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.

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

You can help shape investment in walking and cycling for Scotland!

You can help influence greater investment in walking and cycling by responding to this Transport Scotland survey on its priorities for the next twenty years. If you think that cycling should be given more investment (especially in monetary and infrastructure terms), make sure to fill in the survey before it closes on 31 March.

With thanks to Cycling UK Scotland for alerting us to this survey.

Edinburgh West to East cycle route approved – and Transport Minister’s Task Force

On Friday, 16 December, City of Edinburgh Council gave approval for the detailed design and construction of the cycle route along Roseburn Terrace, past Haymarket and along to Leith Walk to go ahead.  This was reported in the press at the weekend, and it was stated that the views of the opponents to the scheme had been noted.

This is  a notable achievement given the removal of the cycle lane on Holmston Road in Ayr and the setback to the Bears Way phase 2, and it augurs well for the Transport Minister’s Active Travel Task Force.

Humza Yousaf, the Transport Minister, has written to GoBike (and probably other active travel groups) and states that he was disappointed by some recent decisions.  His letter goes on to say: “ I have written to CoSLA, the Regional Transport Partnerships, the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and the Active Travel Alliance, asking for a representative from each of their organisations to sit on the Task Force, which will be chaired by Roy Brannen, CEO of Transport Scotland.  The first meeting will be on 8 February 2017, where the Task Force will agree its own remit, the scope of the issues it will address and a timeline during 2017 for reporting back to me with recommendations.  However, I have asked it to look particularly at the TRO process, how local consultation is carried out and how the benefits of active travel are communicated to decision makers and local communities, and how these could be improved with the help of Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and other key stakeholders.  
I anticipate that your organisation will be asked to contribute to the work of the Task Force and therefore wanted to update you with progress with the development of our plans. I do hope you will be forthright and honest if asked to contribute and that this important piece of work will enable us to identify practical steps that we can take to help us achieve our vision for active travel.”  

We will report on any contact made.