GoBike Members Take Action on Byres Road

Yesterday one of our GoBike mini-campaigns ‘Space for People Byres Road’ took to the busy streets of Partick and Hillhead in a day of action to gather support for better provision for cyclists and pedestrians in Glasgow City Council’s plans for the upcoming £9m regeneration of Byres Road.

Many of our campaigners, members and attending local residents are concerned that the plans in the current proposals don’t look to go far enough to improve the environment of the area, reduce through motor traffic or make adequate provision for cycling. GoBike would urge members to keep a close eye on a further round of public consultations on the plans for Byres Road coming soon. We believe that any regeneration of an area HAS TO provide for cycling, with segregated routes safe enough for all types of cyclists including children to use.

The day started with simultaneous cycling and walking marches from the city’s Riverside Museum along Byres Road to Hillhead Library, where a public meeting was held to discuss the more ambitious proposals created by the active travel campaign group.

Local councillors Martin Rhodes (Lab), Martha Wardrop (Green), Martin Bartos (Green), and Ken Andrew (SNP) listened to the views of local residents and regular visitors to Byres Road in two round table discussions. Some views collected included: Noticeable pollution, you can taste it / No way I would cycle up Byres Road with my kids / Designers should send their children down it! / Don’t want £9m spent on cosmetic scheme / Separation for all road and pavement users.

Local Dad Jim Collinson spoke to the room saying “I want a better Byres Road because it’s a place I adore. I made friends here, started a business here, met my wife here. We went on our first date here! But it’s not a place that puts people first. It’s at once a car park, a through road, a taxi rank. A stressful cramped crush, and not a place I relish taking my family. I love it in-spite of these things. Because it’s home. But it could be so much more… a place to be proud of. A delightful and healthy place for my kids to grow up and enjoy.

Organiser Euan Muir from Space for People Byres Road said “Pavements allow for people to walk in safety, separated from motor traffic, and connect together the places people need to go. There is no such network for cycling. Instead people, including young children, are expected to mix with motor vehicles resulting in inevitable consequences. For anyone of any age and ability to cycle we need to create a safe connected cycling environment, just like our pavements do.”

Cycling and walking activist Josephine Flood, who led the cyclists up the busy street said “I tend to avoid using Byres Road because it’s so noisy and polluted, it’s not a relaxing destination. It was great to see a whole mix of ages cycling in the group today but sadly that almost never happens. Wouldn’t it be great to make Byres Road a place where local families can safely ride together to their favourite cafes and shops without having to watch over their shoulders every second? With networks being developed in other parts of the city, it would be a pity if Byres Road did not become a part of this wider network.”

Thanks to Space for People Byres Road for setting up the event. More information on their campaign can be found here.