Feedback on Victoria Road consultancy evening

You’ll no doubt remember last Tuesday’s thrilling blog installment looking over the new designs proposed for the southern end of Victoria Road. I’d mentioned that there was an open consultancy evening – it was good to see a good number of folk there! I managed to chat for a reasonable length of time to some of the Land and Environmental Services folk involved in designing the scheme. Here are my takeaway points.

(Which I meant to publish last Friday. Alas.)

GCC will not commit money to the Victoria Road scheme

The council continues to shirk responsibility when it comes to funding development of its own streets, and will not be chipping in beyond providing the LES staff coordinating things. More worryingly there’s no funding yet secured from any other source, although LES do have a list of sources and are confident they’ll be able to sort something out.

Given the lack of cash, we should still praise LES for getting this far. There is at least a project team driving the scheme, some solid initial plans (including some nice animated video of how everything could look – the image at the top is a photo from that), and a genuine desire (at least amongst the council staff I spoke to) to make this happen.

Timescales are long

We’re in an analysis stage at the moment. There will then be a detailed design period and resolution of the aforementioned funding issue. Don’t expect changes on the tarmac until spring 2017.

Local support is fairly timid

Slightly surprisingly, it appears most local people (even local traders) were pretty uninterested in this discussion. Council staff had been out early handing out fliers, but not many had made it into shop windows (although one person apparently ripped the poster up in front of them, which at least suggests they had an opinion to share). Representation of local cyclists was very strong (which is unsurprising given the work space4cycling Glasgow had put in to making people aware of the opportunity!).

Strong support for cycleways, reduced traffic, and cleaner air

People attending the consultation were given sheets of stickers. Green and blue for stuff you want, red for stuff you’re less bothered by:

Citizen feedback on Victoria Road options

(Not a great image, so from top to bottom; good access to shops and ammenities, consistent journey times, safe cycling provision, trees and greenery, convenient car parking, improved air quality, reduction in [car] traffic, improved lighting.)

Note as well as that desire for reduced traffic and cleaner air, no-one cares about car parking. Which is unsurprisingly, given the majority of households in the area don’t own a car.

The design is good

We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that this is a solid design being put forward. I talked more about that in my initial Victoria Road post, but it’s of similar quality to the South West City Way, which itself is streets ahead of anything else in Glasgow.

As an aside, I specifically asked about the width of the chevrons between parked cars and the cycleway (one of my main concerns was how badly car doors would intrude into the lane) and was told “at least half a metre, and ideally one metre where possible”. Which is good to hear.

The goal for south Glasgow is ambitious

Bluntly, this scheme is far too short to make much of a difference to people commuting through the area on bikes (although it will improve things massively for people shopping on Victoria Road). I asked what the plan was to extend the scheme, and was pointed at this map:

Proposed expansion of cycleways in south Glasgow

It’s not the clearest (I forgot to take the good camera…), but this first phase of Victoria Rd is a very pale green to the left of the obvious yellow section left-of-centre. That yellow bit will then be phase two, with phases three and four taking us all the way to the junction over the river by the Clutha (passing the Citizen’s Theatre and Sheriff Court on the way).

The purple phase will link this Victoria Road artery to the South West City Way (in red, towards the top of the map). It’s off the map, but there is intent to run the cycleway all the back to Battlefield, which would draw cycle traffic off the grim Cathcart Road.

Again; good stuff.

How can I provide feedback?

Online survey here, and email here: sustainabletransport@glasgow.gov.uk.

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