A proposal to limit cyclists to just 5mph in Glasgow’s parks while the motor vehicle speed limit remains 10mph has left local cycling campaigners flabbergasted.
David Brennan of campaign group Pedal on Parliament told The Scotsman’s Alastair Dalton he was initially “speechless” when he heard of the plan.
He said: “What I think this does is illustrate the regard that Glasgow City Council has for the pedal bike.
“It is seen as a nuisance, an inconvenience, something that has to be discouraged and, if you absolutely have to plan for it, make sure it is added on at the very end of the planning process, as it can just fit around all the other far more important modes of transport.”
The proposed rule would allow cycling only on tarmac paths or roads, designated cycle tracks or mountain bike courses and even then: “Cyclists must maintain proper control of the cycle and ensure they do not endanger other road users. Cycle speed should not exceed 5mph.
“Where permitted, vehicles must be driven safely and must not obstruct or risk causing injury or damage to other road users. Vehicle speed must not exceed 10mph.”
David Brennan told Glasgow’s Evening Times: “Anyone who cycles knows it is difficult and actually quite unsafe to keep your balance on a bike at that speed. Even my four-year-old goes faster than that.”
Jim Ewing, project manager for cycling charity FreeWheel North, thinks such a severe restriction will put people off cycling in the parks.
He said: "I'm not aware of that many cycling accidents happening in green spaces which would bring this on.
"Why should cyclists be penalised any more than runners are? I think 10mph is a more reasonable limit for everyone."
A council spokesman said: “We want to ensure people can enjoy the parks without being caused any nuisance, and park users behave in a safe and responsible manner.
“At the moment, we’re suggesting cyclists stick to a 5mph speed limit in parks to ensure other parks users’ safety.
“We would encourage cyclists and cycle groups to get involved in the consultation and give us their feedback.”
In general, UK road speed limits do not apply to bicycles as they are specifically aimed at motor vehicles. Speed limits in London’s Richmond Park have been applied to cyclists as a result of arguably badly-drafted legislation imposing a blanket 20mph speed limit.
We're indebted to Twitter follower @scotbot for pointing out that Glasgow City Council converted a running track in Bellahouston Park into a banked outdoor cycling track. Here's a video by someone riding round it very slowly to give a taste of life under the 5mph regime.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.