Another success for GoBike! Council’s about turn on the use of evidence to plan cycle routes!

In April 2015 GoBike! presented to the Glasgow Cycling Forum, chaired by Councillor Frank McAveety (now leader of Glasgow City Council) an analysis of Strava data showing where people who use Strava to record their journeys actually cycle.  In our view, if this is where people already cycle, then providing good cycle facilities will encourage more people to cycle.

Glasgow City Council response 2 years ago?  Hmm, interesting, but isn’t it only men in lycra obsessed with speed who use Strava?  We prefer to use “Census and Scottish Household Survey data which includes cycling related questions”.

Hmm, we thought this was interesting too, especially since the Strava data correlates well with the City’s own cordon count data!  So, what have we done?  We have now added last year’s European Cycling Challenge data, generously provided by the City Council, to our analysis and, hey presto, we have good correlation and a pattern emerging.  People cycle on radial routes into Glasgow and they don’t just stop cycling where a cycle route ends!

What have we done with this latest analysis?  We presented it to the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, on 21 February, and he was very impressed with this data – an analysis he had not seen before!  Apparently Transport Scotland prefer to use a “Cycling Potential Tool”, rather than actual data!

We now come to this year’s European Cycling Challenge and we hope that, further to our earlier post, you have all signed up?  Here’s what Glasgow City Council are now saying about the data that will be generated: “Don’t forget, all your recorded routes help all the local authorities improve existing and plan new routes. So record all your journeys whether cycling to the station, to work or just out for a pootle.

Aha, so it’s not just about another accolade for Glasgow – and all the surrounding local authorities who are joining in this year – but the data might actually be used!

If you haven’t signed up for the challenge, please do so now, and remember that it was GoBike who brought about this change, so do join us – it’s easy to do, just use this link:

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.

BBC News – Woman Sexually Assaulted on Pedestrian/Cycle Route at George V Bridge Glasgow


Our post this morning referred to this very busy, but inadequate, route being closed.  Here is what the BBC has reported this morning about the incident:

“A woman has been sexually assaulted on a path beside the River Clyde in Glasgow.

The attack took place on Monday afternoon.

Police officers sealed off a stretch of the walkway beside the Broomielaw shortly before 18:00.

A police spokeswoman said: “On Monday, April 10, officers received a report of a sexual assault at the river walkway near Broomielaw at King George V bridge.

“The area is cordoned off and officers are carrying out extensive inquires to establish more details and the exact circumstances surrounding this incident.””

This is a route that many of us use on a regular basis.  It does not, as a cycle route, meet the minimum standards set out in the design guide “Cycling by Design” and it’s about time there was a proper walking and cycling route under this bridge – and other dark bridges in the city.  If you wish to complain about this cycle route then e-mail


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.

Local Government Elections – Questions to ask at our Hustings, 19 April

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


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.

GoBike meets the Transport Minister

On Tuesday this week, 21 February, Tricia Fort and Bob Downie met Humza Yousaf, MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands at Victoria Quay in Edinburgh.  We spent the best part of an hour talking to him about our concerns to improve the environment for cycling.  The 4 main topics we raised were:

  1. Urban 20mph speed limit as a default, with exceptions for higher speeds.  We feel this, if correctly managed, is “low hanging fruit” and would quickly, and cheaply, improve the environment for active travel.
  2. Use of evidence when deciding on urban cycle facilities.  Too many cycle facilities take little or no cognisance of where people cycle – and evidence of where people cycle is readily available (though apparently not in cycle infrastructure design offices!).  Too many cycle facilities are discontinuous, yet accident data tells us that junctions and roundabouts are hazardous for cyclists – and isn’t this just where cycle lanes stop?
  3. Space reallocation: we need our space on the main roads where we currently cycle.
  4. Presumed Liability: we support the Road Share campaign for Presumed Liability and a change in civil law to bring in Presumed Liability will be a big improvement for cyclists and pedestrians who are injured on our roads.

The Minister was interested in what we had to say, particularly the evidence of where people currently cycle and although we do not agree on all points, progress has been made.

The full text of the information we gave to the Minister and the text of the press release we issued yesterday are given here: GoBike Press Release 22_02_17 part A and GoBike Press Release 22_02_17 part B

Merry Christmas and a happy cycling New Year

GoBike wishes all its members and supporters a good Christmas and New Year – and let’s start cycling with the start of the New Year!  The pictures above and below show some of the people on our December ride to the parks on the south side of Glasgow, at the new park at Cuningar Loop.  It was gloriously sunny, if a bit chilly.  But read on for January …..

January’s ride, and the GoBike rides are always on the first Sunday of the month, is on Sunday 01 January – time to clear the head!  Check out the infrastructure our councils are providing …..

Sunday 1 January 2017 – Northern Delights Infrastructure Safari
For our annual tour of cycle infrastructure we will take a tour of the northern parts of Glasgow, as well as venturing into Bishopbriggs, to see some of the lesser spotted bike lanes and paths, as well as viewing future developments. Firstly we will head over to Sauchiehall Street to see and discuss the proposed “Avenue” works, before passing another large redevelopment at Sighthill. We will look at some local links in the contrasting residential areas around the outskirts and suburbs of Glasgow, and see how well they join up. We will end our tour back in the West End at the University, where large scale works are proposed on the former Western Infirmary site.
Meet 10am Bell’s Bridge, Congress Road, Glasgow.
Ride on paths Ride on quiet roads Ride on canal towpaths Ride on busy roads Moderate hill climbing
Rated: Go Bike star rating Go Bike star rating

For a ride further afield, have a look at our Rides page: and our end-of-April-start-of-May weekend ride, the Way of the Roses, from Morecambe to Bridlington.

Glasgow city core paths and transport strategy

Glasgow city core paths and transport strategy

Thank you to the 50+ people who came along to tonights Go Bike! open meeting.
We heard Sue Hilder, Access Officer and Andrew Brown of the sustainable transport team, both from Glasgow City Council, give presentations and answer questions on their respective areas of expertise about Core Paths and the City Centre Transport Strategy. The evening finished with an opportunity for everyone to add their comments to maps of the city centre and the existing and proposed cycle routes. Thank you to Sue and Andrew for their valuable contributions to the evening and event.

If you didn’t manage to come along on the night, the presentations are now available: Glasgow City Centre Transport Strategy.