Thursday 12 May 2016

Glasgow, A Cycling City!?


Yep, drugs.

That's the only answer I could come up with that could explain a link I was forwarded today. The writer of the article must have been on some pretty powerful recreational drugs.

At first the article made me laugh, but the article was not trying to be funny. Oh no. In fact this website was trying to list...


Great, what's funny about that. Surely it will be a list consisting of quite a few cities from the Netherlands, and Denmark, probably with a few other notable European cities, perhaps Seville, or Berlin. Maybe the odd US city. Perhaps, at an absolute push it might mention London, who at this very moment is taking baby steps, but important baby steps, towards building a segregated network.

It definitely wouldn't include Glasgow. No it wouldn't. Really!!

It did.

In at number 14, one place behind Amsterdam and one place above Berlin, nestled the Dear Green Place...Glasgow.

Wow. Perhaps I've been riding in the wrong parts of Glasgow. Perhaps I've just missed the good bits. Ok, there is teeny, weeny wee green shoots appearing here and there, but they are teeny weeny. Perhaps it mentions the South West cycle route.......OK, by European standards its a bit...meh....but you know...

No. Here is the wee bit on Glasgow.
Glasgow is home to the breathtaking Red Tunnel that leads from Finnieston to Hydro. The tunnel is car-free and offers an exhilarating ascent and descent. Glasgow has more than 300 kilometers of cycle ways as well as a flat traffic-free route that runs from the city, through the quintessential Scottish countryside to the canal side town of Kirkintilloch.
All of Glasgow’s must see sites, including the Gallery of Modern Art, the Riverside Museum, the Tall Ship and the Lighthouse, are easily accessible by bike and within five minutes of a Nextbike station. (Nextbike is the city’s bike-share program.)

Wait a minute!!! A 'breathtaking Red Tunnel'?! 300km of cycle infrastructure? And a canal path? That's what gets you to number 14? Oh I suppose they mention the Nextbike hire scheme...ok, that's a good thing, but that certainly doesn't make Glasgow a cycle friendly city!

So that Red Tunnel...What exactly is it?

Yes, it's a red tunnel with some green and red paint in it, Cyclists are supposed to keep to the green and pedestrians are supposed to keep to the red. It has a few sharp bends in it, it goes up and down and....well, it is a million miles away from breathtaking! That is unless it is the occasional smell of urine that is taking your breath away.

Seriously this is not a good looking structure. It was built because the Exhibition Centre (and other more recent buildings) couldn't be built next to the train station. There is a ruddy huge road in the way!

I actually searched the internet to see if I could find any pictures of the outside of it. I couldn't. Not surprising when you look at the Google Streetview picture of it....

Breathtaking? Hmm.

But this is a minor issue. The biggest issue is the 300km of cycle infrastructure that Glasgow is supposed to have. Let me state this very, very clearly....

Glasgow does not have 300km of cycle infrastructure!!!!!!!

I'm not going to go into detail here, GlasgowCycleMan hits the nail on the head with his analysis, We currently have (its increased a bit) about 4km of segregated cycle route. We have about 70km of off road leisure (some commuting) routes. So we effectively have 74km of any type of reasonable route.

The rest is made up of paint on the roads (20.6km), shared use, like the fabulous red bridge ( of which the vast majority is absolutely pants, 40km of what is called calmed/low traffic routes (40km) which are actually just....umm, err...roads that are a bit quieter.

Oh, and lets not forget the bus corridors. 83km of that. That is, roads that have some bus lanes. We can use those. We have to share them with buses of problems there...ahem.... when there aren't any buses, sure they can be good. They can be reasonable. when there isn't a bus in it, and when the lane is within its enforced times, which it often isn't, oh and where the bus lane is continuous, which it almost never is.

This bit is important..... The whole of the bus corridor is counted as cycle network. I cycle down a bus corridor sometimes on Maryhill Road. Lots of Maryhill Road has no bus lanes on it. That doesn't matter. It all counts in Glasgow City Council's network. Some of Maryhill Road does have bus lanes, lots doesn't. It all counts.

So, dear article writer. I strongly suspect that you haven't ever set foot in Glasgow and, as I suggest at the start of the article, that you are on some really spacey drugs. Perhaps Glaswegian cyclists could do with those drugs and we would all be cycling in Unicorn Bike

......What, you want to read the article in question? Well read


  1. even just starting with Washington. Or indeed starting with anywhere that isn't Dutch. And then the only place from the UK they pick is Glasgow. Right. Obviously. Because apparently Cambridge doesn't exist.

    Hell, the only Dutch place they pick is Amsterdam, which by reports barely makes the top 10 of "best cities to cycle in the Netherlands".

  2. Just paint a picture of a bike on a pavement. Instant infrastructure!

  3. I wondered how fucked the rest of the world was if glasgow was in the top 15.

  4. Hi,
    Good idea to ride European city. For this ride need a good quality cycle. Cycling is very enjoyable things to do. Thanks for your good article.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I love cycling because I think it is best and cheapest means of transportation. Also a healthy life is enjoyed by riding a cycle instead of the car or bike.