I’ve been cycling down to the office in Partick fairly often recently and it’s a joy to make a swift green journey, only five minutes longer than by car.
EXCEPT for this piece of appalling cycle lane, and what follows…
I don’t know if it’s the worst bit of cycling infrastructure in Glasgow but I’d love to hear about any that are worse.
From Shawlands I can use back roads and the Shields Road quiet cycle route and subsequent cycle lane. Then you’re directed on what appears at first to be a proper cycleway under the M8. Apart from being a bit ill-lit (there are plenty folk who would not use it at night) it’s not bad – and then it pops out into a cobbled wasteland: technically setts, but you know what I mean: pavé, like in those nightmare Belgian bike-race surfaces for men with cast-iron arses. There is an ever-narrowing stretch of tarmac next to it that almost disappears. It feels like you’re being directed through an old bombsite.
Then you are shoved out through the industrial estate and onto Seaward Street, with the busy junctions through Kinning Park and on towards the BBC, all mobbed with traffic straight off the motorway, and some terrible road surfaces.
Now I’m pretty road-hardened, and can tackle the worst of junctions, but I don’t particularly like this bit of road: it’s busy, congested, there is painted-on cycle lane alongside part of it but not much, and until you can swing off past the Premier Inn next the BBC to Bell’s Bridge, you’re on your own. For those more tentative cyclists who we are trying to encourage to cycle to work, get fit, go green etc, this could be a real deterrent.
And like many of the worst cycle lanes we see – the ones that run right next to rows of parked cars, ready to door you; the ones that stop dead, the ones that cars HAVE to go through or be stuck forever at traffic lights etc – a simple cheap solution to much of this is at hand.
First, we could find a trailer full of tarmac and get it down on some of those setts. Some nice white paint to make it look a bit smarter, and even a few planters to make it feel you’re not going through the set of Mad Max: problem solved.
Then we get clever. Instead of shooting out onto Seaward Street, you could go straight on, past Forrest furniture which already has a private road there, down through the fence onto Paisley Road and then down to the Clyde through the Festival Park flats.
There is perfectly good riverside path there, and it would only take a minor excavation under the Squinty Bridge to make it safe for bikes. Except, of course, that for some reason developers have been allowed to claim this bit of riverside as private, fence it off and put keep out signs up along it, so from the Atlantic Quay commercial park to the Squinty is a no-go zone for the public.
Like the true rebel I am I rode along this recently, flicking the Vs at that “private” sign, and it’s just the same as the rest of the riverside track. It’d be good if the city council claimed this back as another rather faded sign says it’s trying to do.
Anyway that’s my cure for this particular area but I am posing this challenge: Is there a worse piece of cycle track in Scotland? Post up, with pictures and description of why it’s so crap…
And this might be of interest: http://bit.ly/2LgPGDJ