Friday 30 September 2016

My Letter to Anne

I have sent the following letter to my local SNP councillors who voted against phase 2 of the Bears Way cycle lane.

Dear Anne McNair,

As a local constituent, as an organiser of Pedal on Parliament, and as a member of Friends of Bearsway, can I please ask,  what were your personal reasons for voting for the amendment to the Bears Way report at last nights meeting?

Previously you have suggested to me that you support cycling and investment of cycle infrastructure. Thus, I am confused, given the overwhelming evidence for the benefits of cycling, the overwhelming evidence that segregated infrastructure needs to play a large part in a functioning cycle network, and the overwhelming evidence that if you build such infrastructure that it encourages significant uptake of active travel, that you voted against this scheme.

The scheme certainly isn't perfect, however, it is, or should I say was, a big step in the right direction. I had never seen children cycling along that route until the introduction of the new cycle lane. I personally have never felt safer, than when I cycle in that cycle lane. I had hoped that when complete, and my children were at Boclair Acadamy, that they could, on occasion, cycle along with me from Torrance on their way to school. This will no longer be possible.

I am also extremely confused, because this local decision goes against your own parties national policy, with both Derek Mackay and Hamza Yousuf both recently commending the lane at an event where the lane won a national award. The assertions by your colleague Keith Small, that segregation infrastructure is not the way to reach your own parties 'aspiration' for a 10% modal share, flies in the face of international wisdom. I would be keen to see what references you or Keith have for this assertion.

How exactly will people cycle to Waitrose or Asda safely, as suggested by Keith, without segregation? Certainly not with paint on the roads. I can assure you, the previous layout of the road did NOT result in a happy co-existance of road users, as was asserted by Keith.

Also can you confirm for me if your decision to vote for the amendment was indeed a personal decision? I was surprised that your whole party voted in one block, against the extension of the lane. I am no expert in politics, but this looked very much like it was a local party decision to vote against the lane as one group. Was this in fact a personal decision, or a party decision?

I, and many others like me are aghast at this decision (as I stated as I left the meeting room last night). On the face of it you have voted in favour of party politics, and not in the best interests of your constituents, and the future of East Dunbartonshire. This decision will have implications far beyond the authorities boundary, and will as a result have ongoing implications in the areas of health, pollution, climate change, transport inequality, and congestion. Are you happy that you have made the right decision in that regard?

I look forward to your reply, and I ask that you also provide a seperate reply that I can give to my three children aged 11, 9 and 6, who were all very exited about being able to 'cycle through Bearsden and Milngavie' on a safe cycle path.

Yours sincerely,

Dr David Brennan

1 comment:

  1. A first response from Cllr Gibbons?

    "I voted against the second phase. Council officers did not have the information to prove that there would not be chaos. I travel the road continually in my profession as a driving instructor and my gut instinct is that chaos would have been the result. There is no extra capacity on the road and no technical solution to allow phase 2 to happen. I would have loved to see phase 2 happen but the consequences would have been horrendous."

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