East Renfrewshire protest was just the ticket!

As a part of Pedal on Parliaments pop up weekend last week GoBike hosted a pretend parking ticket hill climb race designed to protest the need for safer cycling conditions in East Renfrewshire. This attracted local participants on Ayr Road, who rode bikes up the hill and delivered fliers to cars parked in the cycle lanes.

Organiser Iona Shepherd from GoBike said “The cycle lanes on Ayr Road are a popular commuting route for people on bikes. Despite the long, steep hill, the popularity of these lanes shows just how important they could be as an active travel corridor if they were made safer. Currently parked cars make the lanes dangerous for people cycling and we would like to see efforts made to make them safe for everyone to use. It is really important for our climate and health that we make road conditions for cycling safer so that more people are able to choose active travel.”

20 cars parked in the cycle lanes were flyered in the space of half an hour.

One East Renfrewshire local (and GoBike member!) who rode the hill climb race, Joel Cooney, said “The A77 is one of the most heavily-cycled routes in East Renfrewshire and yet the people of Giffnock and Newton Mearns are poorly-served by it. We can see great things happening just over the border in Glasgow and we would welcome similar efforts coming from our own council. In the meantime, the least that could be done is keeping the lanes clear of cars.”

The winner of hill climb race was Chris Greenaway with a time of 13:50

This event was part of a full weekend of cycling action co-ordinated by Pedal on Parliament (PoP), who are campaigning to make Scotland a cycle-friendly country. On Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of this weekend “Pop-up PoPs” happened all over Scotland, with dozens of protests highlighting the barriers to safe cycling that people find in their own area.

Pedal on Parliament, who traditionally hold an annual mass ride to protest the need for better cycling provision, are focusing on local protests this year, aimed at improvements that could be made by local councils. Events happened as far and wide as Inverness, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen and Dundee.

We have contacted East Renfrewshire Council to say:

You may be aware of a cycling protest that happened on Ayr Road on Saturday as a part of a weekend of Pedal on Parliament events. (link)
We flyered cars with the attached leaflet in an attempt to highlight the dangers that parking in the advisory lanes on Ayr Road cause to people on bikes. To help ease the problem we would like to ask East Renfrewshire council to make the cycle lanes physically segregated or at the very least to consider changing the status of the lanes to mandatory in order to allow for parking enforcement, and that the double yellow lines stretch the full length of the road. Currently the double yellow lines painted on short sections of the road are actually leading to more parking as they appear to suggest to drivers that sections without double yellows are OK to park in. We were disappointed to see the removal of the previous Urban Clearway status of the lanes and have noticed a sharp increase in the incidence of parking on the lanes since then. Our ideal, which we would also ask you to consider, would be to see physical segregation for the lanes which would create an even better level of safety for people cycling and would allow for many people who don’t currently want to cycle due to road danger, the option of choosing active travel.

We would also like to highlight the issue of the layout of the painted cycle lane at the junction of Davieland Road. Currently the design encourages people travelling north (downhill) to remain on the far left of the road even if travelling straight on. This creates increased risk of left hook collisions. We would like to see the road markings changed to encourage people on bikes to move to the right of left turning vehicles when heading straight on.

The cycle lanes that exist on Ayr Road are the one almost safe haven for cycling that there is in East Renfrewshire. Although they are only painted lanes they are a good width in comparison to other cycle lanes in Glasgow, and are used by a large number of people on bikes. We would like to see East Ren Council show greater support for active travel and consider our improvement proposals.

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

Pop weekend continues with loads more action on Sunday.