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Police investigate threat to "execute" council staff over cycleway

Message left on Post-It note following heated drop-in session regarding scheme in Bearsden

Police Scotland are investigating an anonymous threat to “execute” council officials over plans for a segregated cycle route in East Dunbartonshire.

The message read: “Where do we que [sic] to execute every here who works for EDC [East Dunbartonshire Council].

It was left on a Post-It note following what the Evening Times says was a heated public drop-in session held last week.

A picture of it was posted to Twitter by a local cyclist under the user name sturmeyarcher3, saying “a staff member was visibly upset by this.”

The drop-in session, over Phase 2 of the Bears Way project, was held at Kessington Public Hall in Bearsden from 3pm-8pm on Thursday 19 November, with the newspaper reporting that hundreds of local residents attended.

Many were vocal in their opposition to the project to build a segregated cycle lane along the A81, a main commuting route into Glasgow.

The first phase of the project, from links Burnbrae in Milngavie to Hillfoot in Bearsden, opened in September.

Last week’s session addressed the second phase which is due to link Hillfoot to Kessington.

One person who attended the meeting described the strained atmosphere at the meeting, saying: "By the time I arrived and spoke with council staff literally hundreds of people had attended to voice their opposition.

“Fears over falling property values and car parking and lack of road space seemed to vex most people, but some residents felt so strongly that they left a written death threat.

"It was certainly a tense atmosphere, at least one council worker had to leave because of the abuse she received. And all because of a bike path."

Council worker Isla Hamilton, whose tweets are protected, reportedly took to Twitter to say: “You never really know how public consultation is gonna go, tonight I was told I should be executed ⚡️#harsh #cycling #segregated #cycleway.”

It wasn’t just council staff who were threatened at the drop-in session.

Dave Brennan, co-founder of the campaign group Pedal on Parliament and who posts helmet camera footage to YouTube under the name Magnatom, said one bike rider had been told by a local present that he would "aim his car at the cyclist if he ever saw him on the road."

- Pedal on Parliament crowd told Scottish Government will increase spend on cycling

In July, Brennan uploaded this YouTube video of his first ride on the opening phase of the route, which was then nearing completion.

In a website post about the project, which is funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Sustrans and Transport Scotland, the council said: “Bears Way is a cycleway aimed at improving active travel, access and safety for all road users. 

“When finished, the pioneering project will create a traffic-free cycle link between Milngavie and Glasgow.

“Phase 1 of Bears Way was recently completed after engagement with the public, businesses and local councillors.

“Previous cycle lanes were advisory and worn in many places, with vehicles routinely swerving onto the lanes and also using them for parking.  

“The new cycleway separates cyclists and motorists using kerbs – increasing safety and reducing risk,” it added.

The council has also posted several videos to YouTube in which cyclists give their views on the parts of the facility open to date. Here’s one of them.

 

 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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