European Cycling Challenge, Launch Saturday 15 April, Glasgow Green. Record your mileage to show where we want cycle facilities!

We have got to know about this year’s European Cycling Challenge whereby all of us cycling in Glasgow  – and the surrounding areas (new for this year) can record our cycle journeys.  GoBike has mapped the data from last year, which ties in well with Strava data and Glasgow City Council cordon count data, and has presented this evidence of where people cycle  – and thus where we need good quality cycle infrastructure – to none less than the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf.

So, do join in this year. Cycling UK Glasgow’s regular Saturday morning ride from the People’s Palace will be ending the ride at this launch. Here’s a copy of the e-mail from Glasgow City Council, which has the information and links that you need:

“This year’s European Cycling Challenge will be even bigger and better than last year.
With involvement of all neighbouring local authorities, this years challenge will be inclusive of all your commute, leisure and utility riding.
Whether cycling from East Kilbride to Glasgow, along to Croy station to get the train to Glasgow or Edinburgh, just along Byres Road, or on the Bears Way, all your journeys will count!
There are also over 120 prizes for best riders and prize draws throughout just for taking part and getting out on your bike.
To launch the challenge and encourage people to start to sign up, we will host a launch event on Saturday April 15th  11:00 – 13:00.
 This will take place at the Winter Gardens at Glasgow Green. This should help many of you get there as it’s right on the NCN 75 with good connection to all areas.
To promote the sign up for the event we will have photocalls for those who want to show off their bikes, freebies including this year’s edition of snap bands and saddle covers, and prize draws on the day for cycling equipment.
We will also have a Dr Bike to make sure your bike is the finely tuned machine you deserve.
Light refreshments will be available between 11:00  and 13:00.
So get out on your bike, come along alone or with family, get some freebies and lets show Europe that in the Clyde Valley area, cycling is for everyone!  
If you intend in coming along, please email back so that we can estimate refreshments and supplies.
 Further information on the challenge available here:
Best regards
Dr Collin Little
Glasgow City Council
Land & Environmental Services
231 George Street
Glasgow, G1 1RX
tel: 0141 287 9483

So do get there if you can – lots of the usual “freebies”, ie paid for by us, the taxpayers! Seriously, though, we need the data of where we all cycle.  So do map your rides, preferably all year round with Strava since we have access to the data (depersonalised) or just for May with this European Cycling Challenge.

Hustings, 19 April, Green candidate, Christy Mearns, Glasgow

Christy Mearns is a Scottish Green Party candidate in Glasgow and is standing for election on 04 May 2017.  Here is the text that she sent us:

“I’m Christy Mearns, the Scottish Green Party candidate for Anderston, City & Yorkhill. Over the years I have campaigned for change locally and represented the Scottish Green Party in the previous two by-elections for the Ward. I have worked hard getting to know the issues important to people living and working here. If elected, I promise to work hard to deliver cleaner, safer public spaces; to encourage local businesses to thrive; and to continue to be a strong voice for the local community on the issues that matter to them.

Scottish Greens take local elections seriously because local issues and local services matter. We have a track record of listening to communities and working constructively with other parties to get things done. We believe that decisions which affect people should be made close to them. With a bigger group of Green Councillors than ever before, we can drive home these changes locally and help put power into your hands.”

Tomorrow, the Labour Party candidate for our panel, a change from our original booking.

Hustings, 19 April, SNP candidate, Anna Richardson, Glasgow

Anna Richardson is an existing Scottish National councillor on Glasgow City council and is standing for election on 04 May 2017.  Here is the text that she sent us:

“I have been a councillor for Langside in Glasgow since 2015, and am one of the SNP candidates for this election. I also work part time for NCT, a national parenting charity, as well as caring for my three young children. I have an honours degree in Geography and a Masters in Human Resources, both of which have informed my work in the Council.

My particular interests in the Council are varied, but all centre on making our city a better place to live, in particular for women, children and families who are often affected the most by our policies. I am passionate about education, especially early years and childcare, as well as planning and active travel. There is so much crossover between all these issues, and seeing where those connections lie is critical to achieving the best outcomes.

I took up cycling three years ago, but have only used it as a regular mode of transport in the last 12 months, having felt apprehensive about sharing busy roads with cars and buses. I am the proud owner of a very reliable hybrid, and resisting the urge to invest in any more wheels for the time being!

Having spent most of my adult life feeling too scared to cycle has shaped the way I view active travel, and the steps we must take if we are to make real progress. My vision for Glasgow is a city that enables anyone to jump on a bike, however young or old, and regardless of fitness level. And I will always make the case for active travel as a social justice issue that reduces air pollution for all and provides cost effective transport to households whether they are carless through choice or financial necessity.

I am delighted to be able to represent the SNP at these hustings, and believe our Glasgow group is standing on an excellent active travel manifesto. I hope to be part of the team who will, all being well, have the chance to implement these commitments.”

Tomorrow, the Conservative candidate on our panel.

Busy City Centre cycle route closed – Police Incident

The busy, but very inadequate, cycle and pedestrian route under the George V, Caledonian Railway and Glasgow Bridges on the north bank of the Clyde was closed at approximately 6pm yesterday evening (10 April) and by 08:15 this morning no alternative route had been provided for the very many commuters and others who use this route.

According to the police on site the incident is in the hands of CID and it is not known how long the route will be closed.  However, they are aware that this is a very heavily cycled area and, hopefully they will get some tape to cordon off a safe route from the Broomielaw to Clyde Street for both people walking and on bikes.

In the meantime, do take care, particularly when crossing Glasgow Bridge/Bridge Street.

Pedal on Parliament comes to Glasgow, Sunday 23 April, 1pm

With POP now in its sixth year, and the Scottish local authority elections looming, we’re ringing the changes with four mass rides in four of Scotland’s cities: on Saturday 22nd April there will be simultaneous rides in Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen, and on Sunday 23rd April we take to the streets of Glasgow.

The ride will be from Glasgow Green to George Square on entirely closed roads, and will be a family-friendly demonstration suitable for all cyclists of all ages. Meet at Glasgow Green for a 1pm start.

View the route

GoBike is a supporter of POP and the above is taken from their website:

POP Glasgow is just 4 days after GoBike’s Hustings, so get yourself into election mode.  Get yourself informed about who to vote for.

Consultations – Govan Cross and a late response to the Active Travel Task Force

Glasgow City Council is planning further improvements to the public realm at Govan Cross, with initial details here: Public Space Improvements Flyer Reading View and we have submitted a positive response welcoming the changes, see our letter: GoBike Govan Cross support and comments 280317

We have, though, pointed out some concerns, such as the advisory cycle lanes on Langlands Road, which are used as linear car parks and the need for a link through to the west to the northern boundary of the hospital grounds.  That said, the proposals look forward to the new Govan-Partick bridge and provide a link from the bridge south through Govan for bikes.

This initial consultation closes on Friday, 31 March, so if you have views please get them in now.  Contact details are on the Public Space Improvements Flyer.

We have also sent in a late submission to the Scottish Government’s Active Travel Task Force.  You may remember that we met the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, on 21 February and we discussed with him our 4 “asks”: “20mph speed in urban areas, Use of evidence when specifying design and location of urban cycle facilities, space reallocation and the introduction of Presumed Liability, as summarised here: Minister meeting 21_02_17 V3 Summary

Although we missed the closing date for initial submissions (10 March) we hope that our submission and follow-up information sent to the Minister was forwarded to the Task Force and we look forward to further contact.

SNP Glasgow pledge 10% of transport budget for Active Travel

Susan Aitken, leader of the SNP group on Glasgow City Council has pledged to increase spending on walking and cycling to 10% of the transport budget if the SNP take control of the City Council in the May elections.

Come to the GoBike hustings on 19 April to check out what all the parties will spend across the Strathclyde area.

Sauchiehall Street Planning Application – please respond by 15 March!

The prospects for improvements on Sauchiehall Street are good.  Only 1 objection so far but lots of support has been expressed to the Planning Application on the Glasgow City Council website (the reference number is 17/00240/DC) that specifies the new cycle lane.  The plans are good in most of what they include but there are omissions.  The GoBike response is here: GoBike Sauchiehall Street Planning Application on-line 2000 character response 100317

There’s a limit of 2000 words to the on-line comment, so wordsmiths beware, but do get your views in.  A bit of confusion on the website under “Important Dates” – the last day for comments is 15 March, but the last day for comments following the Press Notice is today, Friday 10 March – so get your skates on.

Sauchiehall Street – GoBike response to the Traffic Regulation Order for part of the Avenue concept

Glasgow City Council are progressing their plans for the Sauchiehall Street “avenue” with a Traffic Regulation Order and a Planning Application.

GoBike has now responded to the Traffic Regulation Order, with this letter: GoBike Sauchiehall Street partial support 280217  The full details of the Order may be seen at: but, unfortunately, they do not include details of the cycle way as this is new construction, rather than a change to the existing road layout.  While we very much support the principle of reducing traffic access, limiting parking and a separated cycle way, we do object to the proposal to make Elmbank Street, shown on the photo as it meets Sauchiehall Street, one-way.  This contravenes the default position in the City Council’s design guide, Cycling by Design and limits accessibility in the city for people on bikes.

The Planning Application for the new work on Sauchiehall Street is on the Council’s website at: but all the documents appear to be “unavailable at this time”!  A bit of a contradiction in terms but we are considering our options for comment.  Having looked at the drawings listed with the TRO we are concerned that there are no links to the cycle way from Woodlands Road and St George’s Road – that area over the M8 is not a happy place to cycle, even though lots of us have journeys through there – and the links out of the cycle way into the Core Path area of Sauchiehall Street and all the streets in between Newton Street and Rose Street are unclear.

If you have views about these proposals, please make them clear to the Council or to the Councilors for the area.  Comments on the TRO close this Friday, 03 March and on the Planning Application 21 days after 17 February, according to the advert, which might be 10 March.

Byres Road, Glasgow – Redevelopment: update news as progress is made.

One of our members has given us the following information since attending the Byres Road Corners meeting on 23 February. 200 people were there so it was very crowded and thus there was not a lot of detail.

Those of you who were unable to attend or did not know about the meeting concerning the proposed £9.0M being spent on improvements to Byres Road, particularly to those of you who are unable to access the ‘Byres Road Corners’ postings on Facebook, you can now get updates by email. To do this email asking for your email address to be linked to their mailing list. If you would like to be involved in any of the developments, such as helping out with tree planting etc., or if you have any sensible suggestions, please add this to your email.