Why doesn’t Glasgow City Council go for a city-wide 20mph default speed limit – yet another isolated zone is proposed.

Yes, it’s time for some blue sky thinking in Glasgow.  We have been sent a raft of proposals to install speed cushions in 20mph zones across the city, and here’s our response to the first one: GoBike Carmunnock Road traffic calming objection 251017 and the text is below.  We recognise that it is counter-intuitive to some to object to traffic calming but please read our arguments:

“THE Glasgow City Council (CARMUNNOCK ROAD) TRAFFIC CALMING SCHEME Order 201_ Objection

Thank you for your e-mail of 06 October and the opportunity to comment on this proposal.

GoBike! objects to this proposed Traffic Calming scheme on Carmunnock Road 20mph. We are, as you know, fully supportive of 20mph speed limits in residential, shopping and education areas, but we cannot support the current approach.

We object to this order on the following grounds:

  1. As currently specified neither the written description nor the plan drawing indicate the limits of the proposed 20mph zone. The Council must make clear and publicise the extent of the proposed 20mph zone and until this is done GoBike will maintain its objection. To be clear, where will the 20mph signs be located?

  2. Without a clear definition of the extent of the proposed 20mph Traffic Calming Scheme it is impossible to comment as to whether the proposed installation of speed cushions will likely achieve the desired reduction in traffic speed.

  3. GoBike also notes that the proposed Traffic Calming scheme is deficient as there is no discussion as to the reason for placing 3 sets of speed cushions on a seemingly arbitrary section of arterial road. It begs the question, is this truly the full extent of road section where there is a speeding issue? This is exceptionally unlikely and GoBike take the view that the budget to be spent on installing speed cushions over a very small area would be far better spent on creating a much larger 20mph zone through the installation of signage only. In this event we would ask the Council to simultaneously liaise with the Police to educate drivers that 20mph zones are created for a very good reason, ie to prevent injury and death as your proposal indicates.

  4. As far as can be determined from the very limited data in the proposed Traffic Calming scheme, no allowance has been made for cycle traffic. GoBike notes that the section of Carmunnock Road where the speed cushions are proposed to be sited is well-used by cyclists, see: https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#15/-4.25476/55.81795/blue/bike. Whilst the drawing CATHCART_001 is marked as not-to-scale, Carmunnock Road near the site of the proposed speed cushions is understood to be about 12m wide. The positioning of 4 speed cushions across the carriageway suggests that cyclists will therefore be forced to cycle in the gutter if they are to avoid cycling over a speed cushion. Bicycles are as much traffic as are motor vehicles and GoBike considers the proposed scheme deficient on the grounds that no allowance has been made for cycles.

  5. As a constructive alternative proposal, GoBike consider a far better way to reduce vehicle speeds, over a longer section of road, would be to narrow the road by installing a cycle lane on each side using one of the methods, such as armadillos, as installed in the City Council’s trial area on Aikenhead Road. Armadillos, and similar, are cheaper and less invasive to install and far cheaper to maintain than speed bumps or cushions. Reducing the width available to motor vehicles would naturally reduce their speed and such a scheme would have the added benefit of encouraging active travel.

As a final statement, GoBike consider that the money allocated to this scheme, one of many in the city, would be better spent on a city wide scheme. In our view, and as was agreed by the City Council’s Petitions Committee in spring 2015, a city-wide default speed limit of 20mph should be introduced, with exemptions then being made for the main arterial routes into the city. The current piecemeal system is expensive and very confusing for the road user. The national climate is towards the spirit of Mark Ruskell, MSP’s bill to the Scottish Parliament, with an urban default speed limit of 20mph, and Glasgow should be leading the way in this.

Yours sincerely,

Convenor, GoBike!”

and here is Glasgow City Council’s proposal:

MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF ANDY WADDELL

HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT

LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Dear Sir / Madam

THE GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

(CARMUNNOCK ROAD)

TRAFFIC CALMING SCHEME 201_

The Council propose to consider the introduction of the above named Traffic Calming Scheme and I wish to establish the views of your organisation.

Background to the proposed Scheme

Glasgow City Council are currently in the process of implementing Mandatory 20mph Speed Limit Zones throughout the City.

The purpose of the Mandatory 20mph Speed Limit Zone is to ensure that vehicle users reduce their speeds to 20mph or less, and therefore improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and all other vehicle users.  By turn, it is anticipated that this will encourage more people to walk and cycle, which would have associated health benefits.

Furthermore, a report by Department for Transport (DfT), titled, ‘Relationship between Speed and Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians and Car Occupants’, notes the following benefits:

–     If someone is hit by a car at 40 mph they are 30% likely to be killed.

–     If someone is hit by a car at 30 mph they are 7% likely to be killed.

–     If someone is hit by a car at 20 mph they are 1% likely to be killed.

The Council installed two speed tables on Carmunnock Road however; following feedback from local residents, the speed table located east of Madison Avenue has since been removed.  In order to encourage low vehicle speeds, the council propose to install three sets of speed cushions between Nos.140 – 178 Carmunnock Road.

Roads affected by the proposed Scheme

The list of roads affected by these proposals are:-

  • Carmunnock Road

Details of the proposed Scheme

The proposed Scheme (as depicted on the attached plans) will comprise of:-

  1. The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 15 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Crompton Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).
  2. The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 5 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Madison Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).
  3. The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 5 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Fairfax Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).

Please provide any comments you wish to make on these proposals within 21 days (reply by 27 October 2017).

In the meantime, should you require any further information or clarification on any points arising from the proposals, do not hesitate to contact my officer John Telfer on 0141 287 3723 .

Should the Council proceed with these proposals; I will write to you again and confirm this.

Yours faithfully

Andy Waddell

Head of Infrastructure and Environment

Land and Environmental Services  Carmunnock Road – Traffic Calming_001 (Publication)

If you agree with our view, or even if you support the City Council with this one, do write in and let them know; the e-mall address to write to is LandServices.Mailroom@glasgow.gov.uk but please do this by Friday 27 October.

Partick 20mph, the discussion goes on …

You may remember that last month we posted our response to Glasgow City Council’s proposals for parking restrictions within the 20mph zone in Partick.  While we support 20mph as a default urban speed limit, we do not support Glasgow City Council’s piecemeal approach.  We are very unhappy that parking is allowed on both sides of relatively narrow one way streets, which prevents not only cycle lanes being provided but also prevents contraflow cycling.  Indeed, it seems that some streets are made one way simply to allow parking both sides.

Glasgow City Council have responded to our letter with an e-mail that:

  • implies we want every road and street in Glasgow to be 20mph.  We do not; we accept that some radial routes will operate at 30 or even 40mph.
  • maintains their piecemeal approach, albeit they are accelerating slightly, which could take years to make the city a 20mph city, save for exceptions of some main roads outwith shopping areas or high accident areas.
  • maintains their current approach to installing traffic calming.

All this is an expensive way to do what, in our view, could be done quicker by following what we understand to be the Edinburgh approach, ie a city-wide approach.

Our 2 letters and the intervening GCC e-mail text are on our Consultations page.  Please read them and do comment on further Consultations, particularly if you live or work in the areas affected.

Give your view, 20mph, Borders rail corridor, Air Quality and more …. Your view is important.

GoBike is a member of Transform Scotland, a body that campaigns for public and active travel and they have sent out this list of current consultations – all of which impinge on those of us who cycle.  If you haven’t already, then please do give your views on them all.

Consultation on default 20mph speed limit in urban areas
Deadline: 7 August, NOW EXTENDED TO 15 SEPTEMBER. Please tell all your friends, family, colleagues etc
Mark Ruskell MSP is proposing a Bill to be put forward in the Scottish Parliament to make 20mph the default speed limit in urban areas. There is now a consultation on this proposed Bill, which aims to gather the opinion of the public on a default 20mph speed limit. You can share your views by filling out this survey. To read about the benefits of 20mph limits, please see here.

Transport Scotland — Borders Transport Corridors Study survey
Deadline: 11 August
Transport Scotland are welcoming comments from members of the public and organisations on future transport developments in the Scottish Borders. Chief among the priorities for the Borders should be extending the Borders Railway beyond Tweedbank. We would also encourage people to call for support for bus services in the Borders; and better infrastructure for cycling on key routes in the Borders. Views can be submitted here.

ECCLR Committee — Consultation on Air Quality in Scotland
Deadline: 18 August
The Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (ECCLR) Committee have launched a public consultation on air quality in Scotland. The Committee are keen to hear about a range of issues relating to air quality, more information on which can be found here. To see the consultation and respond, please visit the Committee’s consultation page.

Scottish Government — Consultation on the Air Departure Tax (ADT) Bill
Deadline: 15 September
The Scottish Government is proposing a 50% reduction in ADT by the end of the current session of the Scottish Parliament and also abolishing the tax in the future. The Government has launched two public consultations on ADT relating to the overall policy, and the environmental impact of the policy. To read the consultation and respond, see here. To read one of our recent briefings outlining our position on a cut to ADT, please see here.

Scottish Government — Consultation on the Climate Change Bill
Deadline: 22 September
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the new Climate Change Bill. Proposals include setting targets based on actual emissions, increasing the 2050 target to 90% emissions reduction, and making provisions for a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target to be set. The Bill itself makes technical changes, but does not focus on specific policies — this leaves the risk of little action being taken to tackle transport emissions. To read and respond to the consultation, please see here. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland have also prepared a response that people can sign and send to the Scottish Government. To see this and add your name, see here.

For more information on these action alerts and others, see our website at  <www.transformscotland.org.uk/whats-new/action-alerts>.”

Parking controls and 20mph for Partick but no contraflow cycling on one-way streets.

Glasgow City Council are currently consulting on a Traffic Regulation Order to introduce a mandatory 20mph speed limit in a significant number of streets in Partick, see https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=18127  This follows earlier proposals to “manage” parking, which introduced some new one-way streets.  Unfortunately parking is still being allowed to a significant extent on many streets, to such an extent in fact that the Council refuse to allow contraflow cycling on these streets.  This is despite contraflow cycling on one-way streets being the default position in the design guide the Council uses, Cycling by Design!  Further details on our Consultations page and our Design Guides page.  Our letter of support for the 20mph proposal includes our concerns: GoBike Partick 20mph support with concern 100717

We have also responded to on-line consultations for Glasgow City Council’s proposed Mini-Holland scheme (details were on view on 23 June), the Green Party’s ambitious proposals to update their active travel policy and the future of the Walk, Cycle, Vote campaign.  We have supported a minor proposal from Glasgow City Council to control parking on Havannah Street/Duke Street.  See our Consultations page for details.

Glasgow to install more “Speed Cushions”. Please object – and here’s why.

We have heard from Glasgow City Council that they propose to install 2 sets of speed cushions outside St Fillan’s Primary School in Cathcart, with the aim of ensuring that drivers reduce their speed to the 20mph zone limit.  The text of the e-mail received from the Council is given on our Consultations page.  We have objected on 3 grounds:

  1. GoBike member, Bob Downie, presented a petition to the City Council 2 years ago, proposing a default city-wide 20mph speed limit (allowing for exceptions for some roads to be 30mph or even more).  This was well received by Councillors at the Petitions Committee, but now the Council has reverted to its original piecemeal approach.
  2. Mark Ruskell, Green MSP currently has a bill out for consultation, see: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/20mphSpeedLimits/  and, if successful, this would bring about default speed limits in all our urban centres of 20mph.
  3. Speed Cushions and tables are very expensive to install and maintain.

Our letter of objection is here: GoBike Crompton Avenue traffic calming Objection 070617 and while we point out that we do not wish to endanger any child, we consider that a better solution for all will be a city-wide 20mph default speed limit.  We will also be voicing our concern to the Glasgow Councillors who attended our Hustings in April.

Further information on traffic calming is given in this excellent blog by one of our GoBike members, “Glasgow Cycleman”.

Please do object to this proposal and, if you live in Glasgow, do let your ward Councillors know about this expensive move.  At the time of the 2015 petition it was estimated that it would take 40 years to achieve what the petition and now Mark Ruskell’s bill will give us.

If you haven’t responded to the survey on Mark Ruskell’s bill yet, please follow the link in point 2 above.

Responses to Glasgow City Council and Scottish Government Proposals

Recently GoBike has responded positively to proposals from Glasgow City Council for stopping waiting and loading/unloading on the roads in Riverview, see photo, to Mark Ruskell’s proposals for a 20mph urban default speed limit in Scotland, to public realm improvements at Govan Cross and to parking controls in Cranstonhill.  Details may be seen on our Consultations page.

If you wish to comment on the most recent of these, ie the waiting restrictions in Riverview, the consultation is open until Tuesday 13 June and all the details may be found here on the Glasgow City Council website.

The Mark Ruskell 20mph consultation is open until 07 August and it is important that people respond – favourably – to this!  Please support this measure!

Proposed Restricted Roads (20mph Limit) (Scotland) Bill – please give your views

This is the survey we have been waiting for – Mark Ruskell’s bill on reducing the default speed limit for restricted roads in Scotland to 20mph.  Mark is the Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and the Scottish Parliament’s survey is here: http://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/20mphSpeedLimits/

You can read more about Mark Ruskell here: Mark Ruskell MSP

Mark’s proposed bill is an important one in that it covers all of Scotland and will, if implemented, lead to a consistent approach across the country.  When GoBike met the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, in February this year, we were told that the Government would not put any obstacles in the way of the bill.  So we are very hopeful that it will go through – but it needs as much support as it can get.  PLEASE DO COMPLETE THE SURVEY! There are 11 questions but there is the option to save and return to it.