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Glasgow cycle infrastructure 'risks exacerbating health inequalities' between rich and poor

Recommends more focus on areas of higher deprivation

A report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has warned that investment in segregated cycleways could inadvertently “reinforce socio-economic inequalities”. It warns that there is a danger that infrastructure and initiatives might only benefit those who already cycle and points out that at present these are people who are typically more affluent.

The Active Travel in Glasgow report says that Glaswegians in the least deprived decile are nearly three times more likely to cycle than those in the most deprived decile and are far more likely to own bikes.

The report says: “This highlights the risk that investment in cycling infrastructure and initiatives might reinforce existing inequalities in health if they only benefit those who already cycle. There needs to be a clear recognition of this risk in any strategy to increase cycling, and action taken to mitigate this possibility.”

According to Herald Scotland, a separate report has found that the city’s NextBike cycle hire scheme risks giving more affluent residents disproportionate access. Hire stations are to be relatively evenly distributed across the deprivation index despite half of Glasgow’s population living in the most deprived 20 per cent of communities in Scotland.

Report author Karen Macpherson said that it made sense to focus on the city centre and near to university areas and public transport hubs, but added that, “to match the profile of Glasgow, you would expect to see more locations in areas of higher deprivation.”

McPherson pointed to two studies as indications that when infrastructure was there, people would use it.

One found that the Anderston-Argyle Street footbridge over the M8 had seen average growth of 26 journeys per month since August 2014. The other found that the mile-long segregated South-West City Way was seeing increased traffic and had averaged 519 journeys per day between March and September 2016.

McPherson said: "The anti-cycling lobby would say 'there's not a demand for this, people are not using it, people don't want to cycle', but actually I think these show that when infrastructure is there people are using it."

There was however a warning of a need for “timely dialogue” with communities regarding future cycleways. In November, 200 people cycled in support of the Bears Way, phase two of which was abandoned following a public backlash.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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22 comments

Avatar
StraelGuy | 6 years ago
2 likes

As Frankie Boyle once said, "Try finding a happy 50th birthday card in Glasgow!".

Avatar
freeewheelin | 6 years ago
3 likes

Should we really give a monkeys what the cycle-lane reisistant locals want. This is about the wider need of transport change in society. Build cycle lanes everywhere and if anyone starts moaning about having to ride a bike for 10 miles to work then cut their benefits. Increase alcohol, cigarette and fuel taxes massively. Sugar taxes. Taxes on premises that run betting shops. 

Glasgow is a pit of despair. Some of the worst stats on the planet for health. We don't listen to them, we give them a kick up the backside. 

 

Avatar
ClubSmed replied to freeewheelin | 6 years ago
1 like
freeewheelin wrote:

Should we really give a monkeys what the cycle-lane reisistant locals want. This is about the wider need of transport change in society. Build cycle lanes everywhere and if anyone starts moaning about having to ride a bike for 10 miles to work then cut their benefits. Increase alcohol, cigarette and fuel taxes massively. Sugar taxes. Taxes on premises that run betting shops. 

Glasgow is a pit of despair. Some of the worst stats on the planet for health. We don't listen to them, we give them a kick up the backside. 

The last stats I saw (2016) put Glasgow as the 16th unhealthiest city in the UK which is far from the worst and I would assume that It would be a lot further down the table when ranked against the whole of the planet.

Where are you getting your stats from?

 

Avatar
Grahamd replied to ClubSmed | 6 years ago
1 like
ClubSmed wrote:
freeewheelin wrote:

Should we really give a monkeys what the cycle-lane reisistant locals want. This is about the wider need of transport change in society. Build cycle lanes everywhere and if anyone starts moaning about having to ride a bike for 10 miles to work then cut their benefits. Increase alcohol, cigarette and fuel taxes massively. Sugar taxes. Taxes on premises that run betting shops. 

Glasgow is a pit of despair. Some of the worst stats on the planet for health. We don't listen to them, we give them a kick up the backside. 

The last stats I saw (2016) put Glasgow as the 16th unhealthiest city in the UK which is far from the worst and I would assume that It would be a lot further down the table when ranked against the whole of the planet.

Where are you getting your stats from?

 

Notice they couldn't be bothered to put Swansea on the map.

 

Avatar
Man of Lard replied to Grahamd | 6 years ago
3 likes
Grahamd wrote:

Notice they couldn't be bothered to put Swansea on the map.

They did - just to the south of Sunderland

Avatar
Grahamd replied to Man of Lard | 6 years ago
3 likes
Man of Lard wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

Notice they couldn't be bothered to put Swansea on the map.

They did - just to the south of Sunderland

Thanks. Nothing like quality information to give confidence in data presented.

Avatar
davel replied to Man of Lard | 6 years ago
5 likes
Man of Lard wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

Notice they couldn't be bothered to put Swansea on the map.

They did - just to the south of Sunderland

Deary me: does anybody know which playgroup published that map?

Avatar
freeewheelin replied to ClubSmed | 6 years ago
5 likes
ClubSmed wrote:
freeewheelin wrote:

Should we really give a monkeys what the cycle-lane reisistant locals want. This is about the wider need of transport change in society. Build cycle lanes everywhere and if anyone starts moaning about having to ride a bike for 10 miles to work then cut their benefits. Increase alcohol, cigarette and fuel taxes massively. Sugar taxes. Taxes on premises that run betting shops. 

Glasgow is a pit of despair. Some of the worst stats on the planet for health. We don't listen to them, we give them a kick up the backside. 

The last stats I saw (2016) put Glasgow as the 16th unhealthiest city in the UK which is far from the worst and I would assume that It would be a lot further down the table when ranked against the whole of the planet.

Where are you getting your stats from?

 

 

Sure, why not add in even more meaningless variables like cycle paths, green areas or gyms per capita (lol) and it could even be the best 'for health' in the UK.

 

Be serious.

 

Life expectancy - worst in UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/apr/16/commonwealth-games...

 

Deaths from heart disease - worst in UK.

https://stv.tv/news/scotland/1322244-glasgow-has-highest-death-rate-for-...

 

Children's health, including obesity, diabetes, mortality, breastfeeding etc - among worst in EU. 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/26/scotlands-child-health-among-...

 

And on and on. It's well known.

 

You can't fudge the area's health by adding in a bunch of gyms and recreational areas. That ridiculous nonsense you posted is used to lobby for extra recreation among other things. You should know better than to take it seriously as an adult. 

 

Avatar
Valbrona | 6 years ago
1 like

I think GCPH have a bit of a point.

In my home town the cycle tracks run through the poncey middle class parts of town because the poncey middle class types have agitated for their introduction.

Communities that are better able to articualate their needs/concerns are better at getting what they want.

Avatar
Alessandro replied to Valbrona | 6 years ago
4 likes
Valbrona wrote:

I think GCPH have a bit of a point.

In my home town the cycle tracks run through the poncey middle class parts of town because the poncey middle class types have agitated for their introduction.

Communities that are better able to articualate their needs/concerns are better at getting what they want.

Would like any sauce with that chip?

Avatar
burtthebike | 6 years ago
2 likes

I had to double check the date, but it was still March 15th, not April 1st.  The petrolheads are getting really desperate, claiming that the most efficient, cheap, quick, non-polluting mode of transport is somehow too expensive for poor people.

Avatar
davel replied to burtthebike | 6 years ago
0 likes
burtthebike wrote:

I had to double check the date, but it was still March 15th, not April 1st.  The petrolheads are getting really desperate, claiming that the most efficient, cheap, quick, non-polluting mode of transport is somehow too expensive for poor people.

Depends on the angle - I'm sure it will quickly be slanted that way.

Thankfully, GCPH's message seems (at least in this article) to be 'if you build it, they will come', which is an argument for building more infrastructure to different parts of town.

The danger, of course, is that if it is built and people in those areas don't use it, it will be used by the usual suspects as evidence of a lack of demand for cycling infrastructure, rather than evidence of a whole host of other chronic problems that tend to befall the most deprived areas.

Avatar
beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
1 like

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

Avatar
SingleSpeed replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
3 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

 

Surly probably already do.

Avatar
beezus fufoon replied to SingleSpeed | 6 years ago
0 likes
SingleSpeed wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

 

Surly probably already do.

ah yes, I have their tuggnut chain tensioner/bottle opener! haha

Avatar
HalfWheeler replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
2 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

Are you on the lookout for one?

Avatar
beezus fufoon replied to HalfWheeler | 6 years ago
0 likes
HalfWheeler wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

Are you on the lookout for one?

always - when you fill your bidon with beer it gets a bit shaken up, so when you pull it open with your teeth you always get a lungful of beer gas, it's not ideal.

Avatar
StraelGuy replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
1 like
beezus fufoon wrote:

always - when you fill your bidon with beer it gets a bit shaken up, so when you pull it open with your teeth you always get a lungful of beer gas, it's not ideal.

 

Exactly, and the spray from the beer can put your fag out!

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
1 like
beezus fufoon wrote:

someone needs to design a handlebar attachment which will hold a tinnie and an ashtray

I've more than once seen someone rolling a roll-up while cycling. Though I suppose that's probably more of a hipster thing?

Anyway, I think the topic deserves to be taken seriously. If it isn't addressed it's going to be yet another shell loaded in the petrol-head's double-barrelled shotgun of class warfare. If they can't get you for being poor they'll get you for being rich. And they'll happily try both at once.

One response, I suppose, is to note who suffers the worst effects of traffic pollution, if people aren't shifted out of their cars (and buses, come to that). Cycling doesn't only benefit the health of the cyclist.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 6 years ago
0 likes

Affluent because they learned it's possible to move without burning petrol?

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Grahamd | 6 years ago
3 likes

Ban cars then, that will help with inequality.

Avatar
P3t3 | 6 years ago
4 likes

Ah, the old "poor people won't be able to cycle" non-argument raises its head again.  

Last time I checked, a cycle journey was cheaper than driving OR getting the bus.  

Closely followed by classic cliche "not many people cycle so infrastructure will not benefit very many" so lets not bother and no more people will cycle...

I thought they had ambitious targets to meet for getting More people on bikes in Scotland?

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