, sorry.

Section 3: Consultation Feedback
  1. Scotland, Planning for Place – Webinar – 30th April – Reallocating Road Space for Walking and Cycling During Covid-19,
  2. North Lanarkshire Council, Hoiytown Link Road and City Deal update
  3. Gartnavel, Glasgow, Sustrans and National Health Service, support for funding request
  4. GoBike “meets” Glasgow Councillor, Anna Richardson, Chair of Sustainability and Carbon Reduction

Section 1: Current Consultations

Transform Scotland alerted us to these 3 consultations from Holyrood. They are all high-level but will inform the paths we take in the future. If any of you out there have views as to how GoBike should respond please either email or, if you are a GoBike member, post your views on the Consultations channel on Slack

1.1 Scottish Government — Just Transition Commission, closes 30 June

The Just Transition Commission has opened a call for evidence, inviting written submissions to inform the development of their final recommendations to be presented to Ministers in January 2021.

The Just Transition Commission has been established to provide Scottish Ministers with recommendations that will:

  • maximise the economic and social opportunities that the move to a net-zero economy by 2045 offers
  • build on Scotland’s existing strengths and assets
  • understand and mitigate risks that could arise in relation to regional cohesion, equalities, poverty (including fuel poverty), and a sustainable and inclusive labour market

The deadline for responses is 30 June (extended from 28 May), and to respond please visit the Scottish Government website.

1.2 Scottish Parliament EHRi Committee, Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Equalities and Human Rights, No deadline given

Deadline 07 June 2020

The Scottish Parliament Equalities and Human Rights Committee have launched a call for views on the Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Equalities and Human Rights.

There is no deadline given. You can submit your response on the Scottish Parliament website.

GoBike note: the above has been copied direct from the Transform Scotland notification and the lack of a deadline is repeated on the parliamentary website, to give people and organisations time to consider and respond. However, it’s best, as it normally is with most things, to respond as soon as possible. There’s no doubt that Covid 19 is having a disproportionate effect on the poor and disadvantaged in society – the very ones who could benefit from the current decrease in pollution and an increase in walking and cycling.

1.3 Scottish Parliament, EEFW Committee, COVID-19 – impact on Scotland’s businesses, workers and economy, No deadline given

Deadline 01 June 2020

The Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee launched a call for evidence on the impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s businesses, workers and economy.

The information collected will be used to look at the support being offered to businesses and workers aimed at mitigating the impact of the virus.

The deadline for responses has not been set. To respond please visit the Scottish Parliament website.

Again, the link to the Scottish Parliament website does not give a deadline, but does say this: ” Please contact the Committee if you wish to share your views.  There is no set timescale for this; please get in touch when it suits you and if you wish.” We think our friends in Transform Scotland are being cautious by advising fairly prompt responses.

1.4 #SpaceForDistancing Campaign still needs your support.

Edinburgh City Council outlined this week the spaces on which they plan to implement Space for Distancing measures and they are a plenty! Take a look for yourself here.  Glasgow City Council have already closed off Kelvin Way and have promised more to come, along the Broomielaw and Clyde Street in the first instance, and some press reports have also mentioned Byres Road, Partick, Dennistoun, Shawlands, Maryhill, Pollok, Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk as places where temporary measures can be introduced. We hope that these can be implemented with urgency and will continue to keep a close eye on the developments. 

Bordering councils to GCC such as East Renfrewshire Council have made positive noises in support, suggesting they will be applying for the Sustrans Spaces for People fund, but we have yet to see any concrete plans. So we really need you, particularly if you live there or in any other council bordering into Glasgow, to continue to show your support for this by writing to your councillors. Do also keep the support up in Glasgow itself to ensure that we do start to see the promises on the ground soon. We need measures put in place quickly before car use, already obviously on the rise, tips again towards horribly polluting congestion. Pedal on Parliament, who spearheaded the #SpaceForDistancing campaign have a useful council active travel contact list up here .

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

We are not aware of imminent consultations but please, please, do ensure that during your permitted exercise cycle rides you are building up an encyclopaedic knowledge of where improvements are needed to our cycling infrastructure.

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

3.1 Scotland, Planning for Place – Webinar – 30th April – Reallocating Road Space for Walking and Cycling During Covid-19

Two weeks ago, in Digest 59, Item 2.1 we informed you of a webinar on this topic. GoBike members listened in, either directly as GoBike, or on behalf of Pedal on Parliament, their Community Council or other political or cycle interest. Here’s the follow-up email that GoBike received on 01 May:

You are receiving this email as you were signed up to the “Reallocating Space for Walking, Cycling and Wheeling during COVID-19” webinar on the 30th of April 2020.

Dear attendees,

A huge thank you to all who attended the Improvement Service webinar on “Reallocating Space for Walking, Cycling and Wheeling during COVID-19”. For those unable to join the session, please accept our apologies. We surged over the 500 attendee capacity and we will be better prepared next time!

As promised, you can now access a recording of the session (YouTube)and a full (automated) transcript hosted here on the Knowledge Hub. (Word file).

The remarkable interest levels in this session suggest a significant desire to enable safer distances for everyone and to find out more about the contribution of the “Spaces for People” initiative that SUSTRANS will facilitate.

We hope we achieved our aim to provide more clarity on the wide ranging impact of having safer space for social distancing during this pandemic. From reducing inequalities for our key workers to assisting our businesses to attract safe custom we heard a clear message of the need to move quickly to do our part in resolving a public health issue that will intensify as lock down relaxes.

During the session reference was made to the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS). For illuminating insight we recommend this short blog (pdf) from their National Convenor. Thank you Linda, a beautifully put message.

And, while we hate to put them at the end, we could not have achieved any of this without our thought provoking, inspired speakers (in order of appearance):

  • Daisy Narayanan, Director of Urbanism, SUSTRANS
  • Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, Glasgow City Council
  • Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convenor, City of Edinburgh Council

We ended acknowledging that many more topics and issues lie ahead as we all deal with the short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19. If you would like to be informed about these then please sign up to our newly formed mailing list via this Mailchimp form.

Thank you again and go safely.

Irene Beautyman
Planning for Place Programme Lead
Improvement Service”

3.2 North Lanarkshire Council, Hoiytown Link Road and City Deal update

Hot on the heels of Item 1.2 in Digest 59, calling for views on the proposed new link road in Airdrie, comes this message from North Lanarkshire, received on 28 April:

Holytown Link Road update

City Deal

Following a review of the projects being developed in North Lanarkshire as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, we have agreed an updated programme of work.

The key priority for the council is to provide major road infrastructure to support the redevelopment of Ravenscraig, as this is a nationally important development site. 

As a result of this, the Holytown link road and other projects will not be delivered through City Deal funding.

This important change allows us to focus on delivering the Pan Lanarkshire Orbital Transport Corridor, which will create new and improved access into Ravenscraig and help achieve the best economic, social and environmental benefits possible for the whole of North Lanarkshire.

The overall North Lanarkshire City Deal investment has increased from £172.5 million to £202 million.

If you want more information on our ambitious plans for the area, please go to our City Deal web pages.

It’s incredibly disappointing that, while Glasgow and other local authorities are proposing increased space for walking and cycling, a neighbouring local authority only has roads and more roads on its agenda. If you live in North Lanarkshire do please contact your local councillors to let them know that you need more space for cycling and walking – at a safe distance from others.

3.3 Gartnavel, Glasgow, Sustrans and National Health Service, support for funding request

In Digest 50, Item 3.14, back in December 2019 in the days when consultations were being carried out, we reported on a meeting that GoBike member, Caroline, had been to at Gartnavel. Sustrans, in conjunction with the NHS, are looking to improve active travel within the area that houses three hospitals:

1. Gartnavel General Hospital, a 500+ inpatient hospital that covers a range of healthcare specialities.

2. Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Scotland’s largest cancer centre providing cancer services for 60% of the population.

3. Gartnavel Royal Hospital, a 117-bed mental health hospital.

GoBike was contacted on 06 May, with this email (edited) looking for support for a funding request to progress active travel changes:

Hello Go Bike team, 

I am working on submitting an application for funding for a feasibility study on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, that would explore ways to improve access on and through Gartnavel Hospital site. The site could be a strategic link in Glasgow West End active travel network. 
I am hoping to get a letter of support from Go Bike before the 15th May, which I realise isn’t far away!  
We are really keen to have Go Bike in the stakeholder group as the project moves forward. We also have SPT, Scotrail and Sustrans​ supporting us along with NHS staff from both Estates and Public Health, so there is a huge opportunity for collaboration. 
I have attached a draft copy of the strategic vision as well as a map.

Looking forward to hearing from you and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any further information. 

Kind regards,

Mathilda Heyman Senior Active Travel Infrastructure Officer (Sustrans) Embedded within NHS National Services Scotland

Here are the 2 documents referred to: Strategic Vision and Map

GoBike returned this letter of support on 09 May, albeit tempered with concern that the surrounding roads are far from cycle-friendly. It is really about time that the NHS started looking at active and public transport as realistic options for everyone, except the very ill or disabled who attends NHS facilities.

And here’s the email reply, which arrived yesterday morning, 11 May:

Hi Tricia,

Thank you for getting back to me. This is fantastic, we’re delighted to have your support on this.

I’ll keep you informed on progress and next steps.

Many thanks,

Mathilda. “

3.4 GoBike “meets” Glasgow Councillor, Anna Richardson, Chair of Sustainability and Carbon Reduction

GoBike’s two Co-Convenors, Thomas and John, had a virtual meeting with Glasgow City Councillor Anna Richardson last Tuesday, 05 May, to discuss short term measures to provide for increased cycling in the city. Here’s a brief summary of the discussion:

Temporary Infrastructure

  • Councillor Richardson has a greatly reduced team/capacity, for variety of reasons.
  • As a result everyone is focusing on the temporary measures and submitting a proposal to get funding from the £10 million government fund that was recently announced for active travel social distancing.
  • Without the funding these can not go ahead.
  • The City Council is not looking at using things they already have, such as planters, nor are they currently looking at permeability.  This would seem to be in part due to the reduced team and the way they have to work, ie remotely.
  • Clyde Street/Broomielaw will be done without this funding, however adjacent to the casino is the cause for the delay and making the junction safe.
  • These will be temporary measures using powers which can be in place for 3 weeks, with a 3 week renewal, after which they will need to see what other mechanisms they can use.
  • They are using emergency measures, therefore they need to be able to justify as an emergency and are Public Health related.
  • As a result most will be mainly short sections near busy areas such as shops and mixed use paths with heavy use.  Cllr Richardson was clear they are not looking at a network.  However, they are looking at key routes, in particular to shops.

SEC Path, National Cycle Route 75

The council have no influence over the fence that has been installed adjacent to NCR 75 beside the SEC.  This land has been taken over by the Scottish Government/NHS for the Loiusa Jordan Hospital.  Cllr Richardson cycled along it at the weekend and agrees it is less than ideal.  She is going to discuss with her team about putting in measures along Stobcross Road.

Issues Raised by GoBike

  • GoBike raised a number of issues.  Cllr Richardson was clear that there is limited work being done on the roads at this time.  Only emergency work.
  • There is no work being done on existing schemes as the team are all working on the bid and temporary measures.
  • Therefore “usual” topics weren’t discussed and will come back to these once the team have capacity.
  • Cllr Richardson was clear that the projects that are good to go are still good to go and as soon as work can start it will.  It may result in some schemes being delivered quicker as there will be a wider desire from local communities.

New Cyclists/New Members

  • Cllr Richardson asked a good question “what are we doing to get all these new ‘cyclists’ as members?”
  • “These new cyclists are going to get a shock when cars come back”.  It would be beneficial to harness these people for campaigning in the future.
  • Thus, if you are reading this and agree, please join GoBike as a member if you haven’t already and ask all your family, friends and anyone you contact who cycles, to join GoBike.


So not too much for you this time, giving you more time to clean your bike and get out on it. Do remember, though, to write to your councillors as we urged you to in our blog of 08 May, Implementing Temporary Cycle Facilities.