Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Activists’ selective blindness won’t let them see this, so…

I’d better mention it so that genuine cyclists are made aware.

I’ve mentioned before the slightly disturbing trend I’ve begun to realise exists, where activists and campaigners appear to selectively ignore any positive news about their pet subject (whatever it may be, this doesn’t just apply to cycling, although that is the subject of this post), while maintaining their stance of “Nobody does anything!” in respect of their chosen subject.

I spotted two news items regarding the growing trend of cyclist, and pedestrian, favour in new transport strategies and plans.

Of course, the grumpy activist/campaigners weren’t far away, throwing their bountiful supplies of cold water around as usual.

I think the phrase I like these days is that “You can catch more wasps with honey than vinegar”, and these whining activist/campaigners are in danger of alienating the people they need to support them by seldom, if ever, praising schemes.

I don’t mind admitting they’ve lost me – and I now only mention them to mock them. I’m tired of their endless whining, and no longer even refer to their web sites. MY EARS HURT!

The news said:

Radical plans to reclaim roads for cyclists and walkers including creating the “most accessible community in Scotland” have won £60 million of Scottish Government funding.

The campaigners said:

However, campaigners Cycling UK said far more money must be allocated.

Cyclists and walkers get more space on Scottish roads under £60m boost

There was a specific feature giving more details of work to be undertaken in Glasgow.

MAJOR projects to improve walking and cycling provision in Glasgow have been awarded a total of £25million.

The funding is part of the Places for Everyone programme run by active travel charity Sustrans Scotland and Transport Scotland.

The money will go to two initiatives:

— Glasgow City Council’s Avenues Plus which will extend the existing Glasgow Avenues project to more areas. The £19million investment will provide segregated cycling facilities and footway improvements on a number of streets leading to and from the City Centre

— The £13million Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Cycling Village, led by Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council (YoKeCoCo) in partnership with the city council, will receive £6.5million from Places for Everyone with a further £6.5million form the council.

£25MILLION Boost For Glasgow’s Cycling And Walking Transformation

Sadly, the latter part of that announcement was greeted with scorn and insults from a group I’m not going to give any publicity to – other than suggest they live to the northeast of Glasgow.

Their response to the funding announcement was not one of congratulation, but of scorn and derision, as it claimed the poor people of the northeast were once again being ignored and victimised, while the money, as usual, went to the well-off and wealthy west end of the city, where it ALWAYS goes.

Yup, THAT’S going to help win friends and influence people (that matter).

I’m so glad I don’t live in that part of the east end of Glasgow – although that lot probably hate me already since our ‘bit’ is actually getting some new cycle routes extending from our area into the city centre, with work on the first phase due to start soon.

They (and many others) need to move on, not stay stuck with their outdated, whining, and even aggressive views.

I need to stop their attitude making me feel as if this is how people see me when I go out on my bike these days.

Seriously – I cycle at about 7 mph when around people on paths, yet they STILL feel the need to tell their children to move out of my way, or get between me and them, even if 2 metes or more away.

Cycle Path

Cycle Path hint

Update

There was more on the policy published later.

While I understand, and don’t disagree (as opposed to agreeing with) the priorities listed in the article, ministers and interested parties should take care over how they address discriminatory policies which will be created by this policy.

While everyone generally applauds things such as ‘Positive Discrimination’, like the activist/campaigners I mentioned above, they also tend to turn a blind eye to the consequences of that ‘Positive Discrimination’, and ignore or forget those who are consequently discriminated against, and suffer ‘Negative Discrimination’ as a result.

There is seldom, if ever, any reporting, analysis, or consideration for them.

Walkers and cyclists to get priority over everyone else on the roads in developing Scotland’s transport, writes Alastair Dalton

Scotland’s latest transport blueprint was not launched with vague notions but a very clear signal about the direction of travel. What must be one of the biggest single cycling and walking announcements to date accompanied the publication of the new National Transport Strategy last week.

A total of £60 million will be spent on what will effectively be the transfer of road space from motor vehicles to cyclists and walkers.

Five projects to provide segregated lanes for cyclists and pedestrians in Arbroath, ­Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth will be funded by narrowing roads, including dual carriageways. It comes two years after a contest for similar schemes saw all five shortlisted projects being approved. Only one winner had been expected, in line with previous rounds.

In what may infuriate those wedded to their cars, the Scottish Government’s new strategy also includes an inverted pyramid to illustrate its “sustainable travel hierarchy” – showing where the priorities now lie.

This has walking and “wheeling” – wheelchairs – at the top, with cycling beneath, then public transport such as buses and trains, ­followed by taxis and ‘shared transport’ like minibuses, and cars at the bottom.

The document makes it quite clear who will come first: “We will embed the hierarchy in decision making so that walking, cycling and public and shared transport are promoted and take precedence ahead of private car use.”

Scottish ministers’ new transport priorities put lone drivers at the bottom

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09/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

New east end cycle route – I put my foot in it!

It’s remarkable – all I have to do is make a statement about something…

And I’ll be given the equivalent of ‘A poke in the eye with a sharp stick’.

Yesterday, while considering the ambitious plans for new parks and other goodies running from the river to Kelvingrove Park, I mentioned that plans for a cycle route along London Road seemed to have sunk without trace, after being expected to see a start as early as the second quarter of 2019.

I’m thinking of one project local to me, which I was following, and looked as if it would be underway by now (middle of 2019), but has seen no activity, or apparently any update info regarding its progress, or not.

Sooner, rather than later please (I’m looking at backers as I say that, NOT the council).

Of course, as soon as I committed my thoughts to print, in less that 24 hours I was proved wrong.

Construction on phase one of new sections of the East City Way is due to start at Mount Vernon, in January 2020 and be completed by June 2020. Applications for funding to progress phase two and three designs have been made to active travel organisation Sustrans.

The plan is for East City Way to stretch for seven kilometres from Bridgeton to Mount Vernon, with work carried out over the next three to five years.

NEW 2.2-Kilometre Segregated Cycle Route Proposed For Glasgow’s South Side

Ah well, I may have been a day early with my negative thoughts, but at least the East City Way looks as if it is going to arrive, if a year later than expected. And anything up to another six years for the rest!

Guess I’ll just have to wait that little bit longer before this view becomes a reality.

Proposed Layout London Road

Proposed Layout London Road

 

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry for mentioning cycling again

I feel I have to apologise for some fairly frequent mentions of cycling, which I almost don’t even want to do for fear of sounding like a fan, or worse, a damned activist!

But there just seems to be a lot happening all of a sudden, and this year seems to be very busy already.

Maybe it’s just our ‘heatwaves’ bringing more people out of doors.

My usual routes are already busier than last year – I think I’ve already passed more other cyclists this year than I did last year.

Also notable is the number of Nextbikes (the hired ones), which I hardly saw in use last year, this year already seem to be all over the place.

But what I really wanted to mention was the response to the impending completion of reorganising Sauchiehall Street, to encourage pedestrians and cyclists, and discourage motor vehicles.

For the past couple of years, there was a disappointing level of negativity and adverse comment about the proposals and the work, with some suggesting it wouldn’t work for various reasons, and that it would be the death of many shops in Sauchiehall Street as people deserted it because of the changes.

Seems the naysayers (dare I say “As usual”) were wrong, and it seems that actual traders there are relatively happy.

A number of Glasgow businesses have spoken out about the ongoing Sauchiehall Street Avenues project, praising the impact it has had.

The £115 million Avenues programme, piloted in Sauchiehall Street, will upgrade at least 17 key streets across the city centre over the next six years until 2025.

Work in this area, which extends pavements and cycle lanes and reduces space for vehicles, is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Now, some of Sauchiehall Street’s main business people have praised the project, claiming it will transform the area.

Brian Fulton, co-director and co-owner of the Garage nightclub and chair of the Sauchiehall Street Avenue Project, said: “I think it’s really going to make a big difference to how we use the street going forward.

“Back before the bid started people were really negative about the streetscape in the public realm so we spoke to businesses about what they would want from a street and public realm improvements was the main, overriding thing.

“With the set up of the bid, it put us in a good position to lobby to have this as the first pilot project of the Avenues project and you can see here today the difference it’s made to the streetscape compared to how it was four, five years ago.”

The scheme, which will introduce green infrastructure, extend pedestrian walkways and reduce space for vehicles, have been separated into three blocks – A, B and C.

Block A includes the Sauchiehall Street development but will also oversee the transformation of Argyle Street, Dixson Street and St Enoch’s Centre into a pedestrian and cycle friendly city.

The Underline, which will connect the West End to the city centre via St George’s Place, Phoenix Road and New City Road, will promote similar routes.

Businesses speak out on Sauchiehall Street’s ongoing Avenues project

Why wouldn’t anyone want what this is delivering?

Sauchiehall Street was an ancient mish-mash of outdated layouts and systems until this came along – I didn’t even bother walking along there just for a look. Seeing traffic trying to use the old layout made me glad I wasn’t trying to drive there.

More

The current changes seem set to become still further enhances, with almost £300 k set to be released for more improvements.

Glasgow councillors are expected to support a plan to pump almost £300,000 into footpath improvements on one of the city’s main streets.

City chiefs can approve the use of the money on Sauchiehall Street , as part of the ongoing Avenues programme, when they meet on Thursday.

It has been generated from developer contributions, where private companies behind city centre projects commit funds to public realm schemes.

The £290,000 of funding, from a private development at Buchanan Street/Bath Street, will go towards footway works on the northern side of Sauchiehall Street, between Charing Cross and Rose Street.

Councillors set to back £300,000 plan for Sauchiehall Street footpaths

I was there last week, just for a look, and there’s still quite a bit of work to be completed, but most of the changes have been made and it’s possible to see what the finished street will look like.

My only gripe remains the same – that black tarmac laid for the cycle path is terrible.

The contractor should be sent back in to smooth it off, at THEIR cost.

The surface ripples make it shooglier than the block paving around it!

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

19/05/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is it OK to complain a little about Sauchiehall Street avenues?

I’ve mentioned the project to revitalise Sauchiehall Street via the ‘Avenues’ project, and the sound of irritating whining coming from a few special interest groups who think they deserved special treatment – and didn’t get it (in their opinion).

So, I’m a bit wary of making a complaint myself, but if I don’t, who will?

The project is nearing completion, and the pic I grabbed a few days ago shows the place is really beginning to look a lot better now that the works are finally being cleared away.

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

But…

There’s an itsy bitsy teeny weeny problem hidden in that otherwise quite nice view.

Not evident in the pic is the slightly poor finish of the black tarmac cycle lane.

I’ve ridden along it a few time now, and it’s not a pleasant experience – in fact, I usually cycle along the line of the left border.

The border on the right looks similar in the pic, but is actually raised, to separate it from the footpath to the right.

Unfortunately, the tarmacked path is far from level, and after riding along it for a while, if you are susceptible to sea-sickness, I suspect you might end up feeling a tad queasy if you stayed on it.

By way of contrast, the stone paved areas are smooth, and don’t suffer from the pitching induced by the wavy surface of the black-top.

Sorry, but I can only report what I find.

I’m not sure what they might have done wrong here, since tarmac road can be silky smooth, so there’s no reason for this to be wavy.

Perhaps they didn’t use large enough compacting or rolling plant to finish it?

05/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Bike Life report/survey turned up on the telly and YouTube

After almost being caught and interviewed by That’s TV last week, I thought I should take a closer look.

Although their channel and content comes up on the Freeview programme guide, they are currently NOT appearing on the feed I use online, which comes from the mighty Radio Times. Not sure why it should be missing, as its predecessor was there in the slot for Freeview channel 8, and That’s TV has taken its place until recently, when channel 8 just vanished.

Since I use the online listing rather than the Freeview option, I haven’t really been following the programmes, and have kind of given up most TV due to the disgusting level of advertising. I see the few programmes I do watch now have 6-minute ad-breaks, which means at least 18 minutes of utter shite shoved in my face per hour with three breaks, and a ridiculous 24 minutes if there are four breaks.

We really are moving to the world of ‘programme breaks’ in the midst of a steady stream of advertising.

However, when I tracked down That’s TV’s web site, I found it had done a video report about the Bike Life survey I mentioned recently.

And you probably know what I’m about to say.

I have to give this a further mention, and rub the cycling activist’s nose in it, as it really does show what a horrible/ueless lot they are.

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Far from the claims in their usual whining about Glasgow City Council (and probably everybody else) doing nothing to advantage them, it shows significant spending (hundreds of millions) and a steadily growing cycling infrastructure for Glasgow. Some might even say rapidly growing, thinking back to the ‘bad old day’, and how long it took to get something ‘new’ done by the council.

I even met some of the people in this video, and I’m not an activist, just interested in what is happening in my own area – they were at an open event, inviting people to offer comments about cycle paths being added (not planned, promised, or debated, but actually being added) to our streets.

And some electric vehicle (EV) fun

I don’t want to digress, but this is slightly related.

I sometimes mention the backward attitude of the UK compared to the US as regards EVs, and spotted an anti-EV gem this morning.

One of the things found in the US is how simple EVs are compared to cars using fossil fuels, with no complex fuel burning engine to look after. Even the brakes are become ‘lifetime’ items, as EVs use increasingly clever regenerative braking to charge the batteries and recover energy. Some say the only parts that will need replacing in future will be tyres and wiper blades!

But, that’s not good enough for the naysayers.

I saw one chap seriously trying to argue that EVs were “Too complicated for old people to drive and charge”, and we had to keep petrol cars on the road for them.

Think about that for a while – he’s trying to sell the idea that a car that has one pedal to make it go, one to make it stop (and even that can be one pedal now – push to go, release to brake/stop); a lever or buttons for forward or reverse; doesn’t need a fuel pump to refuel it, just plug in a charging lead, (and barely needs servicing) is TOO COMPLEX for old people to cope with.

Naysayers are funny people.

Dog And Old Lady Driver

17/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting… Chris Boardman doesn’t seem to agree with Glasgow’s cycling activists

While I have to choose my words carefully, and avoid putting words in his mouth, it seems that someone who probably has half an idea what he is talking about, as regards cycling at least, agrees with me.

I’ve recently become sick and tired of the endless whining coming from those I’d class as cycling activists, who seem to complain about ‘nothing’ ever being done to benefit cyclists (according to them, motorists are the blessed ones), and locally at least, Glasgow City Council is useless.

In recent posts, I’ve suggested they just go away and give the rest of us peace, as we are quite happy with all the positive work being put in place by Glasgow City Council which, far from ignoring cyclists, is installing path, routes, and avenues (to an existing system, which this year I found is pretty good already) for cyclists, which is making it easy for us to cycle through the city centre with surprising ease.

Before I started doing that, I read the comments of various ‘activists’ and forums on cycling in Glasgow – and was scared out of my wits by them.

Now, I’m coming close to almost 2,000 miles, which means crossing the city centre (or along its edge) on almost every trip to places like Riverside and Kelvingrove (from the far east end), and I wish I had NEVER looked at their clearly biased comments.

Boardman was featured in a short local article.

A former British cycling champion has praised Glasgow for ‘sorting out’ the city’s cycle lanes.

Chris Boardman, an Olympic gold medal winner and Tour De France competitor, said the city council’s plans for Sauchiehall Street should be praised.

Writing on Twitter, the 50-year-old said: “Kudos to Glasgow, quietly getting on with sorting itself out any UK City not prioritising is soon going to find themselves a less desirable place to live…”

Former cycling champion praises Glasgow for ‘sorting out’ city centre bike paths

I think he said something very similar to my own thought regarding Glasgow City Council’s efforts…

Glasgow, quietly getting on with sorting itself out

The council seems to spend its life being kicked by people who have not actually considered the facts about what they being negative about, and the only thing I seem to find the council guilty of these days is being too quiet, not standing up for itself more forcefully, and getting credit for its successes, most of which seem to be ignored in favour of a few high-profile ‘Bad News’ stories.

A good example are the cycle lanes, routes, and priority cycle lights we have.

I didn’t learn about their existence from the council’s general cycling advice, or comments or advice in any cycling forums.

I found them for myself, only when I hit the roads.

As I say, things are too quiet.

There needs to more publicity about things like this.

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

11/12/2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Wait! ANOTHER project that improves cycling – that CAN’T be right (according to some)

Looks like I have ANOTHER reference to poke the damned cycling activists in the eye with.

I had no idea this was coming, and while they will NEVER be happy unless they are whining about some injustice, or failure, or some such, it does at least poke a fairly large hole in repeated claims that Glasgow, and Glasgow City Council is somehow ‘ignoring’ cyclists (and road users other than car drivers).

They’re getting boring (like a broken record), and irritating (also like a broken record).

This item has featured in the news twice in the past few days.

Work has begun on the next step of a major regeneration project in Govan.

The £750,000 public realm improvement project has been funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal and Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative.

It is part of a wider project to transform Govan which has seen Glasgow City Council invest £90 million in the area since 2006.

“This public realm investment does a number of things; it protects the heritage of a historic area, improves the very fabric of the heart of Govan and puts in place the building blocks so it is ready to thrive from plans to make Govan a more desirable location for innovate and creative businesses and workers, not least the new bridge to Partick.

“In short, it makes Govan a more attractive place for its residents and those doing business there.”

The work is due to finish in May 2019.

Work begins on major regeneration project in Govan

WORK has started on £750,000 of public realm improvements in Central Govan.

Enhancements are being made in the area of the Govan Old church and adjacent to the Pearce Institute and Govan War Memorial, as well as on Pearce Lane, Burleigh Street and Langlands Road connecting to Langlands Path.

The project ties in with the forthcoming Govan to Partick pedestrian and cycle bridge, and will be a key link in the proposed active travel network running between Byres Road and the University of Glasgow over to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

A segregated bike lane will be installed to allow cyclists to travel to, from and through Govan more easily, linking the landing point of the Govan to Partick bridge at Water Row with the Langlands Path cycle route leading to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

PUBLIC Realm Project Underway In Govan

I haven’t looked in detail at the route described, although from past studied I did on old building in the area, and the fact that I can already get almost from my front door to Glasgow University almost exclusively on cycle paths and cycle routes, I know this means I will be able to cycle to Govan on such routes next year.

Next year… that’s only 2019!

And that’s kind of nice, since I haven’t been there for years.

A computer-generated image of some of the changes in Govan

A computer-generated image of some of the changes in Govan

05/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Fascinating survey and report on Glasgow cycling spotted

I came across a survey and report on cycling in Glasgow that shows a remarkable degree of support not only for making cycling safer, but also for providing more opportunities for people to cycle.

It’s taken me a ridiculous three years to become a regular cyclist, but most of that wasn’t by choice, and I would grudge the first lost two years but for the fact that the routes I have enjoyed finding this year were only completed recently, as part of the city’s plan to improve cycling access.

I can, for example, go from the east end all the way to Pollok Country Park almost completely on cycle paths, and some of the road parts are already set to be given paths early in 2019.

THE UK’s most comprehensive study of cycling in cities found that eight out of ten people asked in Glasgow (82 per cent) supported building more protected roadside cycle lanes — even when this could mean less space for other traffic.

The Bike Life report, the first of its kind in the city, also found that cycling was seen as the least safe way of travelling around the city with 79 per cent of people thinking that safety needed to be improved.

Run by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with Glasgow City Council, Bike Life is part of a wider piece of research by Sustrans covering 15 cities across the UK, assessing cycling development, attitudes and behaviour.

A representative sample of more than 1,100 residents in Glasgow was interviewed to find out more about cycling habits, satisfaction, and the impact of cycling in the city.

Despite concerns over safety, more than two thirds (67 per cent) reported that more people riding bikes would make Glasgow a better place to live and work whilst over three-quarters (78 per cent) of Glasgow residents said they would like to see more money spent on cycling.

RESEARCH Shows Strong Support For More Glasgow Bike Lanes

The full report can be found here

While I found the report itself plausible and well-prepared, I’m afraid I can’t say the same whenever I come across cyclists described as ‘keen cyclists’ (by whatever terms).

As soon as such descriptions appear, I feel it’s not long before I’ll be hearing or reading comments against cars or non-cycle traffic.

The article referred to above ends with the para…

Dr Paula Regener, who lives and works in Glasgow, attended the launch of the Bike Life report as she is a keen cyclist.

The 31-year-old researcher at Glasgow University says that the bike is her main mode of transport and, as well as using it to travel round Glasgow, she has recently started taking her young daughter, Harriet, in a trailer with her when on holidays.

Paula says she feels Glasgow has a lot of potential to become a world-leading city where cycling is the way to get around.
“I feel that much more people want to cycle in Glasgow but that there is not enough cycling infrastructure available,” she explained.

“We need segregated cycle paths on all major roads and sheltered cycle parking for people who live in tenement buildings just to name a few things.”

She added: “Now that I have a young daughter, I have become even more aware of the poor air quality on Glasgow’s streets and cannot believe that the city centre is still gridlocked with cars.”

I’m sorry, but as someone who has used the streets of Glasgow since the 1980s I simply cannot accept the endless whining about poor air quality. While it may not meet recent low numbers set in current standards, the air quality in Glasgow is nowhere near the horror it was not all that long ago.

And, as someone who now surprises even himself by cycling home through ‘Rush Hour Glasgow’ at 5 and 6 pm, I can’t see anything to justify stating “the city centre is still gridlocked with cars”.

Granted it may be very busy at those periods IF you cherry-pick the peak streets you WILL find a lot of traffic trying to fit into only a few roads. And we could argue about the reasons for that until the cows come home.

But away from those key routes, the roads can be shockingly quiet, even at peak times.

By way of example, I no longer use the Clyde Walkway (Cycle Route 75) to bypass the city centre, it’s just too slow.

And I’ve met some horrible cyclists on it. Drivers in Glasgow are actually more polite and accommodating than a number of ‘Fellow Cyclists’ I’ve encountered there.

So far, the only drivers I’ve witnessed being abusive were being provoked by angry (or stupid) cyclists (the type that ignore traffic light, or cycle with no lights).

‘We’ really need to get our house in order.

I don’t want to end up getting hate mail from activists, so I’m afraid I’m not going to include a YouTube video I saw recently, where a cyclist showed ONE ride and followed it with a list of almost THIRTY offences he claimed were committed against him by drivers (and that he handed it into the police, but didn’t tell us the result).

All I saw in the video was a cycling moron upset by not being able to cycle without braking, and apparently looking for opportunities to provoke drivers, and swear at them, even turning around and going back to give them a few colourful word and ‘advice’.

One commenter summed the video up with…

“Angry Scotsman Goes For a Bike Ride!”

Angry Scot

28/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Sauchiehall Street changes finally start to take shape

I think this is the first time I’ve taken a look along Sauchiehall Street, and actually felt as if I can see some shape to the revised layout with its widened footpath, cycle lanes, and controlled traffic zones forming a major regeneration of the area.

Pardon the expression, but it really has (inevitably) just looked like one giant road works for months, with no impression of what was coming.

If you aren’t aware of why the whole of Sauchiehall Street appears to one big road work area (complicated by the fallout from the fire at the Mackintosh Building, which clearly added to the existing disruption), this article summarises what we are expecting to arrive: City council plan to transform Sauchiehall Street, Charing Cross and Garnethill moves forward

Sauchiehall Street Avenue Works

Sauchiehall Street Works

In some ways it’s been a shame to see special interest groups, who have been consulted and catered for, appearing to whine on endlessly about being ignored, especially when aspects of the work have not been conjured up out of thin air, but have been applied after consulting similar development already in place in other countries.

I’m NOT going to mention any group in particular, just mention that I get the impression that they ALL seem to think THEIR group should be given priority over the others, or even that they are being ignored.

Clearly silly, and not practical.

But it is a shame how few of them seem to have the word ‘compromise’ in their vocabulary.

It’s almost as if they believe that if they concede anything, that will be seen as excuse to walk all over them, or just ignore them.

I used to think the council was justifiably criticised in the past.

Nowadays, I look at the complaints, and the council’s response.

Now I think the council is the one mostly getting the raw deal at the hands of agenda led groups and activists, single issue campaigners whose attitude seems to be “Our way or no way!”

Update

If it wasn’t obvious from my pic above (and the great big sacks already sitting in them), those numerous holes in the road were for tree planting.

That’s already underway.

IN Pictures — Root And Branch Change On Sauchiehall Street Gathers Pace With Tree Planting

17/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

East City Way drop in event was… interesting

I actually made it to the ‘Public Drop in Event for the East City Way‘ (ECW) last night, which was unusual. Every time I try to go somewhere in recent weeks, something has happened to make it impossible.

It was both interesting and, in certain respects, sad, depending on your view.

When I arrived, I noted two road bikes secured at the door (they were the source of the sad part, for me at least).

The Project Team provided a fair amount of info not immediately available online, mostly with regard to the future development of this route, and its financing.

The cost is currently probably in the order of £1.5 million, but this will be made up with contributions from Sustrans, and Lottery funding, so the team will probably have to raise only around £600 k.

The timescale for this phase (Phase 1 as detailed previously) seems to be quite fast, with the various planning and approval stages roughly set to by completed this year, and work underway for early 2019, which is not that far away. I’m being deliberately vague, as this is still at consultation, but it seems there is pressure to get this started as this area is considered to have been neglected and lagging behind others, so “those upstairs” want to see progress made here.

While it depends on funding, and how much each phase achieves, I gather that the whole project could include a total of 7 or 8 phases to complete the ECW. This would join the West City Way (I mentioned using this in the previous post), the South City Way (which I haven’t reached – read about it here, and also the North City Way, which I hadn’t even heard of, but is part of the overall cycling project.

There’s not much about the North City Way yet but I found this from Sustrans:

North City Way, which aims to deliver a mainly segregated walking and cycling route from Milton into Glasgow City Centre, via Ashfield, Cowlairs, Keppochhill and Sighthill.  It will use a vehicle-free bridge over the M8 and a new bridge over the Glasgow to Edinburgh railway, creating a quiet and safe route to the City Centre for people on bikes and on foot from the north of the city and beyond.

While I had arrived not expecting much, I came away impressed by the team behind this project, their knowledge, and their enthusiasm.

The one I spoke to reckoned about fifty people had turned up, which he suggested was good for such an event.

In recent years, I’ve become increasingly disappointed by the image projected by those promoting the cycling agenda, suggesting that they are being ignored, and that little or nothing is being done by ‘Them’ (whoever ‘Them’ is).

I found it sad that the two owners of the road bikes I mentioned at the start were giving the team a hard time, but they responded with patience and courtesy, despite being forced to answer what seemed to amount to the same questions being asked by those riders time after time (and I wandered around the room for about an hour).

What was ‘sad’?

When I arrived, one of the team was explaining the proposed traffic light phasing on the Mount Vernon Avenue junction. This looks tough, but since the M74 took most of the traffic away, it’s mostly deserted.

It seems that each arm of this junction would be given individual priority by the light, so there would be no crossing traffic streams.

When I arrived, one of the road bike owners had been going on at length about how this junction did not have a single priority path through it for cyclists. The team member explained how the engineers had to cater for all users, and this was based on the numbers using the junction.

Half an hour later I looked in the same discussion, and the same woman was still pointing out that there seemed to be no priority route through the junction for cyclists.

My compliments to the team member, who was calmly going over the engineering, phasing, and timings of the traffic lights on this junction, again.

Another team member was being told how dangerous the junction was, and how she had video of a friend who was bullied off it by a lorry. I was too late to hear the details, but I live there, pass the junction frequently, and despite its apparent complexity, have yet to see an incident. She also wanted to know if the team had taken account of the increased traffic and hazard from the traffic from the (as yet non-existent) small housing development at the Daldowie Doocot. I was going to mention that development, then decided I couldn’t be bothered after reading various objections (see how I avoided using the word ‘daft’ there).

Hamilton Road and London Road are like traffic deserts now, since the M74 opened and sucked all the traffic from them.

I’m still amused by being able to stand in the middle of either, look both ways, and see NO traffic in either direction – a huge change from the past when it was, as we say, “Like Sauchiehall Street”. Even that is a shadow if its former self – I cycled along it once (bad planning) and wondered where all the traffic was!

Regardless of the detail (I honestly don’t care), if this is Phase 1 of 7 or 8, I just want to see it underway and completed.

Get the damned cycle route in place first (it’s hardly as if it some sort of incompetently designed project), then worry about tweaking it, IF any major problem appear in practice.

Like Formula 1… I love F1, but will never describe myself as an F1 fan as they are the biggest bunch of whiners and moaners I’ve come across, constantly complaining about every aspect of the formula, I wonder why they even bother watching.

I’m finding the same with cycling fanatics who promote their agenda, and seem to like nothing more than selectively ignoring all improvements, and just keep whining about how cyclists are ignored, and how NOTHING is ever done for them.

I think some people just LIKE to be miserable.

Here’s a thought.

When this is completed, apart from a few hundred metres from my front door, I will be able to cycle all the way from home to Loch Lomond on cycle paths. Granted those paths vary in type, but that’s not the point. Plus, I’ve only gone as far as Clydebank, but that’s not the point either.

Per the info on the card below, you have until 09 October to add your voice to the online consultation.

Consultation

Consultation

27/09/2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

East City Way set to join West City Way for cyclists – Drop in event at Mount Vernon Primary School

While it’s probably familiar enough for those west of the city, it took me a long time to discover the WCW, or West Cycle Way, which is a great way to get to and from somewhere like Kelvingrove from the city centre. Not only segregated routing, but also priority traffic lights.

I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s pretty good, and much better than rubbing wheels with city centre traffic. It makes a nice change from sticking with the route along the Clyde Walkway, for a bit of variation.

I mentioned part of it here recently.

There’s also a South City Way, but I haven’t seen any that yet, so no comment.

While it’s possible to cycle into Glasgow from the east end on a dedicated route, you still have to get to the start of this route on London Road, at Springfield Road. That’s not too hard if you know the back streets, or don’t mind pedalling a bit faster and joining London Road traffic before Tollcross, so you can avoid the busier roads.

I had been wishing the start of the London Road cycle route started further east – and was surprised to find that there was a plan already pending approval, and described online some weeks ago.

Welcome to the online consultation for the East City Way.

There’s not really a lot of point in regurgitating the details given in the consultation (that’s what it’s there for, after all) – it’s there to be read and studied if you are interested.

There’s also a short survey you can contribute to there.

While it looks like a relatively small project, it actually has quite a large impact on the cycle routes in this area, as it fills a gap in existing routes.

To the west, there is already a segregated route (both by road markings and physical barriers) on the road towards Uddingston.

And, as I hinted above, there is already a cycle route, with shared paths and physical barriers leading from Parkhead (at Celtic Park) to Bridgeton Cross, and onward to Glasgow Green.

There is also this forum:

East City Way (ECW)

As regards this subject, it just has views of this card which fell through our doors a few days ago, inviting anyone interested to attend a Public Drop In Event on Thursday, 26 September 2018, at Mount Vernon Primary School, from 3:45 pm until 7:00 pm.

East City Way - Phase 1 Engagement

East City Way – Phase 1 Engagement

Consultation

Consultation

While I can’t reproduce the view they showed in their concept, I could at least stagger to the end of the road, and take a pic BEFORE the work takes place.

Hamilton Road At Mount Vernon Avenue

Hamilton Road At Mount Vernon Avenue (London Road to right)

 

Proposed Layout London Road

Proposed Layout London Road

The online consultation (referred to above) has complete details of the proposed routes and layouts, with further artist’s impression of the layouts.

This one can’t come soon enough, especially after recent events in near Cuthelton Street (my former ‘quiet’ back street route towards Parkhead avoiding main roads), where someone was targeted and shot multiple times during a house invasion.

On the WCW

There’s surprisingly little publicity or mention of the West Cycle Way.

I never found it when looking online for recommended routes, and really only found the details after spotting ‘WCW’ painted on some road sections (to keep cyclists on route), and looked online to find out what the letters meant.

The WCW has these cycle priority traffic lights on a number of junctions.

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

Cycle Priority Traffic Lights

They provide a phase where only the cycle lanes are given access to the junction, which can be in busy places, such as this one on Sauchiehall Street at Claremont Street. It’s kind of nice to sail across a completely halted junction when these are green.

What’s not so nice are the cyclist who are still sailing through all the other reds, and doing NOTHING to promote responsible behaviour or support for cycling initiatives.

I’ve even been forced to stop and avoid these morons, as they just shoot through the red lights on the road I’m crossing on ‘my’ green.

I believe (from other comments) these lights have sensors to detect the presence of waiting cyclists.

They’re not quite perfect. While this one is fine, I’ve found another in the city centre which does not seem to detect reliably, and can phase around the whole junction two or three times, bypassing the cycle lanes and only giving green to vehicles on the streets either side. It’s not a problem as you and negotiate the junction when the parallel road has priority, but I’m sure some snotty people will point at cyclists doing so, and say they are ignoring the system provided, so should never have ANY provisions made for them.

This route also provided an excuse to convert the former ‘Bridge to Nowhere‘ (a relic of an unfinished part of the M8) into the Bridge to Glasgow, as part of the WCW. This is the approach to Waterloo Street.

Bridge To Nowhere Or Bridge To Glasgow

Bridge To Nowhere Or Bridge To Glasgow

25/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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