Ballie Kyle Thornton at the Auldhouse Roundabout (about to take his life in his hands to cross the Pollokshaws Rd dual carriageway)
Bob Downie took his local councillor on a tour of his ward this week, concentrating on the notorious Auldhouse Roundabout:
As everywhere in Glasgow, cycling in the Newlands/Auldburn Ward has its challenges, but none more so than the Auldhouse Roundabout. Bailie Kyle Thornton kindly agreed to join me in an examination of this location and this tour was therefore more a site-specific visit than a general excursion of the ward.
I specifically wanted to discuss this site as it is unfortunately has the highest concentration of cycle accidents in the whole of the City of Glasgow. It is going to take major engineering and change in mind set to effect change here and I was delighted that Kyle was open to learning about the issues and engaging in discussions about possible solutions.
We met in the Harriet Place carpark adjacent to the roundabout and conducted a short walking tour, crossing the four road entries to the roundabout. This gave us a chance to imagine ourselves as cyclists and to discuss the difficulties, both real and imagined, that the roundabout presents from all angles. We agreed that the roundabout was built to enable to drivers to transit the junction speedily and the design had made no allowance for cyclists. For right turns and going straight ahead, cyclists have to take the centre or right lanes of a 3-4 lane junction which can be very nerve-wracking, even for the experienced. I know of many cyclists that will never traverse this roundabout rendering it an effective block on cycle transit in the area.
We discussed the problems that eastward heading cyclists on Barrhead Rd have if they wish to turn left/north. If they wish to avoid cycling the roundabout, they currently have to negotiate a very circuitous route, where some of the paths/crossings are not technically “shared”. There is a clear need for a crossing on Barrhead Rd to allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross and join the path on the west side of Kilmarnock Rd.
A77: While didn’t visit, we had a discussion over pictures of the car-door cycle lanes, their dimensions, and their minimal separation from the parked cars. Their design totally ignores any guide lines. We also discussed the fact that they are inappropriate for use by children or inexperienced cyclists. The points were accepted but the problem of moving roadside parking was discussed. Does it trump cycling? Kyle was sympathetic but also concerned that stopping or relocating parking would impact on residents
- Kyle was very receptive to the cycling problems presented by the Auldhouse Roundabout and the A77 cycle lanes, but as a councillor he lives in a world where problems are solved not just by people but by funding, the perennial issue.
- Kyle offered to follow up with Council officers, to engage them by asking what plans they have for the Auldhouse Roundabout and the A77. He indicated that he would report back on the responses he had from the officers.
- I made Kyle aware of the fact that cycle-friendly roundabouts can be constructed, and that “Dutch-Style Roundabouts” could be considered here. There is plenty of space.
- I also made Kyle aware that East Renfrewshire Council are hoping to bring cycle ways down the A77 and Thornliebank Rd and are considering Dutch-Style Roundabouts where appropriate. He was interested in either he or GCC officers being in touch with East Ren officers to see if any route coordination could occur. Perhaps a meeting?
- Serendipitously, while outside the flats by the Auldhouse Roundabout, a cyclist exited. We took the opportunity to buttonhole him and ask his opinion of it. He gave Kyle little doubt that it is poor, “the worst in Glasgow”. That really reinforced the message that Auldhouse is not fit for cycles.
My thanks to Bailie Kyle Thornton for his time and his attention.