Glasgow wins £250,000 to expand city’s cycling network
Funds to be used to improve cycle routes, making navigating the city easier for cyclists
Glasgow City Council has won up to £250,000 of funding to expand and improve the city’s cycling network.
Sustrans Scotland, a charity dedicated to improving walking and cycling infrastructure, awarded the funds as part of its £15 million Community Links programme.
An initial grant of £25,145 will be used to kickstart plans for a segregated cycle path that connects Speirs Wharf with the Forth and Clyde National Cycle Network, as well as the east-end routes.
The current route from Speirs Wharf to the Forth and Clyde National Network (NCR 754):
Glasgow City Council must now submit programme works and designs for the project, in order to unlock up to £226,310 in additional funding.
Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said in a statement: “The Scottish Government is committed to increasing active travel rates. Since 2010, more than £100m has been invested in the Community Links programme providing grant funding for over 700 cycling and walking projects. The applications demonstrate real innovation and enthusiasm to deliver improved and innovative environments for walking and cycling to take place in Scotland.”
Daisy Narayanan, Deputy Director of Built Environment at Sustrans Scotland, said that Glasgow’s application for funding was one of 225 that demonstrated “the continued commitment from current and new partners to creating safe and accessible walking and cycling routes across the country.”
Glasgow City Council has pushed for greater adoption of cycling within the city, including for those who commute into the city centre.
The City Ways scheme is specifically designed to “help as many people as possible travel sustainably to work, leisure, education and home”, and features dedicated cycle lanes, raised crossings, and connections with other modes of transport, such as bus routes.
A recent University of Glasgow study, which analysed 250,000 commuters, found that commuting to work by bike could halve an individual’s risk of cancer and heart disease, with risk of death from any cause cut by two-fifths.
James Murray, 31, who commutes from Kelvinside to his work in the city centre, has already felt the benefits of cycling to work since he made the switch last August.
Though he admits the winter months can be a “struggle”, Murray has lost “almost a stone. I have more energy, I’m sleeping better, and coworkers have commented on how much better I’m looking.”
He welcomed the news of more funding, telling The New Normal: “I think it’s fantastic. The more money can be put into cycling in this city the better.”
Keith Marshall, owner of Glasgow Bike Tours, said that Glasgow City Council’s efforts to promote cycling have made a notable difference to the cycle network, including encouraging various cycling schemes and providing new routes.
However, he said that there are a number of ways the council can work to improve cycling in the city, including updating green markings for cyclists at traffic lights, making markings on shared walkways more obvious for pedestrians, and clearing foliage from obscured signposts on street lamps.
Asked about future developments, he said: “In an ideal world, there would be dedicated cycle lanes, which would interconnect and allow reasonably direct routes in and out of the city.
“What seems to happen at the moment is that cycle lanes stop unexpectedly, leaving the cyclist in no-man’s land, often at the busiest parts of Glasgow.”
Marshall would also like to see better marketing to educate motorists about cycling, as well as a renewed focus on cycling to work, as “it seems to [have] disappeared from the spotlight somewhat.”
Anecdotally, he has noticed more cyclists using the Clydeside cycleway and West End routes than in other parts of the city, “so there is perhaps still a way to go in terms of getting people not from those areas out cycling.”
He added: “Compared to cities like Berlin and Amsterdam we have a long way to go, but that’s what we must aspire to.”