Contraflow Cycling: Open letter to Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland

Cyclist stopped in front of No Entry signs on a residential street with parked cars down one side

Glasgow City Council’s adoption of its new Active Travel Strategy is a great step towards making the city’s streets safe and inviting for vulnerable road users, and GoBike warmly welcomes it.

Adopting the strategy can only be a starting point. For years, the way Glasgow City Council and Police Scotland have dealt with proposals for contraflow cycling has made cycling less inviting as a travel choice.

Contraflow cycling (exempting cycles from one-way restrictions, see endnote) is safe.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 107, 3 March 2022

Ayr Rd A77 cycle lane protected by rows of wand bollards

Coming unstuck?

After praising East Renfrewshire Council for sticking with their temporary bollards on the A77, they now have a consultation about removing them! It has a tight deadline before the official pre-election period starts.

There’s even less time to respond about active travel hubs in North Lanarkshire. NHS Lanarkshire have published plans for the new Monklands Hospital in Airdrie, including active travel paths. Also, North Lanarkshire Council have a TRO about parking at schools.

In Glasgow, the George Square consultation ends soon. The next Liveable Neighbourhoods consultation starts for Yorkhill to Anderston. In contrast, construction for the South West City Way Extension hasn’t started due to an issue between the council and contractors. There are also a few TROs for Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 106, 17 February 2022

Plan of George Square showing statues repositioned

March-ing Orders & musical statues?

The Public Sector is getting close to its ‘end of year’ in March. That may explain why half a dozen new Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) have just been published. Also, an older Order was passed for 20mph on Byres Rd in the West End. A few TROs are for Spaces for People measures in Glasgow. Obviously, none of East Dunbartonshire’s TROs are for SfP (as the only mainland Scottish council not to put in a bid).

‘What do we want for our city’s front room?’ – asks the latest George Square consultation. Elsewhere, North Lanarkshire is sounding people out about two active travel hubs and East Renfrewshire is sticking to its guns.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 104, 20 January 2022

Ardrossan Connections illustration

Let’s go round again.

A repeat consultation for Pollok and next steps at an Ayrshire harbour (in time for Burns Night). Also, South Lanarkshire’s Ayr Road (A70) pops up again.

After criticism of Spaces for People measures in South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, now East Renfrewshire‘s Ayr Road (A77) completes the hat-trick.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 103, 6 January 2022

Visualisation of proposed new Shawlands Arcade

Happy New Year!

The first Digest of 2022 has a few loose ends to clear up from last year. Firstly, there’s the proposed regeneration of Shawlands Arcade on Kilmarnock Rd (as shown in split image, above). Secondly, there’s North Lanarkshire Council’s Active Travel strategy, which is a long way off the pace set by Glasgow’s.

The last edition featured negative reaction to Spaces for People lanes in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. Another issue has come up elsewhere – a petition against SfP lanes between Paisley and Howwood in Renfrewshire.

While cycling is usually on the agenda in Glasgow it’s often missed out in surrounding areas, which feed the city’s traffic issues. Cars are king in suburban towns so any projects that try to redress the balance will need support. On a more positive note, Sustrans are funding minor upgrades to existing NCN routes in Renfrewshire and elsewhere.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 102, 23 December 2021

Side-by-side crossing at Brouster Hill, East Kilbride

Season’s greetings

This time of year is known for excess and there’s a glut of consultations and responses in this issue. Contra-flow cycling is a theme with responses from Glasgow ruling it out while South Lanarkshire have quietly implemented it in East Kilbride.

However, EK’s Spaces for People project (as seen in featured image, above) is up for consultation and needs support to counter local criticism.

Without wanting to tread on the toes of our national consultations digest, Transport Scotland’s long-delayed pavement parking consultation has started. Most GoBike members will have experiences to add to that!

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 101, 9 December 2021

Argyle St west plan (Central station)

Intro 101 or Room 101?

The number 101 can mean an introductory course in a US college. Alternatively, it could be a torture chamber of your worst nightmares in the book Nineteen Eighty-Four. The Digest covers both bases with some horribly complicated plans to try to explain in simple terms.

If only this didn’t apply to any of the latest plans from Glasgow’s Avenues Project. While safer routes are welcome, issues with side streets don’t seem to have improved since Sauchiehall St. The lanes on Argyle St west (Central Station end, shown above) seem to be based on a retro movie poster.

Elsewhere, the south-west of Glasgow has the most consultations in this issue (there’s no prize, by the way).

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 100, 25 November 2021

SEC Arrival Hall plans and sections

Ton up!

The one hundredth issue of the Digest is perhaps a moment to reflect on what’s happened in the past nearly four years. While things could always be better, there is more cycling infrastructure in place now than there was then. Projects like Spaces for People, Connecting Woodside or the East Kilbride Active Travel Network have gone in the ground (even if the rest of the South City Way hasn’t).

Around three quarters of those issues were written by the previous editor, Tricia Fort, who deserves a lot of credit for establishing the Digest (especially as it used to cover national issues too). Digest 1 in January 2018 mentioned work starting on the Sauchiehall St Avenue, just as events are due for the next phase along the precinct…

Forthcoming consultations:

Glasgow Avenues consultation events:

Provisional plans seen by GoBike didn’t match current standards in the updated Cycling by Design guidelines. Please attend if you can to speak up for better quality cycle lanes.

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Consultation Digest (Local) Issue 98, 28 October 2021

Entrance to Cadogan Sq car park with bike parking highlighted in background

Locked in discussion?

Cycle parking is one of the topics in this Digest – the bike park inside Cadogan Square multi-storey car park (pictured, above) says something about the state of current facilities. Also, it contrasts with some of the points in Glasgow’s latest consultations; including about where cycling really sits in the transport hierarchy.

As shared paths are blocked around that big climate conference, there are question marks about whether the message on sustainable transport will get through. Drafts of two major strategies could set the tone for Glasgow in the next decade – both the Active Travel Strategy and Transport Strategy just happen to be out for consultation during COP26.

There are seven consultations for neighbouring areas but Glasgow will be hogging the headlines for the next few weeks. GoBike is running a ‘feeder ride’ from Lanarkshire in to the main climate demo on Sat 6 November. See other rides from around the city and beyond on Pedal on Parliament’s COP26 feeder rides page.

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