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Glasgow bidding for £12 million to convert the city into a mini-Holland

Plans to cycle-proof areas of the city with Sustrans Scotland cash

Glasgow is bidding for £12 million to convert the city into a mini-Holland - with the results of the second round of the competition to be revealed next week.

The council has submitted two proposals to Sustrans Scotland's grants programme - with two, in Woodside and Govanhill, both successful in going into consideration for round three of the bidding process.

The projects will contribute to Scotland’s aim of having 10 per cent of journeys by bike by 2020, and include segregated cycle lanes that integrate Woodlands with the programmed improvements to Sauchiehall Street.

There would also be a major redesign of St George’s Cross with better cycle crossings and secure parking at the subway station.

Councillor Martin McElroy, Glasgow City Council cycling spokesman, told the Evening Times: "The plans are a credit to the officers who have led us through the bid process.

"Unfortunately in Glasgow the car is still king. It is going to take a lot of investment in infrastructure to change that.

"Woodside has become more and more diverse - there are lots of students and lots of young families compared to what there was 10 years ago.

"If this is successful it will get a lot more people on their bikes."

He added: "I am sure when you think of Holland the first thing you think of is cycling. They have been so successful, along with other countries in Europe. So that's what we're looking to.

"The reason cycling is part of their culture is because of the infrastructure. For me it's a bit of both - getting the infrastructure in place and changing attitudes."

The councillor added that without the funding, the city would still be investing in cycle infrastructure.

We recently reported how the latest objection to the £33m Mini Holland scheme in Kingston, Surrey is that it could prove a target for terrorists. The claim came in a report penned by retired medical professor David Allison, a member of an environmental group comprising residents of New Malden and Raynes Park who object to the project.

Thames Water’s pressurised water supply is contained in four major pipes running beneath the proposed cycle link between New Malden and Raynes Park. The Surrey Comet (link is external) reports how under the heading “security of major pipeline” Allison writes:

“Open public access to this area must increase the risk of damage to these pipes from a terrorist attack by disaffected groups or individuals. Even more ominously, the pipes would be more vulnerable to criminal interference with a view to chemical or biological pollution.”

He also argued that with the area having been a major target during the Second World War, it is “probable” that unexploded bombs lie underground. More prosaic concerns revolve around the destruction of habitats for rabbits, bats, grass snakes, hedgehogs and badgers.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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