Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Chalk and Cheese

Nothing for ages and then two buses come along at once.

The same appears to be true of cycling infrastructure plans. Nothing for ages and then today I am sent plans for two different cycle infrastructure schemes. One in Glasgow and one in East Dunbartonshire. 

When two buses come along they often turn out to be going to the same place. When two lots of cycle infrastructure plans come along it turns out they are very different beasts.

First, lets look at East Dunbartonshire.

I have a very personal interest in this scheme due to the fact that it encompasses a chunk of my commute. It is an infrastructure scheme for cycle infrastructure down the A81. For anyone who knows the area it is located between the Burnbrae Roundabout (the one where I suffered my infamous oil tanker incident) and Maryhill Road. The work is going to be phased and East Dunbartonshire have just released some information on the proposed first phase, with plans to start work later this year.

The web page is here, with three sets of plans available to download, here, here and here.

What ED think the infrastructure might look like.

I'll discuss these plans in more detail in a later blog, but effectively it consists of a short section of shared use path (yes I know...), and two sections of two way, segregated cycle lanes. The two sections are on opposite sides of the road and you need to transfer from one side to the other using a Toucan crossing. There are also semi-floating bus stops (the lane goes in from of the shelter, but behind where the bus stops).

Yes, they aren't perfect, but they are a big step in the right direction. Most importantly though, the council are interested to hear your views, that is, it's a consultation and I do think they are listening. So I'd really appreciate if people with experience in cycle lane design could have a look and let me (and the council) know how it could be improved.

Perhaps with your help, East Dunbartonshire Council could actually put in a good, and badly needed section of cycle infrastructure.

Then there is Glasgow.

My last blog looked at some new cycle infrastructure that I spotted near where I work at the Southern General Hospital. It looked pants. Utter pants. Well, that is now confirmed as I've been passed the plans. You can see the plans here and here.

Hmm. How do I summarise this......hmmm...one word. Paint.

What the infrastructure in Glasgow actually looks like.

That is the same old crap that the that councils have been providing for years. Please have a look for yourselves. Maybe I've looked at it wrong. Maybe I've completely missed something, but to my eyes it is not only a waste of cycle infrastructure money, it is a general waste of tax payers money.

All of this is part of the governments spanking New Southern General Hospital project. A new mullti million pound hospital of the future. A hospital which will be one of the biggest in Europe where parking is in incredibly short supply.


So whilst East Dunbartonshire is making a good attempt, Glasgow the city who talks a good game, that is supposed to be benefiting from a Commonwealth Games legacy, and is desperately in need of a shot in the arm to get its population more active, doesn't give a toss.

This isn't a mistake, this as far as I am concerned is a scandal.


  1. The 2nd set of plans, are they actually out for consultation or is it a done deal? Can't believe that GCC think this sort of thing is acceptable in 2014. Who is actually commissioning this crap? I'm going to assume that the people that actually draft the plans are just galley slaves doing their master's bidding, but who has their hand on the tiller?

    1. Just had a closer look at those, I had assumed it was just paint at the side of the road but it's worse. They have put the cycle lanes up against the parking bays with what might be a 50cm buffer zone.

      "Here cyclists, we put some paint on the very bit of road you shouldn't be riding on."

    2. It's being built NOW. See my previous blog in the subject. I did mention to them at the closest thing they had to a consultation that it would be pants. They don't seem to care though. :-(

    3. Again, who is asking for this nonsense? Is this an "executive" thing - LES commissioning on its own initiative - or is it the kind of thing that's put to councillors directly to approve? Someone in GCC thinks 1.2m wide lane painted by the gutter or immediately adjacent to parked cars is an adequate solution, and they're doing it with a straight face.

      These are the people we need to interact with - or the ones we need to persuade that they maybe ought to move onto other duties.

    4. Glasgow council's continuing bone-headed resistance to anything approaching sense to do with cycling is suggesting that there's some very strong-minded person laying down the law, the kind of organisational set-up where underlings can see very well that what they're being told to do is not right, but they're too scared to put an alternative view... So who is it?

  2. First Impressions: Looks like East Dunbartonshire are trying.

    They've done some things right like giving the track priority over side roads but there's nowhere for a car to sit between the road and the cycle track. The dutch bend their cycle tracks slightly away from the main carriageway at junctions. I can't see any mention of width either.

    The examples they used of the floating bus stops (which are an excellent idea) are poorly executed so I hope they don't copy them. There should be a little island so that alighting passengers can step off the bus safely, not a 20cm strip of segregation. An even better idea is to put the bus shelter on this island so its not blocking the pavement. Again the cycle track only needs to bend a little to accommodate this.

    1. Completely agree. I mentions done of these points to them already. Make sure you pass that on to them.

  3. I started reading and saw the pictures and said to myself "Hey that looks a lot like Linden Avenue in Seattle, and it's nice, cool that they're building one just like it over there!" Then I looked closer, and realized, it indeed was seattle (the bike route sign kinda visible in it gives it away) (and the riding on the right)

    But yeah, about that painted parking lane plan...

  4. I've responded to the consultation here:


    (I also emailed the same text to EDC)