We were in attendance yesterday at the release of the phase one report from the Glasgow Connectivity Commission, requested by Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council. We were delighted to see the findings, which we believe will go a long way towards pushing Glasgow forward towards becoming a truly sustainable and connected city.
Professor David Begg presented the first of two reports, this one focusing on what can be done at council level – for cycling and buses in particular. He called for a more radical and transformative approach, to be brave about re-allocating road space, and pointed out that Glasgow is the most car-orientated city with the least car restraint in the UK. Glasgow is at the top of the table for percentage of space provided to roads (25%).
Professor Begg praised Glasgow City Council for a move over the last decade towards a more cycling friendly city, suggesting that GCC are the best local authority on cycling that Scotland has, BUT he made pains to point out that this is against a very low benchmark, and that there is still a very long way to go.
The report recommends the following specifically on cycling:
- The repurposing of Glasgows roads grid to prioritise pedestrians, active travel and public transport should be aligned with and support the council’s policy to repopulate the city centre.
- The completion of a network of safe, high quality, segregated cycling arterial routes connecting the city centre to suburbs and peripheral neighbourhoods.
- The creation of safe, high quality, segregated cycling corridors through the city centre which connect to these arterial routes, undertaken as part of the repurposing of Glasgow’s road grid.
It also recommends
- Better monitoring of traffic volumes and speeds on Glasgow’s local road network
Professor Begg touched on traffic modelling, something repeatedly referred to during our consultations on Byres Road, saying on pedestrianisation “When people say but there will be traffic chaos, I say, bollocks. Dont model it. Just do it – it’s a much more efficient use of space. Use your instinct and a bold new way of thinking”. We say hear hear to that.
Professor Begg made calls for Glasgow City Council to make sure that this report doesn’t gather dust – he has asked that the council announce how it will take action within six months. He also made a call for councillors to think about the next generation, and not the next election. We will be holding them to that.
The report is available to read here.