Friday, 14 September 2012

Starting a Conversation

I've written a bit in the past about the situation in Glasgow with regards to cycling, and how we are behind Edinburgh in cycling terms. I've also written a letter to Glasgow's new cycling czar Frank McAveety making the point that a lot needs to be done to set Glasgow on the right path.

Frank did get back to me. Here is his reply.

Dear Mr Brennan

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding cycling in the City.

I will be developing some ides for the City relating to cycling - as a general mode of transport, as a recreation and as a sport.  I hope to pull together some ideas for the period ahead that will benefit the City in the long-term.

I look forward to sharing ideas with all interested parties.

Best wishes.

Councillor Frank McAveety

I must admit I wasn't overly impressed with the reply, it came across as a standard reply and suggested that he would be formulating plans without actually listening to the opinion of cyclists. However, I understand from cyclists that have met him that this is not the case and that he is interested in listening and working together, so we should extend the benefit of doubt to Frank.

Of course Frank and Glasgow city council can only act on what they know. They need to hear our thoughts about cycling in Glasgow, about what needs to be done and how best to accomplish it. My view and the view of Pedal on Parliament (and many others) is that to effect change in our urban environments, to actually get 10% or more of people cycling in our cities requires investment. We need to make our roads safer, and feel safer.

To help start the conversation, we at POP are holding an event this Sunday (16th September) where we ask you to fill in a postcard and send it to your councillors (or here in Glasgow perhaps Frank) stating what you think Glasgow should be doing to get it cycling. On the day we ask you to post that postcard and take a picture of you posting it a let us know about it, either via twitter (#goldenlegacy) or e-mail (or my contact page).

Another option is to come along to one of the posting events we have organised. In Glasgow it will be outside the Veleorome on Sunday at 3pm. We will be bringing along our own Golden Postbox to post your cards in.

We will have some postcards that you can fill in, but we are limited in numbers. If we run out, you can always fill a postcard in later.
Are our politicians just along for the ride?

If we let our  politicians and councillors know what the people of Glasgow want, then we stand a better chance of getting it. So come along to the Velodrome on Saturday (or to the other similar events elsewhere if you aren't from Glasgow). write your postcard and pass on your thoughts to your council.

Together we can make Glasgow a cycle friendly city, and Scotland a cycle friendly nation!


  1. All good stuff.

    I probably don't need to point out that "actually listening to the opinion of cyclists" isn't enough. We cycle anyway. The opinion of people-who-want-to-cycle-but-don't is arguably far more important. Of course those people are harder to find. Many potential cyclists may not even realise that they are in this group until the safe routes present themselves...

  2. Absolutely correct Tim. My views changed a lot when I started considering what would be needed to get my kids cycling. I think cyclists can be part of the process, but we need to think beyond OUR needs.
    I don't need the infrastructure. That does not mean we don't need it.