GoBike ride to the East – the verdict

A total of 12 people joined Andy on the Infrastructure Ride to the East, braving the sunshine and seeing many different types and conditions of infrastructure in the east of Glasgow.

The overall verdict? Improving, but could do better, much better. Let’s start with some good infrastructure:

The filtered school access on Kenmure Street, allows pedestrian and cycle access to the schools, but no cars. Just on the other side of Pollokshaws Road we also cycled along the new school-related cycle track in Cuthbertson Street. The next step must be to make the surrounding streets in Pollokshields and Govanhill safe for children to walk and cycle to school? Let’s hope so.

The contraflow on Allison Street, the section where all other traffic is diverted left into Hollybrook Street, has been there a long time, but was never implemented properly until recently. Given that contraflow cycling on one-way streets is generally recognised as good cycling design practice, it’s about time we had much more in Glasgow to shorten journey times and help us avoid busy detours on main roads

A section of the East City Way cycletrack showing smooth tarmac on the 20way lanes

London Road cycle way

Here’s the eastern end of the London Road cycle way, nice and wide, with a good surface and a joy to cycle on. However, if travelling east along London Road from the city note that the existing cycle lane only starts at Bridgeton. It meets up with the uni-directional lanes installed earlier in the pandemic at Fielden Street (just past the Police Station). These recent lanes have a break at each set of traffic lights and stutter past Parkhead Stadium, where the armadillo separators were removed to prevent football supporters tripping over them (or so we were told).

However, the biggest drawback to this shiny new route at Mount Vernon is the 2.5 km length with no cycle protection at all from the end of the pandemic lanes to this new one!

The traffic lights at the foot of Daldowie Road (leading to Boghall Road) include a cycle phase but, note to designers: only half our group got through on one phase! The rest of us had to cycle back over the sensor to get the cycle phase going again. A second sensor or a longer phase please!

Currently the new section is not full of leaves and other bits of vegetation, as the sections of cycleway nearer to the city are. Is this the result of kerb separation rather than armadillos, or has this new section been swept?

What else did we see on our tour?

Shared footways! The section on Aikenhead Road between Allison Street and Calder Street is particularly bad. Garden gates, driveways and big hedges all help to reduce visibility. Shared footways really do belong in the Ark of cycle infrastructure.

Footpaths: we went, as we often do on Andy’s rides, on two footpaths, neither of which was well-maintained. The first was from Daldowie Road through to the Baillieston terminus of the Number 2 bus route. Surprise, surprise there was no dropped kerb at either end! The second was in Queenslie, from Bartiebeith Road to join onto other, better-maintained paths that lead to the pedestrian/cycle bridge over the M8 near Glasgow Fort. Both of them are useful routes, but not very welcoming.

We cycled on the cycle lane on Cumbernauld Road, near Hogganfield Park. It was recently upgraded from cycle lanes marked by paint only, and well-used for car parking, to armadillo-protected. Then we went on the very new bi-directional lane on Royston Road. Both of these improve things for cycling, but attention to detail please! While we might have to put up with raised sections at bus stops, why should we have to splash through a pool of water either side of them? A bit of attention to drainage is required.

Notably, the Royston Road lane just stops at Siemens Street! What is one supposed to do there? It’s a strange start or end point for a journey.

There was lots more to see and yes, things are improving – slowly. However, we still need attention to detail and continuity through junctions.

Here’s a link to the route if you wish to repeat today’s tour: https://cycle.travel/map/journey/255344

A group of GoBike members with their bikes on the East City Way cycletrack
Most of the group on Hamilton Road at Mount Vernon