Cycle route ‘a welcome addition’

The new route is unveiled at Scotland Street School ' pic by Martin Shields
The new route is unveiled at Scotland Street School ' pic by Martin Shields

A £1.25 million segregated cycle path linking Pollokshields to the city centre has been unveiled in the first of a number of proposed improvements.

The 2km South-West City Way starts at the junction of Shields Road and St Andrew’s Drive, linking with the Tradeston footbridge to the city centre.

Councillor Alistair Watson, Glasgow City Council’s executive member for sustainability and transport, said: “We want to make cycling in Glasgow as safe and enjoyable as possible. Using kerbing and islands to segregate cycle tracks from heavy traffic flows will help achieve this.

“We know cycling is increasing across the city and having high quality infrastructure will hopefully encourage more people to get on their bikes.”

Cyclists say the route isn’t perfect — but it’s a start. Space for Cycling (S4C) Glasgow is a campaign calling on more protected space on main roads, reduced traffic, lower speed limits and cycle-friendly town centres.

A representative told The Extra: “The route is a welcome addition to Glasgow’s transport network and we’re pleased to see that GCC has made significant increases in space for people on foot and on bikes — but we do have concerns. There are critical sections where people on bikes and pedestrians are forced into very narrow shared areas.

“It’s not the most obvious route; many southsiders heading to the city centre will take Pollokshaws, Victoria and Cathcart roads, all of which remain very hostile to cyclists, and having a two-way track on one side of the road isn’t as good as having two single direction tracks.

“It’s a significant improvement, but it won’t reach its full potential until the network of safe cycle routes expands to join it up with other areas.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed that plans to improve routes on Victoria Road are on the table, with a consultation on lane reallocation and a segregated cycle lane due to start in November.

The Pollokshields route, meanwhile, has sparked debate on social media. Garry Crosbie said: “Great. The key here is making sure that cyclists, pedestrians and motorists are physically and safely separated from each other so that cycling becomes safe and enjoyable.”

However, Twitter follower @ultramontanian complained that the narrower Shields Road is “now permanently full of cars blowing out fumes. In addition, there are days when cars can’t leave Shields Road park and ride because of tailbacks — crazy.”