Glasgow City Council is launching public consultation about the junction of Battlefield Road, Grange Road , Prospecthill Road and Sinclair Drive. Anyone who has tried to negotiate this junction on a bike or on foot will know that it’s tricky. We are told that the on-line consultation will go live today, 23 November at: www.glasgow.gov.uk/battlefield and it is now live. However, it may be best to wait, if you can until you have been to the public consultation event – details below – before submitting comments:
The consultation will, according to the website, allow acceptable designs to progress in order to achieve match funding from SPT in 2018/19.
Fastlink in Glasgow is absolutely not what we were initially led to expect. It wavers from side to side of the road, cycling is allowed in this bit but not that, there is no accommodation for people exiting the southbound Clyde Cycle Tunnel to get across to the new hospital and one could go on. Now we are aware that “cycle upgrades” are being carried out – in the form of shared footways off the main, direct route! There has been no consultation that we are aware of. The drawings we have are here: P_5100-S_100_Govan Road_Festival Park GAP_5100-S_101_Summertown_Rd and the letter we have sent, to quite a few people since we were not sure of the person in charge of this work is here: GoBikeFastlinkImprovementConcernsLetter251017 For simplicity we repeat the content of the letter below:
You have, we understand, issued a series of drawings this year with the heading “Fastlink Core Routes – Cycle Upgrades and we have been given copies of 2 of these drawings, for Govan Road and for Summertown Road. We are also given to understand that this work is being funded by Strathclyde Passenger Transport.
Your acknowledgement that Fastlink causes problems for people who cycle and that upgrades are necessary is most welcome but these plans (Drawing Nos: PROJECTS/325100/13 and PROJECTS325100/100) show none of the expertise demonstrated in the South West City Way and the proposals for South City Way. Nor do they address, unless this is addressed on the drawings to which we are not party, the critical concerns for people cycling, ie the catastrophic failure to provide access from the southbound Clyde Cycle Tunnel across the Fastlink route to the hospital complex and the varying regime of cycle access to the Fastlink lanes along the route. Neither has there been any consultation.
Problems with these plans are detailed on the attached sheets.
The purpose of this letter is to ask the council to:
1. Immediately pause the work (which has started, but with the part addressing traffic issues outside Lorne Street School) so that the design decisions can be reviewed for effectiveness and value for money.
1. Ensure that all future work nominally to improve conditions for people who cycle or who would like to cycle is subject to a value-for-money test against a range of competing projects, is probed for weaknesses by consultation among potential users, and aims to meet the highest design standards.
2. Agree that the cost of the current work (if continued) is not included at any time when spending on cycle infrastructure is publicised.
Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling 2016-2015 claims a cycle network length of 310km at the start of the period. It notes as an opportunity the reallocation of road (not pavement) space. It aims to increase the network length by just 90km in the ten years of the plan. It will be failing if this modest addition includes these lengths of shared pavement and painted advisory cycle lanes in places where there is little if any need.
We in GoBike would be very pleased to discuss these proposals and what is needed to ensure a good cycling environment in this area with you and/or the relevant staff, but please acknowledge the receipt of this letter by return, provide a substantive response to Point (1) within one week, and to Points (2) and (3) within a month.
Fastlink Core Paths – Cycle Upgrades
Drawing Nos: PROJECTS/325100/13 (Summertown Road) and PROJECTS325100/100 (Govan Road and Festival Park)
1. General Issues
1.1 The Fastlink design is intrinsically confusing for all road users, with any number of wheels, or none.
1.2 Cycling is allowed on part of the Fastlink carriageway. The simplest, clearest, lowest cost way of improving conditions for cycling on the route is to allow it on all sections of the Fastlink carriageway.
1.3 There has been no consultation on the need for or design of the planned changes.. The Summertown Road plan is dated May 2017, the Govan Road one September 2017. Work started in October 2017 with only temporary TRO notices prohibiting parking posted the day the work started publicising that anything would be changing.
1.4 The plans quote Cycling Scotland’s Fact Sheet 01/07 but ignore Fact sheet 04/09 “Cycle Infrastructure Design Hierarchy of Provision”. This Fact Sheet calls for traffic reduction, calming the remaining traffic, junction treatment and redistribution of the carriageway space all to be considered before shared footways or segregated facilities are considered.
1.5 Failure to address the most obvious problems caused by Fastlink which are:
Reaching the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital from the Clyde tunnel
Hazardous conditions for cyclists starting up the southbound slope of Finnieston bridge,
No quiet link between the Langlands Road cycleway and the quiet back street network leading to/from where Broomloan Road/Orkney St join Govan Rd.
1.6 The ‘improvements’ provided by the plans mainly depend on shared pavements. Shared pavements are disliked by people who cycle – they are interrupted by side roads and other access points, joining and leaving them is usually cumbersome and pedestrians are often not aware that cycling is legal on them. They encourage uninformed cycle users to treat pavement cycling as normal. They are disliked by pedestrians and generate misunderstandings and conflicts between users on foot and on wheels. They encourage the belief among drivers that bicycles are toys with no place on the roads.
2. Specific problems with Govan Rd / Festival Park plans
2.1 The map used is out of date; it does not show the new entrance to Festival Park on the long arm of Govan Road.
2.2 The Fastlink carriageway alongside the planned shared pavement on Pacific Drive is so sparsely used that signs are needed reminding people to check for vehicles before crossing. Creating a shared pavement is unnecessary.
2.3 The planned shared pavement on Pacific Drive is not very wide and takes cycles through bus shelters
2.4 A problem caused by Fastlink does exist within the zone covered by the Govan Road plan. It is the multi-stage caged crossing and narrow shared pavement currently used by NCN7/75 at the eastern junction of Pacific Drive with Govan Road. The solution offered by the plans is far below the highest standard of cycle infrastructure. It depends on another shared pavement (including passing through a bus shelter area), another two-stage caged crossing which is offset from the onward roubte and requires an awkward turn on the northern pavement round the railing and a pole.
2.5 The plan ignores the access road to the west and south of the Village hotel which needs just a dropped kerb at its Govan Road end to form a better alternative.
2.6 The plan shows no thought for the cohesiveness of the whole scheme. It creates a shared pavement circuit round the outside of Festival Park with different arrangements on the three sections – narrow shared pavement, widened shared pavement, segregated shared pavement.
2.7 The north-south arm of Govan Road with its newly designated shared pavement carries little traffic as the northern section is prohibited to everything except buses and taxis (and there are no buses). A shared pavement provides no benefit.
2.8 There is no reason to spend money on widening the pavement on the long Govan Road side of Festival Park in order to designate it as shared – people will not divert round two sides of a triangle to use a shared pavement. The road is generally quiet, and intended as part of a 20mph zone with speed cushions.
2.9 The Lorne Street and Brand Street parts of the plan appear to be addressing traffic and parking problems created by Lorne Street School rather than making cycling related improvements.
2.10 The kerb build-outs in Lorne Street create a pinch point – a hazard for cyclists whatever white paint there may be on the road surface.
2.11 The plan quotes Cycling Scotland’s Fact Sheet 01/07 Cycle Logo-only while ignoring the fact sheet’s guidance that the cycle logo is intended to be on the centre of the road surface, to“raise motorist’s awarenessof cyclists, encouraging them to give cyclists space”. Their use inside painted cycle lanes will tend to encourage the belief of some drivers that cyclists must stay in the marked lane.
2.12 The hatched buffer zones on Lorne Street and Harvie Street are less than a quarter the width of the 4m of widened pavement beside Festival Park.. Cycling by Design (version currently being revised) recommends a buffer zone width of 1 metre if cyclists are to avoid being doored.
2.13 Painted advisory cycle lanes are a waste of money. They will be parked over.
2.14 A marked cycle lane on the left of the one-way Lorne Street will cause conflict between drivers and cyclists who want to turn right at Paisley Road West. If the changes to Lorne Street are needed because of the school traffic a better solution for cycling would be to use the Fact Sheet 01/07 cycle logo in the centre of the carriageway. The same applies on Harvie Street.
2.15.Shared pavement on Harvie St north of Brand Street requires a pointless diversion for people headed between Bells Bridge and Brand Street (i.e. most people) and will not be used.
2.16.The zebra crossing west of Harvie Street is a diversion for pedestrians on the most used (north-south) route: cyclists will not want to divert and dismount to use a zebra crossing legally.
2.17The signs indicating shared use are on posts which themselves reduce the available width.
3. Specific problems with the Summertown Road plans
3.1 The route is a poor option for west-to-east through travel as it requires two right turns. Few of those who use the main road route will be drawn by shared pavements to divert along Summertown Road in either direction.
3.2 The proposed shared pavement is of variable width, is broken by side turnings, changes sides, and is obstructed by street furniture including a post box, cycle stands, bus stops, and the posts carrying the shared use signs. Some of these new signs are placed where the space is already reduced by existing street furniture or bus shelters. All of these things will incline cyclists to use the road instead – but this will now be narrower than it was.
3.3 The problematic junction with Copland Road would be better addressed by making Copland Road the minor road, or with a mini-roundabout.
3.4 The plan appears incomplete at the western end.
On Sunday 08 October Walk Cycle Vote supporters gathered outside the SNP conference venue in Glasgow. The photo above shows a young cycle enthusiast offering the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, a piece of Rocky Road Cake in grateful recognition of the doubling of the active travel budget. His mum is looking on, as were several GoBike members, plus Pedal on Parliament supporters and other active travel activists. Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction was there as was John Lauder, Director of Sustrans Scotland and Richard Dixon of Friends of the Earth Scotland. The minister took the time to talk to just about everyone who was there and we look forward to seeing the effects of the budget increase sometime soon.
SNP Party Conference – 3pm on Sunday 8 October SECC, Glasgow – Please come along!
The force behind Walk Cycle Vote (GoBike’s a supporting member) have been kicking around the idea of a ‘cake event’ at the SNP conference on Sunday, to celebrate/acknowledge the doubling of the active travel budget.
They have just had confirmation from David Miller (the First Minister’s Special Advisor) that he’ll be able to arrange for the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf,to join us at 3pm on Sunday.
If you can get along please do – the more the better!
Meet outside the SECC at 2.45 to assemble with the cake
The annual Cycling Scotland conference comes to Glasgow this year and will be held at the University of Strathclyde, full details are here
Unfortunately we were unable to get a special rate for GoBike members but the early bird rate – you’ll need to be quick – is available until Monday 02 October, and if you have a valid student card, there’s a student rate.
The Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, will be speaking, GoBike will have a stand, and there will be lots to see and do, if you can get time off work or spare the time, and the cash, to attend.
Cycling is about to return to St George’s Cross with the latest announcement of funding from the Scottish Government, see these articles from the Herald and the BBC. Let’s hope it all comes to fruition:
Yes, the day has finally arrived for us to take to the streets of Glasgow and show the world exactly what our cycling infrastructure is like. Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad, and we need to see it all so we can show it to the Council and help to make ours a true Cycling City.
Keep your camera with you today and when you spot any cycling infrastructure that you want to highlight (good or bad) – or if you spot somewhere that’s crying out for infrastructure it doesn’t have yet – take a picture and Tweet it with the hashtag #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17. Don’t worry if you don’t have Twitter, you can still take part by emailing your pictures to us at CycleInfraDay@gmail.com.
You’ll be able to watch the gallery build throughout the day by keeping an eye on the hashtag on Twitter (you don’t need an account for this – just click this link), or by following the Twitter account (@CycleInfraDay).
Remember, this is supposed to be an easy way of documenting a day in the life of Glasgow’s cycling infrastructure. So please be sensible; don’t go dashing across busy roads to get an ‘action shot’, or exploring the collapsed section of the cycle lane along the Clyde to show the damage after the weir jammed last week.
With the Scottish Government this week announcing their commitment to double the budget for Active Travel in 2018/19, making sure your voice is heard when that money gets spent has never been more important. Tomorrow you can shout it out loud.
It’s as easy as snapping a photograph of Glasgow’s cycling infrastructure and posting it on Twitter with the hashtag #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17.
Take pictures of the good stuff, what we want more of, as well as the not so good stuff.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Twitter account; just email your pictures to us at CycleInfraDay@gmail.com and we’ll upload them for you.
So, get your cameras ready, charge your batteries and load up your memory cards… for tomorrow we shape the future of cycling in Glasgow!
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.
Interesting article in the Herald today (31 March) about power in our local councils. it’s worth reading to get a view on what we will be voting for on 04 May and perhaps a question to ask at our Hustings on 19 April, 7:30pm in the Admiral Bar on Waterloo Street in Glasgow. Here’s our flyer for the event: May2017 GB! Hustings flyer
Here’s the information we sent to the 5 candidates, who will be on our Hustings Panel, which might also help you frame your question:
“GoBike, as perhaps you know, is a campaigning group of people who cycle in the Strathclyde area, with most of our support in the Glasgow travel to work area. Our main focus is on good cycle infrastructure and on 21 February we met with the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, to present these 4 important aims:
1. 20mph Speeds in Urban Areas
Multiple benefits of safety, environment and air quality agreed by central/local governments, residents, road safety groups and cyclists. Change from urban 30mph to 20mph is in progress.
Implementation rates are slow due to budgetary constraints and perceived requirement for complex and expensive traffic calming. Cities risk developing a confusing patchwork of 20mph islands in a 30mph sea.
Action requested: That Holyrood make Scotland a better place by passing legislation to expedite 20mph as the default urban speed limit, except on specified non-residential arterial roads
2. Use of Evidence When Specifying Location and Design of Urban Cycle Facilities
Most existing cycle facilities suffer from two main failings: they are discontinuous and their positioning takes little cognisance of the preferred routes that cyclists use (cycle desire lines). They tend to be installed where local authorities see un-utilised road space, rather than from an assessment of cyclists’ needs.
Data concerning cycle desire lines is becoming abundantly available and shows that urban cyclists in Scotland substantially travel on direct (radial) main road routes that connect the suburbs with city centre. Cycle desire lines frequently cross local authority boundaries.
Action requested: That Holyrood preferentially promotes and funds cycle facilities that are based upon evidence of cyclists’ needs, such as directness and continuity of route, and those which allow connection between local authority areas
3. Space Reallocation
Evidence shows that cyclists tend to travel in straight and continuous paths from suburban areas into urban centres, preferentially using the main roads, where cycle speeds are faster than on back road routes.
Unless the desire by cyclists to use these direct main road routes is satisfied, then further spending on back-street cycle facilities will be largely wasted. The desire for cyclists to use main roads means that due consideration must be given to providing space on these.
Actions requested: 1) Holyrood mandates new build roads and renovated roads must have cycle facilities as a primary design criterion. 2) Prioritises facilities on faster/direct main road routes
4. Presumed Liability
It is a well-established legal principle that anyone who uses a dangerous instrument should be presumed to be liable in the event of death or injury as a consequence of its use.
It is therefore unfortunate that insurance companies generally take an adversarial position when vehicles come into collision with unprotected road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Compensation may be delayed or denied as result.
At present, the UK is one of only five European countries (along with Cyprus, Malta, Romania and Ireland) that do not operate some form of strict liability law for vulnerable road users.
Action requested: That Holyrood makes Scotland a better place by enacting presumed liability legislation between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
GoBike is one of the founder members of Walk,Cycle,Vote the pan-Scotland active travel grouping and the 3 common aims for the councils that will be elected on 04 May are:
Investment: Provide sustained, long term investment in both cycling and walking, reaching 10% of the transport budget
Infrastructure: Build and maintain dedicated cycling infrastructure suitable for people of all ages and abilities
Local Action: To solve the main local barriers to active travel, as identified by residents and businesses”
We do hope that you will be able to get along on 19 April but should you be unable to, you may submit a question by e-mail to email@example.com