Wednesday, 25 June 2014

My Letter to the Glasgow Council Leader

I have sent the following letter to the leader of Glasgow City Council Cllr Gordon Matheson following comments he made on a Reporting Scotland evening news report (25/06/2014). In the report Mr Matheson suggested that the council was investing significantly in making Glasgow safe for cycling.

Dear Gordon Matheson,
I would like to start this e-mail by saying that I am very pleased to see that Glasgow has finally installed a cycle hire scheme in the city centre. It is encouraging to see that the council understands that cycling is a viable mode of transport and is encouraging residents and visitors to cycle within the cities boundary. As someone who has used the Boris Bikes in London to get around when visiting on business, I understand how useful such a scheme can be. The current Glasgow scheme, whilst limited in its geographical spread, is at least a step in the right direction.

However, I was concerned when watching the report on Reporting Scotland yesterday (25th June 2014) about the scheme when I heard you  say that the council was investing significantly in making cycling safer in the city. This is not my, and many other people experience as is demonstrated by many of the comments that have been left on this ongoing petition ( Therefore, can I ask, how much of the councils own transport budget was spent on cycling infrastructure in the last five years? Of that, how much was spent on quality cycle infrastructure, that at the very least meets the minimum requirements of 'Cycling by Design' (a document that is itself in need of improvement)?

I would also like to ask you to look at this video ( Are you happy with the standard of this new facility? Do you think that this facility improves the safety of cyclists, and do you think this is money well spent? Also, can you tell me how much money the council is investing out of its transport budget in the facilities that are being put in place around the new Southern General Hospital?

In more general terms I am interested to know your, and the council's view on segregated infrastructure. Whilst segregated infrastructure is certainly not required everywhere, do you agree that it would be a preferred way of keeping cyclists safe on roads where there is potential conflict with motor vehicles? Do you agree that in general, some space needs to be taken from the motor vehicle to not only improve the safety of cyclists in Glasgow, but also to improve the city centre environment?

I would be grateful to receive replies to the above questions directly and would prefer if you don't refer to previously published vision statements. Unfortunately, I find vision statements do not generally contain targets or milestones and so are easily ignored when it comes to implementation on the ground.

Your sincerely,

David Brennan

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