A little less consultation – a little more action? Sort of…
As predicted in the last Digest, there aren’t so many consultations due to the pre-election period. This Digest is split between Glasgow and a few items each from East Dunbartonshire and Lanarkshire.
However, there are often more developments on the ground around the city in March, to complete works before the Public Sector’s end of Financial Year. Many of us might be restricted to our own council area right now. So, it can help to see that progress is happening somewhere, as it may not feel like it at times. That’s why this Digest features an Infrastructure Update to bring you up to speed.
- Glasgow City Council have just installed Spaces for People segregation on the Howard St bike lane.
- South City Way now has electronic bike warning signs installed on side streets off Victoria Rd (to alert drivers – triggered by bikes going past).
- GCC have completed a section of segregated cycleway on Garscube Rd from M8 to Sawmillfield St. Work is well underway on combined crossings at junction with Possil Rd/St George’s Rd. The next section of route, going north on Garscube Rd, has also started.
- GCC is also working on phase 1 of East City Way on London Rd/Hamilton Rd near Mount Vernon station. Its new Nextbike station has already been installed.
- Nextbike Glasgow announced 10 new hire stations (and the end of the free 30 minutes scheme).
- North Lanarkshire Council are installing a wider shared path at the western end of Strathclyde Park Loch (but it peters out near the playpark). The new path is west of the closed section of the park’s ‘spine road’ – see map in Item 1.1, below.
(new consultations in bold – link jumps to article)
Section 1: Current Consultations
- North Lanarkshire Council – Strathclyde Park road closure consultation (ends 31 March)
- Kinning Park Complex – Sustaining Choices events (1, 3 or 6 April)
- East Dunbartonshire Council – Climate Conversation (online event 22 April)
- Maryhill North Transformational Regeneration Area – Masterplan consultation (ends 23 April)
- Glasgow Urban Sports – GUSM74 Urban Sports Sculpture Park survey
Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations
Section 3: Consultation Feedback
- Iceni Projects (Glasgow Harbour) – Yorkhill Quay Phase 2 response
- Glasgow City Council – Active Travel Forum follow-up
- South Lanarkshire Council – South Lanarkshire Cycling Partnership meeting, 22 March
- East Dunbartonshire Council – Local Development Plan Newsletter
Section 1: Current Consultations
(in date order for responses)
1.1: North Lanarkshire Council – Strathclyde Park road closure
In summer 2020, North Lanarkshire Council used Spaces for People funding to install gates to close off a 2km section of Strathclyde Country Park’s ‘spine road’ to motor traffic. It goes from the roundabout at Bothwellhaugh Rd to the car park entrance near Haughview Rd, Motherwell. It includes part of the course for the 2014 Commonwealth Games triathlon.
NLC are now consulting about whether or not the closure should be made permanent. Most SfP measures in North Lanarkshire have ended (including other temporary road closures). So, the Strathclyde Park gates are potentially the area’s only active travel legacy from the pandemic.
The road was previously used as a rat run by cars/vans, especially to avoid congestion on the M74 between junctions 5 and 6. Speeding in the park led to wide rubber speed bumps being fitted (but it could still be an issue in between). The road has no pavement, except near M&D’s theme park. There are narrower paths around the loch and surrounding area but they often become crowded. A wider path is under construction at the western end of the loch (see Infrastructure Update, above).
Since the motor traffic has gone the road has become even more popular with pedestrians and people on bikes (bicycle tyre tracks are visible in the mud either side of the west gates). The park attracts people from surrounding towns in both North and South Lanarkshire. So, keeping the closure would be a boost to active travel in the wider area.
See the survey on the Strathclyde Park masterplan website but you need to be quick as it ends TODAY 31 March.
1.2: Kinning Park Complex – Sustaining Choices events
Kinning Park Complex ran many community events before the pandemic. The physical centre is closed just now but they’re still working with the community. These events target areas around the section of Paisley Road West north of the motorway (and a wee bit south of the M8 too).
KPC say they’re: “Bringing local people together to determine how walking, wheeling, and cycling can be made easier in Kinning Park, Plantation, Cessnock, and Ibrox.”
The events are part of a wider project called Because We Say So! looking at wider community issues (with a nicely designed website).
Events take place on 1, 3 and 6 April – see Sustaining Choices Eventbrite page to signup.
1.3: East Dunbartonshire Council – Climate Conversation
This initiative first got a mention in Digest 82, Item 1.7. After missing out on Spaces for People funding, East Dunbartonshire Council are getting ahead of the COP26 game with their Climate Conversation surveys and events.
Their Climate Conversation webpage says: “The Climate Conversation is the first stage in preparing an area-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) for East Dunbartonshire… We are also commencing work during 2021 on new strategies that will support the objectives of the CAP: the Open Space Strategy; Circular Economy Strategy; and Active Travel Strategy.” The last one will obviously be of most interest to GoBike (but the other two are also welcome).
EDC have various surveys to fill in – one general, one for businesses and one for young people (all want an email address upfront). There’s also the last of their Climate Conversation events online on 22 April (using MS Teams). The overall Climate Conversation itself will run until 2 May 2021.
1.4: Maryhill North Transformational Regeneration Area – Masterplan Consultation
GoBike member Colin passed on a link to this consultation for the Maryhill North Transformational Regeneration Area. According to Glasgow City Council’s page on Maryhill TRA, the Maryhill North area is really Gilshochill. It’s north of Maryhill Rd between the canal locks and Summerston train station. This Glasgow Live article about the TRA has some more background about the consultation and the masterplan. The main point of the regeneration seems to be improving housing in the area but it includes public spaces and connectivity as well.
The masterplan has a few new paths. The longer one (marked ‘B’ in above visual) goes along the ridge north of the Fearnmore Rd tower blocks. Access seems to be from sets of steps and a zigzag path up the hill near Sandbank St. It’s not clear if it links to Cumlodden Drive (near St Mary’s Primary School).
Most of the visuals show existing pavements but there aren’t any in the image for Barrisdale Rd. It’s just a visualisation but looks like a ‘shared space’. These remove the kerbs that white stick users and guide dogs rely on. There’s also some sort of water feature next to the trees, which may be more attractive to midges than the locals.
See bigger versions of the above images and more on the Maryhill North consultation page. You have to register to leave comments – closes 23 April.
1.5: Glasgow Urban Sports – GUSM74 Urban Sports Sculpture Park survey
A different kind of active travel project, which includes improving derelict space. First covered in Digest 81, Item 1.9, it’s for a skate park under the M74 (near West St underground station). The GUSM74 survey is still open for skaters, or their families, to have their say about what they want to see in the park.
Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations
2.1: Glasgow City Council – (Y)our Merchant City and ‘Learning Quarter’ Proposals Workshops
Workshops have been announced for the next few city centre districts – Merchant City (22 April) and ‘Learning Quarter’ (29 April). These follow on from the Townhead and Cowcaddens workshops in 24 March. See the Workshops page on the City Centre Strategy website for further details.
Section 3: Consultation Feedback
3.1: Iceni Projects (Glasgow Harbour) – Yorkhill Quay Phase 2 response
This high rise development near the Riverside Museum featured most recently in Digest 82, Item 1.5. Tricia and other GoBike members put in email responses during its pre-application period. Points raised included building housing on a previously industrial site, lack of connectivity to Yorkhill/Finnieston and the height of the proposed buildings.
Iceni Projects (who represent Glasgow Harbour Ltd and other partners) sent out a short acknowledgement:
“Thank you to you and GoBike members for taking the time to review the consultation proposals for the Yorkhill Quay site and for your comments. These will be reviewed by the project design team as plans for the site are developed.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any additional queries.”
The next stage should be a full planning application to Glasgow City Council.
3.2: Glasgow City Council – Active Travel Forum follow-up
Tricia followed up some points about Spaces for People after the ATF’s first online meeting in March. An email from Neighbourhoods Regeneration and Sustainability said:
“The project team are currently fully committed to installing a 2nd batch of measures (George Square and Merchant City planters, etc). After this will be a period of monitoring to assess use and impact of the works, accompanied by recording all correspondence of support or objection.
The department has been instructed to take all permeance decisions to the City Administration Committee. Therefore the monitoring work will accompany the report to committee, at which a decision will be made as to what projects are removed/revisited/made permanent, etc.”
It also says there’s no timescale for the above just yet. However, the current SfP TROs will run out in December 2021. Any measures that are continuing would really want to have a new order ready by then.
3.3: South Lanarkshire Council – South Lanarkshire Cycling Partnership meeting, 22 March
Fewer consultations in this Digest mean there’s space for feedback from the last SLCP meeting. While Glasgow’s Active Travel Forum feeds into committees with published minutes and articles in local media, SLCP is a bit more under the radar. There is an SLCP website but it’s very generic and never really updated about what the partnership does.
SLCP is made up of roughly half council personnel, including a few councillors plus officers for Roads & Transportation, Access, Air Quality, etc. The other half are from organisations including Sustrans, Cycling UK, Bike Town, NHS, SEPA, local cycling groups and development trusts. Various GoBike members have attended for a range of organisations. Jimmy Keenan has been GoBike’s official rep for many years. More recently your editor has represented GoBike (especially since the meetings went online in 2020).
Active Travel Studies
In recent years, SLC have had a transport consultancy do an active travel study for each town/area in turn. A public consultation leads to stakeholder workshops then a final network map. The consultation and network maps are used to plan where initial active travel routes will go. SLC bids for funds for design (by Sustrans) and then construction.
The three network maps published in February brings the total to five. Consultations took place in Jan/Feb 2021 for three more areas (see Digest 79, Item 1.2) with workshops to follow. An ongoing project for an improved active travel link from Bothwell to the Raith Interchange will be looked at in the Blantyre/Bothwell/Uddingston study.
East Kilbride’s AT study was in 2018, which led to the first phase of segregated cycleway on West Mains Rd in 2020. The next phase is under construction (before a combined crossing junction planned for later in the year). Designs for Whitemoss Ave are due to go to consultation in the next few months.
Spaces for People
A Spaces for People funded route is due to go from EK train station to Brouster Hill and Cornwall St in the town centre by May. SfP are also funding mandatory 20mph areas to be set up in the next few months at around 90 schools and some smaller town centres (Carluke, Lanark, Uddingston, Larkhall, Bothwell and Strathaven). Also, SfP money was spent on vegetation cutting on NCN75, which should be complete this month.
Make Your Way
Sarah from Rural Development Trust’s Community Action Lanarkshire programme presented to the meeting. She spoke about the Make Your Way: Key Links projects in Abington, Douglas and Leadhills/Wanlockhead (Digest 75 Item 1.3). These use Sustrans Places for Everyone funding (70%). Stage 2 concept designs are due soon with construction planned for 2022.
Tinto Hill Improvements
The list of capital projects included an eye-catching £140,000 of Cycling Walking Safer Streets funding on car park improvements near Tinto Hill. Officer said irresponsible parking had caused knock-on effects for Thankerton/Carmichael/A73 (including for passing pedestrians and cyclists). Also, it helped access to a popular hillwalking route and the work included some cycle parking.
Clyde Cycle Park
Clyde Cycle Park is a project to re-develop land as a national-standard road racing cycle circuit. The site is between Bogleshole Road and the River Clyde (near the Liberty steel plant). Planning is complete and ground investigation has started. Aiming to have track open by summer. SLC to look at connections to new facility as part of south bank route.
3.4: East Dunbartonshire Council – Local Development Plan Newsletter
Another appearance from East Dunbartonshire Council. The latest newsletter from their Land Planning Policy team includes an update on their proposed LDP2. The consultation finished in January with 2,000+ responses. Also, they cover their Historic Environment Review, Forestry & Woodland Strategy and Climate Action Plan. The countdown to their Active Travel Strategy presumably starts now…