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Glasgow's £12m "Mini Holland" bid revealed

Plans could be transformative, and Scottish government needs to reallocate more of its "bloated" roads budget to make it happen, says campaigner...

Plans for Glasgow’s £12m “Mini Holland” bid have been revealed, and has had a sneak peak at them.

The Woodside Mini Holland bid is aiming at Sustrans Scotland’s “Community Links” fund to create a cycling and walking network in a city district North of the Clyde. Although Glasgow’s bid is one of five that made it to “stage three” of the process, it is up against bids from Edinburgh and Inverness, and, at most, just two will get the funding.

Campaigners say the plans for a network of cycle routes, linking homes to schools and places of work and leisure, have transformative potential, but rather than cities competing to be one of at most two successful bids, funds from Scotland’s ‘bloated’ road building programme should be reallocated so they can all happen.

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

One Glasgow campaigner, who goes by the name Car-Sick Glasgow, told “The Mini-Holland has to potential to bring about a step-change in cycling provision in the Woodside area. A complete network of Dutch-style segregated cycleways, complemented by filtered permeability on the back streets, would be truly transformative. It’s vital that this is the high standard to which the work is done.

He added: “Unfortunately, the scheme is competing with a number of others across Scotland. The Scottish Government has decided that only one or two will be funded. I’ve no interest in seeing Edinburgh or anywhere else denied its own safe cycling infrastructure; the Scottish Government should fund every single one of the “exemplar” schemes by reallocating money from its bloated road-building programme.”

Glasgow Mini Holland 2.jpg

Image from Mini Holland bid document - map of proposed cycle network

Glasgow City Council’s plans comprise “core routes” linking to a wider network (pictured above).

In its bid document the Council says: “The project will promote cycling not only as the environmentally responsible way of getting around but the normal way. Proposals will link to existing and proposed routes, driving connectivity to academic, social and cultural venues, and local subway stations.”

“The ongoing development of Glasgow’s City Ways is aimed at getting non-cyclists onto bikes through the construction of safe cycle ways suitable for all.”

Glasgow St George's Cross

St George's Cross - a protected bike lane and public realm improvements are  part of Glasgow's £12m bid, and "imperative" to the scheme's success, according to the City Council. Image from Google Streetview

The council notes housing in Woodside is primarily tenement flats linked by quiet streets, making it ideal for cycling.

Key parts of the proposal include:

  • A protected cycle route – a “core route” - from tenement housing in Woodside to places of work, study and leisure, in Glasgow’s City Centre and West End. This would link to a protected cycle route on Sauchiehall Street, which is due to be completed in 2017.
  • “Core links” from the new protected route to the existing cycle network and areas of redevelopment in Sighthill and Port Dundas.
  • “Permeable” areas where residential streets are “filtered”, using i.e. planters and bollards, so people cycling and walking can get through but rat-running traffic can’t
  • “Place making” scheme at St George’s Cross, a wide junction outside a subway station in an area which was partially destroyed in the 1960s by the M8 construction. Improvements include better crossings and cycle parking
  • Safer routes to schools.
  • Secure cycle parking

The project name is inspired by Dutch neighbourhoods, where it tends to be easier to walk and cycle than drive, through use of protected cycle routes on main roads and “filtered permeability” on residential streets, prioritising cycle and walking access over rat runs for motor vehicles. Three projects of the same name are currently underway in outer London, each with around £30m funding to encourage more shorter journeys by bike and foot.

Glasgow City Council has a vision “to create a vibrant cycling city were cycling is safe, accessible, safe and attractive to all”.

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