Sunday 22 November 2015

Cycle Lane Abuse With a Difference

I'm sorry. Yes, I am very, very sorry.

If you follow this blog you will have noticed I've been a bit....well... quiet recently. Yes, I've been a wee bit distracted. Yes, cycling is very important to me, but it had to take a back-seat whilst I work on a different project. If you are interested, you can find out more about it, here ( I'm very excited about this one!

Anyway, enough of that, I'm back. I'll be honest, because of my new working status (two jobs part time), I might not be blogging as often, but I will be blogging. So don't give up on me yet!

I'm not back just for the sake of it though. No. I am back because I am angry. I am back because of....Bearsway.

If you look back through my blogs you will see that I've discussed the Bearsway cycle lane in the past. Let's be honest, I've not always been entirely positive about it. There can be no doubt that mistakes have been made. However, since then I've been to two meetings with EDC, one of which was just with myself and a Go-Bike representative, and one of which was a 'stakeholder' event. I've changed my mind.

No, I've not changed my mind about the issues, many of them remain. However, I can honestly say that the council and its employees are really trying hard to deliver an excellent scheme in what is very, VERY difficult circumstances. I really have come to understand the issues that they have faced locally in getting the first phase in, and now that they are looking to extend it (yes it will eventually go all the way from Milngavie centre, to the boundary with Glasgow), the serious issues that they continue to face.

Last Thursday there was a public consultation event. Unfortunately for a few reasons, I couldn't make it. I know a few people who did make it though. I know one of them is going to post a blog about it in the near future, so I won't go into detail, but I thought I'd share a few comments that were written down by locals at the consultation......

...another way of looking at this is that it will be an opportunity to make the road work for no-one.

What about the safety of cars.

Why not give everyone the opportunity to travel on a pogo stick for that matter. Let's be really inclusive.

Where do we que (sic) to execute everyone here working for EDC?

There were apparently more where that came from.

I also know that one cyclist at the meeting was directly threatened by a local resident, with the suggestion that the resident would aim his car at the cyclist if he ever saw him on the road.

Welcome to Milngavie.

Actually, that is a generalisation. I'm sure the vast majority of Milngavie (an affluent middle class Glasgow suburb) are decent folk who wouldn't dream of making comments like the above. But some residents did. Remember, these were not online troll comments, these were real people who turned up at a consultation event.Some of the EDC staff were understandably shaken.

Let's just get rid of the cycle lane and be done with it. More cars is good for Milngavie!!

I was pretty furious upon hearing about all of this. Bullying, threats, and downright ignorance were flying about in abundance. The people involved should be utterly ashamed of themselves, and had I been there, and had I been threatened by someone like that, I would have been straight on my phone to the police. Threats like that, and the one written down, are unacceptable. This is (though not officially) a hate crime. Simple.

I will for my part be doing everything in my power to help EDC with their plans. I will be critical where necessary, but with the understanding that the intention is excellent, the plans are valid, and the possible outcome could transform the area for the better.

They will need your help too. If you feel that the overall purpose of the scheme is good, let the council know, especially the councillors. They are the ones who need to be convinced about this.

I know for a fact that other councils are watching developments in Milngavie with interest, so lets make it obvious that investment in cycling is the future and the dinosaurs are heading for extinction....