Cycling protest in Newton Mearns was just the ticket

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A pretend parking ticket hill climb race designed to protest the need for safer cycling conditions in East Renfrewshire attracted participants on Ayr Road at the end of last month.

As part of a weekend of Pedal on Parliament pop up protests that happened across Scotland, people rode bikes up the hill and delivered fliers to cars parked in the cycle lanes.

The fake parking ticket issued to inconsiderate parkers read: ‘DON’T PARK IN THE CYCLE LANE

‘These cycle lanes are the one almost safe haven for people cycling in East Renfrewshire. When you park in the cycle lanes you force people on bikes into the faster moving stream of traffic. This puts people in danger.

‘Rule 140 of the Highway Code clearly states: Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable.Please help us keep East Ren active travel friendly and avoid parking in spaces reserved for cycling. Thanks!’

Organiser Iona Shepherd from the GoBike Cycle Campaign said: “The cycle lanes on Ayr Road are a popular commuting route for people on bikes.

“Despite the long, steep hill, the popularity of these lanes shows just how important they could be as an active travel corridor if they were made safer.

“Currently parked cars make the lanes dangerous for people cycling and we would like to see efforts made to make them safe for everyone to use. It is really important for our climate and health that we make road conditions for cycling safer so that more people are able to choose active travel.”

A total of 20 cars parked in the cycle lanes were flyered in the space of one hour.

One East Renfrewshire residnet who rode the hill climb race, Joel Cooney said: “The A77 is one of the most heavily-cycled routes in East Renfrewshire and yet the people of Giffnock and Newton Mearns are poorly-served by it.

“We can see great things happening just over the border in Glasgow and we would welcome similar efforts coming from our own council. In the meantime, the least that could be done is keeping the lanes clear of cars.”

The organising group have contacted East Renfrewshire Council to ask that the status of the lanes is changed to allow for parking controls to be enforceable, and for physical segregation to be considered.

“They have also asked for improvements to the layout of the junction at Davieland Road, where the current position of the cycle lanes puts people on bikes in danger of left hand turn collisions.

The winner of hill climb race was Chris Greenaway with a time of 13:50.

This event was part of a full weekend of cycling action co-ordinated by Pedal on Parliament (PoP), who are campaigning to make Scotland a cycle-friendly country.

On Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 of April, “Pop-up PoPs” happened all over Scotland, with dozens of protests highlighting the barriers to safe cycling that people find in their own area.

Pedal on Parliament, who traditionally hold an annual mass ride to protest the need for better cycling provision, are focusing on local protests this year, aimed at improvements that could be made by local councils.

Events happened as far and wide as Inverness, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen and Dundee.