GoBike welcomes Glasgow City Council’s announcement that they are going to be making improvements to enable people walking, wheeling and cycling to keep at a safe distance in the city.
The creation of temporary cycle lanes has been rolled out by many cities over the world, in response to Covid-19. It is heartening to see that Scotland’s main cities are following suit.
There are many areas within Glasgow that do not have access to safe segregated cycling infrastructure. Even though we have wide open roads, such as St. Vincent Street, Edinburgh Road and Great Western Road, most of the shared use paths are woefully narrow, making it impossible for pedestrians and cyclists to maintain a safe distance.
GoBike have been critical in the past of the space given to walking and cycling at the Riverboat Casino on the Broomielaw. At this point, while there are 4 lanes for motor vehicles. For this to be one of the first temporary cycle lanes is encouraging.
We recognise that these are just the first steps and that much more must be done. Similar measures must be rolled out across the city as quickly as possible. The Glasgow Times encouragingly reports that Byres Road and Partick, Dennistoun, Shawlands and Maryhill, Pollok, Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk have been identified as places where the temporary measures can be introduced.
These measures must not just be on single streets. We call on Glasgow City Council to embrace the public willingness to make these changes to our public spaces. Joined up routes need to be created to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can use cycles to get around.
Joined up safe routes, from areas like Castlemilk and Easterhouse, need to be created to enable people to cycle to the City Centre. Key workers who live in these areas often do not have access to a motor vehicle. They are reliant on public transport, in particular buses, to get to their work in shops, hospitals and care homes. Providing a segregated cycle lane will enable those with cycles to have this as a realistic, safe option. We have a moral obligation to ensure our key workers can get to and home from work safely.
There are many more areas that could be improved. Gobike are using the Streets For All Glasgow Portal to collate. Please add areas to this including the hashtag #spacefordistancing in the comments. The locations will be collated in the next 2 weeks and passed over to the council.
Let us all work towards making the new normal one that has people, and not cars, as its priority.
Streets for All Glasgow is a joint project between Glasgow Eco Trust, On Bikes and GoBike.
Kelvinway Photograph courtesy of https://twitter.com/jebusdk