Consultation Digest Issue 11, Going squinty about the Squinty Bridge, Byres Road submission, 20mph, parking etc etc

Here’s the bridge with 3 names: Clyde Arc, Finnieston and Squinty and it’s currently sending us a bit squinty.  There have been several changes in the traffic regime over the bridge since it was built with a recent one being the inclusion of bikes on the Fastlink bus lanes on the west side, but now Glasgow City Council propose to also allow taxis.  Oh dear. See our detailed response in item 1.8. We also have lots more for you in this digest, including the contrasting GoBike responses to Byres Road and South City Way, so do please read on.

Contents:

Section 1: Current Consultations.

  1. Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council, second consultation event TOMORROW, 13 June
  2. Lenzie Traffic Management and Parking Restrictions, closes 15 June
  3. SEC Taxi Rank, closes 15 June
  4. Woodside 20mph, closes 15 June
  5. Calton Barras Meatmarket redevelopment closes 15 June
  6. UK Government — Future of Mobility Ideas survey,Deadline: 21 June
  7. Calton Barras 20mph zone, closes 22 June
  8. Finnieston Bridge Experimental TRO, closes 22 June
  9. Hyndland, Hughenden and Dowanhill West parking closes 25 June
  10. Byres Road, closes 27 June
  11. Greendyke Street traffic calming closes 29 June
  12. Woodside Parking Controls and cycle access, closes 13 July

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations and Policy Documents

  1. Glasgow City Council Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022
  2. Scottish Government, Active Travel Task Force report

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

  1. East Renfrewshire dangerous junctions
  2. Jordanhill parking
  3. Woodside 20mph
  4. Yoker to Knightswood cycle way

1. Current Consultations – in date order for responses

1.1 Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council, Cycle Village Proposal, event 13 June

We have told you before of the events arranged by Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council to publicise and consult on their Cycle Village Proposal, see: https://yokecoco.wordpress.com/cycle-village-proposal/  Their first event was on Saturday and the second is tomorrow 13 June at Bike for Good, Haugh Road (just off Argyle Street at Radnor Street/Kelvin Way, from 3pm to 8pm.  The Community Council is working with Sustrans and Glasgow City Council to make Yorkhill, Kelvingrove and Finnieston more active-travel-friendly.This is something all our Community Councils should be doing, so please get along, see how it’s done, and complete their on-line survey.

1.2 Lenzie Traffic Management and Parking Restrictions, closes this Friday 15 June

We don’t hear much from East Dunbartonshire but these proposals (see Digest 10) are aimed at reducing random parking around Lenzie Station. We support these proposals (see our response, GoBike Lenzie Station parking Letter 120618) but we hope that they will positively encourage active travel.

1.3 Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, TRO amendment, moving the Taxi Rank and altering the Road Layout, closes this Friday 15 June

We have objected to these proposals on the grounds that they do nothing for cycling – but we have sent in ideas for how they might be able to. Again, details were in Digest 10 and our response, with our alternative drawing are here:  GoBike Finnieston Bridge Experiment TRO Objection 080618

Do please submit your views – contact details are on our letter.

1.4 Woodside, Glasgow, 20mph zone, closes this Friday 15 July

Our response was in Digest 10 (see GoBike Woodside 20mph response 290518) and we have had some feedback from the City Council, see section 3 below. Have a read of their views on ensuring that 20 means 20 and then please send in your response.

1.5 Calton Barras Meatmarket redevelopment, closes 15 June

This has been rumbling on for some time, with proposals to start developing the empty site running along Duke Street as far as Bellgrove Station; the details are here:   https://publicaccess.glasgow.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=P87M4HEXHT500  Following a public consultation event back in the winter a segregated cycle lane has been added running east to west through the site. Currently it doesn’t link to anything but, to the east there is the intention to link it to the core path route and to the west, but sometime in the future, across the current Doig bus and coach depot to Collegelands. Glasgow Live have written about it here: https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/plans-lodged-transform-bellgrove-meat-14733896  We are waiting for confirmation of the width of the cycle lane (3.0m on the drawing but 2.7m in the Planning Statement 2) but will most probably write in this week with a mild welcome to the plans. It’s good that they are finally considering cycling but it might well mean that those of us who cycle on Duke Street will get nothing better than what’s there now.

1.6 ** NEW ** UK Government — Future of Mobility Ideas survey, Deadline: 21 June
Here’s one that Transform Scotland informed us of – you might wish to respond. As part of their Industrial Strategy, the UK Government are seeking your ideas on the future of mobility in the UK. You can post your own ideas, and rate and comment on other ideas. To find out more, see here.

1.7 Calton Barras, Glasgow, 20mph zone, closes 22 June

All the details were in Digest 10 and we have now written in to welcome this extension of the City Centre 20mph, but we have expressed disappointment at the traffic calming (buildouts and speed cushions) proposed for Greendyke Street. Here’s our letter: GoBike Calton Barras 20mph Letter 080618 and, no sooner had we sent it in than another Traffic Regulation Order proposal arrived for, wait for it, Traffic Calming on Greendyke Street, see item 1.11 below.

1.8 ** NEW ** Finnieston Bridge Experimental TRO, closes 22 June

This came in on the 1st of June and it’ s got us slightly incensed. The whole Fastlink scheme has not been a success, and this experimental Traffic Regulation Order (for up to 18 months) is to see what effect allowing taxis (including private hires) in the bus and cycle lanes on the west side of the bridge will have on congestion at the north end of the bridge. The wording of the e-mail we received is as follows:

THE GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL, (FINNIESTON BRIDGE), (EXPERIMENTAL TRAFFIC REGULATION) ORDER 2018

 The Council propose to consider the introduction of the above named Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.

Please find enclosed a copy of the press notice of the proposed Order, relevant map, statement of reasons, and detailed report.

Details of the proposals will also be available on the Glasgow City Council website at www.glasgow.gov.uk/proposedtro

As stated in the attached documentation, any person wishing to object to the proposed Order should send details of the grounds for objection in writing to Projects Manager, Project Management and Design, Land & Environmental Services, 231 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RX or by e-mail to land@glasgow.gov.uk by Friday 22nd June 2018.

Yours faithfully

Andy Waddell, Head of Infrastructure and Environment, Land and Environmental Services

And the documents they sent are here: Press Notice of Proposed Order  Public Consultation  Relevant Map  Report  Statement of Reasons

We have replied in detail objecting to the proposals. We are of the view that so many piecemeal changes have been made to this scheme and, in particular, to the use of the bridge, that now is the time for a fundamental review of the operation of the whole Fastlnk route, see: GoBike Finnieston Bridge Experiment TRO Objection 080618

1.9 Hyndland, Hughenden and Dowanhill West parking closes 25 June

This closes 25 June, the day before our next digest is due out but it does look like car city in this area, with parking proposed for both sides of Hyndland Road between Clarence Drive and Great Western Road. This is one place we took all four local councillors last autumn on our tours yet it doesn’t look like there is any chance of cycle lanes here. Clarence Drive, likewise, will not be for the faint-hearted on a bike even though it forms part of the Colleges Cycle Route. One of our vocal members lives in this area and will be getting views to us this week for our response, but if you don’t like what you see then do please let the council, and the councillors in this ward (23, Kelvindale and Partick East) know. The documents issued are repeated here (they were in Digest 10) to assist: TRO_2015_004-003 Hyndland, Hughenden & Dowanhill West (Publication) 2 of… 11.01 – Publication of Proposals – Press Notice – FINAL (ADVERTISED 24.0… 09.02 – Frequently Asked Questions 09.01 – Draft Report 08 – Statement of Reason

You might remember that Highburgh Road, Hyndland Road and Clarence Drive form part of the at one time much vaunted Colleges Cycle Route and, if the council had an overall cycling strategy this would by now have been strengthened and extended out to Great Western Road and up to Kelvindale. Oh, sorry, did we forget the City Council’s love of cars! And the e-mail address for your response is saferparking@glasgow.gov.uk  An oxymoron?

1.10 Byres Road, Glasgow, closes 27 June

 

Yes, folks, still time to get your views in and all the details are here:  https://www.glasgowconsult.co.uk/KMS/dmart.aspx?strTab=PublicDMartCurrent&NoIP=1 

The GoBike response is here: GoBike Byres Road 0618 and do please use any of this in your response.

 

1.11 **NEW** –  Greendyke Street, traffic calming, closes 29 June

 

Yes, as in 1.7 above, we had just sent in our views, repeated here: GoBike Calton Barras 20mph Letter 080618 generally welcoming the 20mph speed limit proposed for this area near the Barras and Glasgow Green, when this message arrived from the City Council:

MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF ANDY WADDELL, HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT, LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

 Dear Sir / Madam

THE GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL, (GREENDYKE STREET), 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.

In order to encourage low vehicle speeds, the council propose to install five sets of  Buildouts and speed cushions between No.33 Greendyke Street to 10m South of the Glasgow Green council depot access.

Roads affected by the proposed Scheme

The list of roads affected by these proposals are:-

  • GREENDYKE STREET

Details of the proposed Scheme

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

  1. The installation of 2 Buildouts (Approx. 7.4m long 2.5m wide) and 2 speed cushions (Approx. 3m long 2m wide and 75mm high) at a point approximately 54 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Turnbull Street.
  2. The installation of 2 Buildouts (Approx. 7.4m long 2.5m wide) and 2 speed cushions (Approx. 3m long 2m wide and 75mm high) at a point approximately 55 metres West of the extended West kerbline of Lanark Street.
  3. The installation of 2 Buildouts (Approx. 7.4m long 2.5m wide) and 2 speed cushions (Approx. 3m long 2m wide and 75mm high) at a point approximately 12 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Lanark Street.
  4. The installation of 2 Buildouts (Approx. 7.4m long 2.5m wide) and 2 speed cushions (Approx. 3m long 2m wide and 75mm high) at a point approximately 12 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Charlotte Street.
  5. The installation of 2 Buildouts (Approx. 7.4m long 2.5m wide) and 2 speed cushions (Approx. 3m long 2m wide and 75mm high) at a point approximately 10 metres south of the extended south kerbline of Glasgow Green council depot access..

Please provide any comments you wish to make on these proposals within 21 days (reply by 29 June 2018).

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 Martin Sherriff on 0141  287 9579.

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”

So, while I think most of us will agree that the 20mph speed limit will “improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and all other vehicle users”, would any of us think that buildouts and speed cushions are the way to achieve that? You can also see from the photo/map we have added that good cycle facilities along Greendyke Street would form a useful link from London Road and the Gallowgate towards the South City Way. We’ll be drawing our response up soon.

1.12 **NEW** – Glasgow Woodside Parking Controls, closes 13 July

Parking restrictions are proposed for Woodside, including a welcome “prohibition of driving (except Pedal Cycles) at North Woodside Road”. Here’s the e-mail we got on 31 May:

MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF ANDY WADDELL, HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT, LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES

Dear Sir / Madam

The Glasgow City Council (Woodside) (Traffic Regulation and Parking Controls) Order 201_

 The Council propose to consider the introduction of the above named Traffic Regulation Order.

Please find enclosed a copy of the press notice of the proposed Order, relevant map, statement of reasons and detailed report.

Details of the proposals will also be available on the Glasgow City Council website at www.glasgow.gov.uk/proposedtro.                                                                                                

As stated in the attached documentation, any person wishing to object to the proposed Order should send details of the ground for their objection in writing to Andy Waddell, Head of Infrastructure and Environment, Land and Environmental Services, Exchange House, 231 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RX or by email to land@glasgow.gov.uk by Friday 13 July 2018.

Yours faithfully

Andy Waddell, Head of Infrastructure and Environment, Land and Environmental Services”

The documents referred to are here: Advert Woodside parking and cycle access  Draft Report  Plan 1-1   Statement of Reasons

We are minded to support this. The area is changing, with the North Woodside Health Centre soon to be replaced, the large car showroom on Maryhill Road about to close and people now parking in the area because of parking restrictions elsewhere.

2. Forthcoming Consultations and Policy Documents

2.1 Glasgow City Council Strategic Plan 2017 – 2022

We were told about this document, see: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17528 through our membership of the City Council’s Active Travel Forum. and one of its priorities, at the top of page 19, is to “Prioritise sustainable transport across the city”. Aye right, so not just on the South City Way, then?

2.2 Scottish Government’s Active Travel Task Force findings

It’s good to see that these findings are out. You can see them at:  https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/42284/active-travel-task-force-june-2018.pdf

3. Consultation Feedback

3.1 Dangerous junctions in East Renfrewshire

We have had a note to say “Thanks, response duly noted and considered during review.”  We hope, of course that this means our proposals for Dutch-style roundabouts for Spiersbridge and Eastwood Toll will be considered during the review that started last week.

3.2 Glasgow Woodside proposal for 20mph

We have had an “interesting” reply from Glasgow City Council to our response, GoBike Woodside 20mph response 290518 to this Traffic Regulation Order; this is the e-mail we got on 05 June:

The Glasgow City Council (Woodside) (20mph Speed Limit Zone) Order 201_

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the above named Traffic Regulation Order.

In response to your point raised with enforcement of the 20mph zones,  I can confirm the Police are included in the consultation process when a 20mph zone is being introduced. Indeed, during discussions with Police Scotland Officers, they have indicated that they support the Council’s traffic calming policy.  The Council has no input into where and when the Police carry out enforcement.

Your support will be considered and included within the final report which will inform the decision. Once a decision has been taken in regards to these proposals I shall write to you again and advise of the outcome.

Yours sincerely

Andy Waddell, Head of Infrastructure and Environment, Land and Environmental Services”

So there we appear to have it – the police are consulted on 20mph limits, but the council have no say in any enforcement.

3.3 Scotstoun/Jordanhill parking restrictions

Back in early April we submitted this letter: GoBike Scotstoun Jordanhill Parking letter 030418  about proposed parking restrictions in Scotstoun and Jordanhill, primarily at junctions where, according to the Highway Code, no-one should park anyway. We got this response from Glasgow City Council on 01 June:

THE GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL, SCOTSTOUN/JORDANHILL, TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER 201_

Thank you for your correspondence regarding the above named Traffic Regulation Order.

The dimensions on the majority of the roads are mostly 5metres, round the corners, this will allow better visibility when entering and exiting the junctions.

Just like any other new parking scheme the restrictions will be added to the Parking Enforcement schedule and patrolled accordingly.

Your support will be considered and included within the final report which inform the decision. Once a decision has been taken in regards to these proposals I shall write to you again and advise of the outcome.

Yours sincerely

Andy Waddell, Head of Infrastructure & Environment, Land and Environmental Services”

The 5m dimension might be the distance back from the corner where the proposed double yellow lines will extend and the City Council’s Parking Enforcement Officers have a growing list of sites to check; let’s hope the frequency doesn’t suffer.

3.4 YOKER TO KNIGHTSWOOD CYCLE ROUTE

You might remember that at the end of 2017 GoBike objected to the shared footway section of this route, currently being constructed to ease access to the new BMX circuit in Knightswood Park, which all has to be ready for the European Championships to be held in Glasgow from 01 – 12 August?  We then came under some pressure to remove our objection and on 10 January we went in to meet City Council staff, following it up with this letter: GoBike Yoker to Knightwood Redetermination Withdraw objection 110118

On Sunday 03 June the GoBike monthly ride included a visit to see all the works that are being constructed and here’s the resulting e-mail we have now sent in to GCC:

“To: land@glasgow.gov.uk, Brown, Andrew (LES) <Andrew.Brown@glasgow.gov.uk>

Andrew, hello,

You will remember that at the end of last year GoBike was under some pressure to remove our objection to the proposals for the Yoker to Knightswood cycle route?  Further to our meeting with you on 10 January this year, we withdrew that objection, with some reservations outlined in the letter we submitted, copy attached for reference.

Last Sunday, 03 June, the monthly GoBike ride included a view of the works to date, cycling up Dyke Road, along Alderman Road, Lincoln Avenue and finally Archerhill Road before continuing on our route north.
It was clear that there is a lot of work to be done before August when the Games take place, but we note 2 points of concern, both on Archerhill Road:

  1. Access from the segregated cycle lanes to the footway at the bus stop where the route becomes a shared footway:  the “dropped” kerb is of uneven height and needs to be flush with the road surface; one of our group came off their bike here – fortunately with only minor injuries, but we do not wish this to happen again.
  2. Footway parking on the shared footway section; this was a concern when we met you and, unfortunately our fears were well-founded.  From the bus stop going west there was continuous parking part on the footway, with drivers apparently assuming that the white line denoting the 0.5m buffer strip was the edge of the parking area!  0.5m, the Absolute Minimum according to Cycling by Design, has never been a realistic dimension and it is only those of us who are aware of your Design Guide who would recognise it as such.  Could you now arrange for planters, or some other suitable barrier, to be placed in this buffer zone, to ensure that no-one cycling along this shared footway is hit by a car door being opened in their path?

With best wishes,

Tricia Fort for Consultations, GoBike, Strathclyde Cycle Campaign, www.gobike.org  “

So, lots for you to ponder over and get those fingers typing and yes, if you are wondering, we are getting, and responding to, far more consultations than previously. We are including the initial consultations rather than just the Traffic Regulation Orders and also extending out of Glasgow a little and this means that now, in June, we have responded to as many in 2018 as we did in all of 2017.

Join Ziya as he cycles for Amnesty from Land’s End to John O’Groats, staying with a GoBike member on the way

Ziya Kocabiyik, originally from Turkey, but currently living in Chelmsford, near London, is a member of Amnesty International and has set off today, 04 May, to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise awareness of human rights issues in Turkey. When he arrives just south of Glasgow next Wednesday, 09 May, Ziya will be met in Hamilton by GoBike and Amnesty member, Jimmy Keenan, with whom he will be staying the night, in Uddingston, before cycling the 130 miles to Fort William on the 10th.

It would be great if people could join Ziya for a mile or two to cheer him on his way.  Here’s some information that Ziya has sent:

I have attached some maps and time and meeting locations.  In addition to attached maps, on 9th May, my cycling starts from Carlisle all the way to Glasgow. Before reaching Hamilton, I will be using road B7078 all the way from Uddington (near Douglas) up to Hamilton. I am planning to pass Uddington around at 2.45pm. Please let me know if anyone wants to join me that we can fix a location to meet.
 
Nejdet: 07491 369 298 This is my friend who will be escorting me during the ride with his car. I might not able to answer any call, but people can reach him and found out my whereabouts.”

And here’s some information from Jimmy: “Since he is by-passing Glasgow I thought some of us might like to join him on a small part of his journey. I understand that work and other commitments and timing  will make it difficult for many to be there but it would be great to have some kind of presence from Clarion and other potential A.I. supporters.Ziya and I will be at The War Memorial at the park on Bothwell Road, Hamilton, directly across from Hamilton Park Racecourse at 4pm. on Wednesday 9th. May.

He will stop off for the night in Uddingston and all present are welcome to a wee drink and a blether with Ziya at my house.

On Thursday 10th. May he sets off from Uddingston at 8am. on his way cycling 130 miles to Fort William. I will accompany him as far as Lenzie (if he can wait for me). We leave Uddingston from my house – very close to the cycle route junction of the NCR 74 and NCR 75. I do hope some can manage to join us, either on the Wed evening or on the Thurs. morning.

If anyone needs more details please email me, jadeekee@hotmail.com or ‘phone me at 01698 814824″.

GoBike Monthly Cycle Rides

Happy New Year to all of you! Feeling overindulged and in need of some air in your lungs? Well GoBike has the thing for you… Did you know that we run monthly cycle rides showing routes in and outwith the Glasgow area? Oh yes we do, and we’d love you to join us.

Our next ride is this Sunday 7th January and takes in a 15 mile safari around the inner city, with our annual review of Glasgow’s cycle infrastructure. Planned and led by Andy Preece, each monthly ride has a different destination – see our Cycle Rides section on the website for more info or check out the events pages on our Facebook.

Let’s keep our wheels turning in 2018!

An introduction from one of our new co-convenors – Iona Shepherd

In the second of two blog posts we would like to introduce our other new co-convenor – Iona Shepherd. As you may know, GoBike is undergoing a change in convenorship, as Trisha has decided to take a small step back after many hardworking and fruitful years as Convenor. We are deeply thankful that she has agreed to continue working on the ‘Consultations’ side of GoBike, and look forward to new horizons with her still on board. Here’s Iona:

“Cycling is going to change the world. Er, hold on you say, that’s a bit much isn’t it? Well, it changed my world in the little part of it I started really using a bike to get around in, here in Glasgow, and I truly believe that that can extend to the rest of the world. When I first realised that through travelling by bike, I could ditch the crowded bus, avoid the congestion, yet get to work faster and still not have to go to the gym in the evenings, my opportunities and horizons were opened up and suddenly I’d grown wings. I no longer had to worry about travel timetables, I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted to, by whatever route I chose, and I could stop off wherever took my whim. And I saved so much money on travelling around the city that it meant I could buy even more bikes! Oh and there’s more, I was fitter, healthier, energised and happy in the knowledge that I wasn’t impacting on the environment. And my happiness was fed further by all these other wonderful people on bikes, who’d chat about the weather at traffic lights, encourage me at locking stands, and nod conspiratorial hellos when out on the road. Cycling has given me absolute freedom.

I am aware though, that if you cycle in the West of Scotland you will know all of this, because these are the things that keep people here riding, because as you will also know, riding a bike here can often be really tough. The cycling infrastructure we have is few and far between, and the design and maintenance of what little we do have is decades behind the forward thinking cities in Europe. Our cycle paths tend to meander the long way round through back streets, taking us away from our desire lines of travel. What we need are direct routes if people are going to see cycling as a viable transport option. Direct routes such as the ill-fated and incomplete Bearsway that needed and failed to find brave political decisions to take space away from the motorist. We have a proliferation of shared use paths as the majority share of our cycling network. Shared use paths put people walking and cycling into conflict, they create confusion, they disappear as invisibly as they appear, and are simply not a good design for cycling speeds. Yet even now they are being built as standard into new infrastructure in areas like Govan Fastlink. Cycling around our networks, it is clear that very few of our paths join up, and we are often spat out with no consideration into busy roads. Some roads provide non-enforcable bike lanes in paint, often in the door zone, offering no protection and in many ways actually putting us in greater danger. Maintenance of the parts of the network we do have is given very low priority within our councils, where leaves can render some parts unusable during Autumn, ice, the same during Winter, and glass, potholes and parking are rife within our cycling spaces during the rest of the year. Our car-centric provision and attitudes can make folk on bikes feel very unwelcomed on our roads. Put in short, it’s not always pretty out there.

But things are slowly improving, thanks in a large part to cycling campaigners in organisations such as GoBike who have given up their free time and put in masses of work and effort into fighting for cycling to be considered and for better design. It is starting to feel like our voices are being heard in parliament and by some forward thinking councillors, and even out on the roads I am starting to see a difference not only in the improved design of lanes such as the South West City Way, but in the number of cyclists out using them all year round. I’m so excited that one of my main commuting routes up Victoria Road is soon to become a segregated cycle lane. There are big plans afoot for more people friendly spaces all over the city, in Woodlands, Battlefield, Byres Road, Queen Margaret Drive, and many others.  We have our hands full making sure that these plans have our needs properly met, but that’s a good thing, and it’s why we need your input. Already we have intrepid GoBike members out there working hard on mini-campaigns such as Space for People Byres Road, and Friends of the South City Way. This coming year we are going to need you all to get more involved and if you feel like you can be a part of our movement, you can help by joining our membership and having your head counted to make our voice more significant. Get involved in our conversation on Slack (drop us an email expressing your interest), you can help us write to councillors, show them your local roads, respond to consultations, like and share our social media, write us a blog, tell your friends about us, and engage in some real world action like the Ride for a Better Byres Road. We’d also love to know what you would like to see from us, and how you think we can improve as a campaign. Let us know your feedback and ideas – both Dave and I can be reached on convenors at gobike dot org .

It’s clear that these positive changes we are starting to see are going to take time to manifest onto our roads, and while that happens, people on bikes are facing challenges on a daily basis. I too face these daily challenges and that is a part of what gives me the push to want to fight harder to make the changes better and make them happen faster. I know that my co-convening sidekick Dave also faces similar regular challenges out on the road, and having already worked closely with him on projects like Pedal on Parliament, and Friends of Bearsway, I’ve seen how his energy, smart thinking and innovative approach can be of a huge benefit to pushing campaigns forward. I hope that by working together Dave and I can continue to lead GoBike forward as a force to be reckoned with.

So can cycling really change our world? In a country where 26% of us are living in poverty and 91% of low income families do not own a car, yet our roads are congested and overloaded and our health is putting pressure on the NHS to breaking point, I think the answer has to be yes. I believe that campaigns like GoBike will help to bring about a turning point towards a more utopian and people friendly way of living for us all. Dave and I are both really super excited about becoming co-convenors of GoBike and hope that you can help us guide you to change the West of Scotland to become better for people of all ages and all sizes, on and not yet on bikes. Thanks for having us along for the ride!”

An introduction from one of our new Co-Convenors – Dave Brennan

In the first of two blog posts we would like to introduce one of our new Co-Convenors – Dave Brennan. As you may know, GoBike is undergoing a change in convenorship, as Trisha has decided to take a small step back after many hardworking and fruitful years as Convenor. We are deeply thankful that she has agreed to continue working on the ‘Consultations’ side of GoBike, and look forward to new horizons with her still on board. David, it’s over to you:

Photo: Iona Shepherd

“When I am talking to someone in my cycle campaigning capacity I often find myself saying, ‘Current cyclists cycle despite the conditions, not because of them’. With a small adjustment that saying accurately describes the world of cycle campaigning up until very recently:

Many campaigners have campaigned for better cycle infrastructure, despite the political conditions, certainly not because of them!

For many years the ‘political will’ has not existed for the changes required to bring active travel to the masses. Many politicians in the past have given short shrift to the idea of adjusting the balance of the environment, away from the motor vehicle and towards more sustainable transport. The car has very much been the king in Glasgow and the surrounding areas for many years with the M8 being the greatest monument to the cause.

Despite a very unfavourable environment, campaign groups like GoBike have worked tirelessly over the years to try and improve the lot of those who chose alternative forms of transport. It’s been tough, and whilst the victories haven’t been widespread, there have been victories.

When I helped to set up the Pedal on Parliament campaign back in 2012, I got a taste of that environment, having attended a meeting where a transport minister almost shouted at us for not praising his pitiful attempts at ‘driver education’, and another meeting where a Glasgow councillor stated that he would never set a percentage of the transport budget aside for active travel, as long as he was in post.

However, even back in 2012, the environment was changing. The Times were actively campaigning for better infrastructure, City of Edinburgh Council were starting to talk about a big change in policy. The political environment was changing, all be it slowly.

Fast forward to today and we find ourselves in a very different situation. We have an Environment Minister who not only talks a good game, but actually puts his money where his mouth is. We have the council in Edinburgh spending 10% of its transport budget on active travel, and we have a Glasgow council that actually rates active travel and the local environment high up on its priority list.

Things are far from rosy of course. Edinburgh is still making significant design mistakes in its proposals, ‘Bikelash’ is a very real thing (I know this personally from East Dunbartonshire and Bears Way), and there are still areas where paint is seen as an adequate solution. However, the debate has well and truly moved on, with the vast majority of new cycle lane design proposals including segregated infrastructure. That just did not happen 10 years ago.

The  campaign discussion itself has also moved on, and more and more we are talking about ‘place’ and ‘people friendly’, rather than focusing on just the cycle infrastructure. It’s not about catering for cyclists, its about catering for people and enabling people to make their own decisions on which mode of transport suits a particular journey, and making sure that that mode is catered for.

Personally I’ve been lucky with my timing. Pedal on Parliament was a great achievement and all of us involved should be proud of what we achieved, but that only happened because there were also improvements in the political environment. It also feels like I am lucky in my timing for being accepted as Co-Convener of GoBike along with Iona. Glasgow is in a great position to make big strides over the next few years. Those that came before us have not been so lucky.

Thus, I think it is entirely appropriate to say that Iona and I, ‘stand on the shoulders of campaigning giants’. We are truly thankful to Tricia and all those who have been working hard in GoBike for many years, who have helped bring us to this point today.

We must not, though, be complacent. As demonstrated in Bears Way, something I will be revisiting in the future, there will be trouble along the way and we must prepare for that. As well as being willing to criticise the bad, we must be willing to praise the good, and to help our politicians to make the difficult decisions. We must also understand that not every decision will be exactly what we want, and we must accept that there will be a compromise or two along the way.

However, I am excited to be jointly at the helm of GoBike at what is undoubtedly an exciting time. I am particularly excited to be working with Iona, who I worked with in organising PoP Glasgow. Iona is full of fantastic ideas (far more then me!) and has the drive to take them forward. Along with Iona, and of course the rest of the GoBike team, I will strive to work with councillors and council officers to ensure that we get the best value for our money and the highest quality possible in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. I also aim to encourage more hyperlocal campaigns such as Friends of Bears Way, which will benefit from the backing of GoBike.

How are we going to achieve this? With your help. GoBike is only as good as its membership, so if you care about anything I’ve written about above, join us. Join as a member , join the conversation on Slack (drop us an email at convenor at gobike dot org to ask for a Slack invite) and spread the word to cyclist and non-cyclist alike, that Glasgow has the potential to be so much greater than it is already.

Together we can help to put people and people friendly environments back at the heart of our communities.”

Councillor Tour 10, Govan, Ward 5 with Councillor Allan Young (Green Party), 11 November 2017

On Saturday 11th November 2017, GoBike members Bob Downie and Andy Winter, and Rumina Kakati (who leads rides enjoyed by new, nervous and lapsed cyclists) met with Allan Young, the Green councillor for Govan ward, to go on a tour of some of the cycle facilities in the ward. Committee member Brenda Lillicrap organised the ride but was prevented from doing all but the start of the tour by a puncture.  We were delighted that Allan was available to come out with us and hope that the other three ward councillors will be able to come for a similar tour in future. The invitation remains open . Our route took us out and back from Cessnock subway station, past Bell’s Bridge, the Science Centre, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Govan centre, all the while critiquing the cycle facilities we saw and used, good and bad.

Our start was in Walmer Crescent, a short one-way street with slow traffic, no junctions, and a sharp corner at both ends – ideal for the council’s declared default of permitting contraflow cycling on one-way streets. Not yet though.

Picture 1, shown above: Start – Govan Ward 5 Tour 11/11/17, Rumina Kakati, Allan Young, Andy Winter and Bob Downie at Cessnock Station

Picture 2Map Route taken on Govan Ward 5 tour 11/11/17. Numbered points refer to photograph locations below

Our route initially took us north on the signed Cycle Route 7 along Cessnock Street, Brand Street – now with perpendicular parking for the new flats along the south side, a potential hazard for cyclists on this well-used route – and Govan Road. We able to see the ‘improvements’ being made connected with Fastlink. We wondered about the value of spending money on a grade-separated cycleway alongside a road where the only permitted traffic is buses and taxis – and there aren’t any bus routes. There are much stronger candidate areas for cycle infrastructure spending even when the funding is ring-fenced for work connected with Fastlink.

Our first major hurdle was where Govan Road joins Pacific Drive. At these traffic lights, cyclists are invited to behave like pedestrians and cross Pacific Drive to cycle westward on the north-side pavement. To cross, cyclists must wait for 3 individual sets of pedestrian controlled lights, the first to cross the two lanes of the Fastlink bus corridor (not available for cycle use), followed by lights for each lane of ordinary traffic. The presence of extensive pedestrian barriers makes crossing by more than 2-3 bikes at a time very difficult. The experienced cyclists will almost certainly ignore the invitation to use this crossing and travel westward on the road. Those new to cycling (or with tandems, trailers or cargo bikes) are discouraged by tight turns made more difficult by poles, railings and control boxes, especially when there are pedestrians or other cyclists to consider.

While manoeuvring the crossing we agreed that plans to designate the footway on the south side for shared use (right through the bus shelter, and next to the sparsely used Fastlink carriageway) were a frustratingly marginal improvement, and we wondered why no effort had been made to route cyclists behind the Village Hotel to get toward’s Bells Bridge. There is already a crossing across Pacific Drive opposite the Bell’s Bridge path, albeit one offset from the desire line and with yet more barrier/pole/box obstacles.

Picture 3CrossToPavement We were invited to behave as pedestrians and use the pavement on the north side of Pacific Drive (point 1 on map)

It was generally agreed that the new path from Pacific Drive to Bell’s Bridge then continuing along the river in front of the BBC and the Science Centre was excellent. We wished it were possible for the riverside path to extend eastwards under the Clyde Arc Bridge. Back at Govan Road we continued westward and on to Golspie Street, which was re-engineered to accommodate the Fastlink carriageway. This gives it the appearance of a fast dual-carriageway, by-pass type of road, with its absence of active frontages and sweeping turns at the junctions. With the two directions of normal traffic using the single non-Fastlink carriageway it feels like a hostile piece of road for cyclists. This section is difficult to avoid for east-west travel because of the barrier of the lines into the subway depot. The layout of the both junctions on this stretch encourages drivers to make fast left turns, with the potential for left-hooking cyclists. The extensive pedestrian barriers at the junction with Harmony Row hem cyclists in in a manner that is worrying. There is nowhere for cyclists to escape if cars come too near.

Picture 4Barriers Extensive barriers at the junction of Golspie Street and Harmony Row (point 2 on map)

A newish, good quality pedestrian-cycle route took us the 200m from Golspie Street to Langlands Road. This was free of motor traffic and wide enough for cyclists and pedestrian to easily pass in both directions. A useful improvement would be a dropped kerb at the eastern end to allow easy access for west-bound cyclists without having to mingle with pedestrians at the pelican crossing.

Picture 5SharedPath Using the Golspie Street to Langlands Road cycle/pedestrian route (point 3 on map)

On Langlands Road significant sections of the advisory cycle lanes, only denoted by painted lines, were blocked by parked cars on both sides of the road. We understand these painted lanes form part of the ‘active travel access’ for the newly enlarged hospital. Allowing parking in cycle lanes shows that cyclists lack any real status on Glasgow’s roads. Cycle users deserve better.

Picture 6CarsInBikeLane Cars parked in the Langlands Road cycle lane (point 4 on map)

We carried on along Langlands Road to the underpass beneath the A739, the busy dual carriageway leading to the Clyde Tunnel. This underpass gives cycle access to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, but the large amount of graffiti and general feel of dilapidation gives it an edgy feel. This is not a facility most people would like to use at night.

Picture 7Graffiti Pedestrian/cycle underpass beneath the A739 to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. A highly graffitied and unwelcoming place (point 5 on map)

The feeling of dilapidation continued on the west side of the A739 where the first entrance to the hospital had no dropped kerb as well as being very rough, and needing another tight turn to negotiate the bollards in the underpass entrance.

Picture 8HospEntrance Off-putting entrance to the QEUH. Note the lack of dropped kerb (point 6 on map)

We continued north beside the A739 on an excellent shared pedestrian/cycle path which continued along Moss Road. At the junction with Peninver Drive a new pedestrian/cycle crossing has been installed but the timing of the lights was so slow (about 3 minutes) that no one was inclined to wait and we all took the chance to cross when the traffic appeared clear. The timing of these lights needs to be reviewed.

Picture 9LongWait Very slow timing of the lights allowing cycle crossing from Moss Road to Peninver Drive (point 7 on map)

Onward to Govan Road where we noted that parking was allowed by the shops near the junction with Holmfauldhead Place. We were told that this parking can at times cause significant congestion leading to cyclists being squeezed on the road, with drivers overtaking without allowing sufficient space.

Picture 95ParkingSqueeze Govan Road near the junction with Holmfauldhead Place. A busy road restricted by allowing on-street parking. Cyclists get squeezed here (point 8 on map)

A major problem in this area is the difficulty that south-going cyclists have turning west along Govan Road when they exit the Clyde Cycle Tunnel. To cross Govan Road “by the book” is so slow and complex that few cyclists comply and simply cross Govan Road when and where they can. The lack of a simple and safe crossing is simply unacceptable.

Our tour concluded with a ride through the centre of Govan and discussion as to how a dedicated cycle route through the main street of Govan Road could be a significant feature as part of the area regeneration.

Overall we were underwhelmed by the cycle facilities that we saw and used in Govan. Short sections were excellent but on the whole we felt that most were let down by poor design and poor implementation. The biggest issues are the lack of interconnectivity between adequate facilities and the method the planners use to take cyclists across main roads by requiring cyclists to behave like pedestrians and use complex, slow, barriered crossings. These are tricky for inexperienced cyclists to manoeuvre through, and experienced cyclists are likely to ignore the lights and cross as and when they see a gap in the traffic. The perennial problem of cars parking in non-segregated cycle lanes remains an issue in Govan as almost everywhere else in the UK.

We hope that Councillor Allan Young will be able to use the information gained in this tour to inform him in his work as a councillor and as ever, GoBike are here to help should he (or any of the other three Govan councillors) have any further questions.

We have one more tour planned for Friday 01 December with Councillors Cullen and Cunningham around Ward 13, Garscadden/Scotstounhill.  Then, unless we can choose daylight during the winter, we’ll be hoping to resume in the spring – if councillors are minded to join us!

Just one week to go: GoBike AGM and Public Meeting, 29 November 2017

Yes, just 7 sleeps to go until our 2017 AGM and Public Meeting with Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, on Wednesday 29 November.

The venue is the downstairs room of the Admiral Bar on the Waterloo Street section of the West City Way with cycle parking nearby and a NextBike station too.

The upstairs bar will be open all evening but our doors will open at 7pm with the AGM at 7:30 and Anna Richardson speaking from 8pm.

Do come along, renew your membership or join on the evening, bring a friend or two, enjoy yourself, have a drink, ask Anna a question, buy a GoBike t-shirt, and contribute to improving cycling and active travel in Scotland’s largest city.

2 weeks to go – GoBike AGM and Public Meeting with Anna Richardson, 29 November

Yes, just 2 weeks to go until our AGM, followed by discussion with Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction – this includes all things cycling, walking and roads.

In the AGM we hope to approve our new constitution and elect people to be on our main committee and our sub-committee action groups to take projects and campaigns forward.  We are very excited about the prospect of 2 Co-Convenors to take campaigning for good cycle infrastructure in Glasgow and Strathclyde forward, an improved focus on consultations and we are looking for people to help with marketing the campaign and increasing membership.  Do please volunteer to join in!

Anna Richardson will be talking about the challenges of her role and answering your questions about how we take the city forward to be a place for people.

The details are on our flyer: GB! AGM2017

Venue: The Admiral Bar, 72a Waterloo Street, Glasgow, G2 7DA, with cycle parking and a NextBike station nearby.

Date: Wednesday 29 November 2017

Doors open: 7pm (the bar upstairs will be open before then for both food and drink)

AGM: 7:30pm

Anna Richardson: 8pm

Please do come along, bring a friend and share this information.

 

 

Ride out to Dumbarton Rock with GoBike! Sunday 05 November

Sunday 5 November – Dumbarton Rock
On this ride we shall follow the Loch Lomond Cycle Path out through Clydebank and Bowling to visit Dumbarton Rock. At Bowling we will see the latest developments at the Bowling Bridge. After lunch in the town centre we’ll take a tour up to Overtoun House before returning to Glasgow. Note that there will be a couple of short sections on main roads, plus a tricky main road crossing, on this ride.
Meet 10am Bell’s Bridge, Congress Road, Glasgow.
Ride on paths Ride on quiet roads Ride on canal towpaths Ride on busy roads Significant hill climbing
Rated: Go Bike star rating Go Bike star rating
 Go Bike star rating

For further details of GoBike cycle rides see the Cycle Rides page on our website.

Councillor Tour 7, Drumchapel / Anniesland, Ward 7, Thursday 12 October

Congratulations and a gold star to Councillor Elspeth Kerr, SNP, pictured above wearing purple, who doesn’t own a bike but yet cycled 6.5 miles round her ward on Thursday with Anne Glass, from Drumchapel Cycle Hub, also pictured and GoBike Convenor Tricia Fort.  We are indebted to Anne and the Drumchapel Cycle Hub for the loan of Elspeth’s purple bike, shown above.  The route we took, a shortened version of one devised by Andy Preece,  is shown below:

Here’s a guide to the route: Councillor Ward Tour – Anniesland & Drumchapel final

There are some busy main roads in this ward and we cycled on the footway along Drumry Road East, through the roundabouts to Great Western Road, then from the point where we left the canal path up Great Western Road to Knightswood Cross and again at the end of our ride along Drumchapel Road and back up Drumry Road East to the Hub.  There are no cycle facilities on these busy roads and although it is not correct to cycle on the footway, it is far safer for someone like Elspeth, who is not confident on the road.

So, in this relatively poor area with fairly low car ownership, what did we see apart from the lack of cycle facilities?  As Andy points out in his notes, when we crossed from the Great Western Retail Park to the south side of Great Western Road, the footway is shared.  At the Glasgow boundary, with no change of width in the footway, this stops, and people on bikes are directed to the canal towpath.  What if they want to go straight up Great Western Road towards Knightswood?  Tough, and they encounter a lack of dropped kerbs if they do venture here on a bike or they are pushing a pram or a wheelchair.

We went on the canal towpath for quite a bit of this ride, and one has to be aware of pedestrians and dogs.  There are ground lights for part of the way, but to ensure these are effective, vegetation must be kept back.  At Lock 35, we crossed to the north side to look at the garden that has been developed by volunteers, including members of GoBike:

Back on Great Western Road, we noticed that, although laybys have been provided for parked cars, some drivers prefer to leave their car in the inside lane of this 3-lane road!

This picture shows 1 car in the layby, 3 parked in the inside lane, and 1 car actually moving in the middle lane.  This doesn’t leave much room for bikes, or buses.  This dual carriageway, a major artery to the city centre, has plenty of room for a cycle way on each side.

At Knightscliffe Avenue we cut in round the Netherton Community Centre and onto the path, Temple Walkway, which runs from Glencoe Street right past the Community Centre and the disused Temple Swimming Pool to Shafton Road.  The path has a good surface and could be used much more for cycling and walking if it were lit.

Shafton Road took us round, via Avenel Road to the canal, with a steep access path and we cycled west as far as Blairdardie Road Footbridge.  From here, with no dropped kerb to help us down to the roadway, we made our way along Moraine Avenue, and to the path that took us under the railway to Essenside Avenue and more locations needing dropped kerbs:

Here, at the access to the path leading to Drumchapel Road, the fence is blocking the very bit of the kerb that is dropped, albeit only slightly.  So, all in all, this is not an area that is active-travel-friendly, but with much potential for improvement.