Last year Greens warned [https://greens.scot/glasgow/news/9-million-byres-road-plans-risk-a-misse... that the £9 million investment in Byres Road risked being a missed opportunity, with timid plans that did nothing to tackle congestion or air pollution, and that failed to provide the sort of safe infrastructure needed to make walking and cycling attractive and encourage people to stop using cars for short journeys. We asked local residents and people who use Byres Road for work or leisure to tell the council that their plans didn’t go far enough and to support a street that prioritises people rather than vehicles, a street which is clean and healthy with breathable air, and a street which has infrastructure safe enough for children to walk or cycle.
We were delighted that so many people responded and that the council were forced to change their plans as a result. This overwhelming public response allowed Green councillor Christy Mearns to move a motion which was passed by the committee considering the proposals to say that new plans should “prioritise segregated cycle infrastructure along the full length of Byres Road, whilst maintaining wide footways to encourage and facilitate other active travel models.”
The revised design proposals [https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewSelectedDocument... now been released ahead of consideration by the Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm City Policy Committee next week and there are three key recommendations which the committee will consider:
That the carriageway width will be reduced to 6.0m in order to create space for the provision of safe cycling infrastructure and increased footway widths.
That cycle lanes will be footway level or stepped rather than kerb segregated at carriageway level, making the street more attractive and safer for those with mobility issues or visual impairments.
That the Council gives additional consideration to options for increasing parking capacity within the Byres Road area.
Please write to the councillors on the committee [http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/CouncillorsandCommittees/committeeMembers.asp?... and ask them to support recommendations around carriageway width and cycle lanes as these have now been backed by public support and can help create a Byres Road that is a more pleasant place to spend time and safer for people of all ages walking and cycling, with less motor traffic and lower speeds.
However, when we have just over ten years in which to save the planet from climate breakdown, we are concerned that the council is focusing on further provision for cars rather than focusing on public transport. Please ask councillors that they instead investigate how to improve eco-friendly and affordable public transport connections in the area, particularly in looking at the provision of local bus services which are already unaffordable for many and increasingly under threat.