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Campaign launched for safer junctions in Glasgow after cyclist’s death – and is calling on local road users to share their experiences

Architectural practice where Emma Burke Newman worked identifies three junctions where urgent safety measures are needed

An ​architectural practice in Glasgow has launched a campaign calling for safer junctions in Scotland’s largest city after one of its staff members was killed in a crash involving a lorry in January. It is calling on local cyclists, pedestrians and drivers to help it gather data at the locations in question.

> “Society has accepted death as a cost of getting from A to B": Parents of young cyclist killed in collision call for change

Emma Burke Newman, aged 22, died as a result of the crash on 27 January at the junction of Broomielaw and Oswald Street at King George V Bridge, also known as the Casino junction.

That is one of the junctions where New Practice, where she worked, is calling for urgent safety measures to be taken by Glasgow City Council in a campaign called Waiting to Happen.

The second location is close to the Clutha pub at the junction of Clyde Street, Gorbals Street and Victoria bridge, while the third is near Glasgow High Court at the junction of Clyde Street with Saltmarket.

New Practice’s creative director, Becca Thomas, told the Glasgow Times: “One of the things that still really resonates with the team at New Practice is how many people said that the junction at which Emma was killed ‘was a disaster waiting to happen’.

“To us, that’s an issue we would like to resolve. Waiting to Happen addresses the mentality and behaviour behind that statement and proactively looks to record data aiming to increase safety for all of the users of these three junctions.”

The firm is inviting people to share their experiences when using the three junctions, as well as their suggestions on how safety can be improved at those locations, via a dedicated page on its website.

Once it has collated submissions, it will send the findings to local councillors to present them to Glasgow City Council’s Active Travel Committee, “with the aim to promote safer design for junctions and the implementation of immediate changes to make our journeys in the city safer.”

On the Waiting to Happen page on its website, the firm says that Emma “was a brilliant young woman and is sorely missed by us all at New Practice. She was also a confident and committed cyclist used to the challenges of urban cycling and found joy in the freedom a bike offers.

“As a team we have been finding our wheels again and continue to be committed to making our cities safer places for walking, biking and wheeling through the projects we work on and outside of our professional lives.

“Through our daily experiences of commuting from the Southside to the City Centre, we have identified three junctions which provide a particular challenge: the Casino, the Clutha, and the Court at Glasgow Green.

“These junctions are our focus of study as they feel like incidents-waiting-to-happen, and one is the site of Emma's death. We have shed tears at these junctions and we have felt other’s rage, our own frustrations, and some of us avoid them to feel safer on our way to work.

“As urban designers we understand that sensible compromise is a core requirement of making urban infrastructure, and we seek to find solutions that respond to actual use where this differs from the design.”

New Practice says that the different types of active travel infrastructure found at each of the three junctions “create situations where the use conflicts with the design, leading to unsafe interactions between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular traffic.

“Through Waiting to Happen we will gather anecdotal, qualitative and quantitative data around these junctions. We want to hear your experiences when walking, wheeling, scooting, or as a driver to help inform solutions specific to these locations and create systems for a safer city for us all.”

The firm added that “our team will also be out and about at the junctions over the coming weeks to speak to people using these junctions and record observations of how the junctions are used.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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geomannie 531 | 11 months ago

Whilst very sympathetic to anyone trying to improve road safety, this campaign is focused towards several junctions, none of which are known to have significant histories of cycle-vehicle collisions. Yes, they could be improved but you could say that about almost any junction. The junctions selected for inclusion are rather personal to the members of New Practice, rather than being selected on the basis of egregious danger to Glasgow's cyclists.

There are 4 roundabouts in Glasgow's southside that have cycle -vehicle collision rates far higher than the junctions highlighted here. The campaign would have a greater chance of success if it were to highlight these. A Twitter thread here

Oldfatgit replied to geomannie 531 | 11 months ago

Is it a bit ghoulish use the map that Bob Downie links to in that linked Twitter thread to find my own accident...

I'm also the only star at that point (although the GPS plot seems to be off by a few meters)

Any interested can find it

IanGlasgow replied to geomannie 531 | 11 months ago

There's an open consultation about one of those roundabouts - Pollok Roundabout. It closes on Aug 21st.
The proposals - intended to "promote active travel through a congested junction, encouraging modular shift" - seem to consist of:

- replace the roundabout with traffic lights
- a LOT of beg buttons and crossings for pedestrians.
- ASLs!

and, errr... that's about it.

chrisonabike replied to IanGlasgow | 11 months ago
IanGlasgow wrote:

The proposals - intended to "promote active travel through a congested junction, encouraging modular shift" ...

No grade-separation of modes? Traffic lights, beg buttons and ASLs?

No change then, the only "modules" being shifted will continue to be motor vehicles.

(Cynically I wonder if they'd just reached capacity at the roundabout and it had become unsafe for *driving*. Probably too expensive / not enough space for expanding the motor infra. We have to rebuild? Why not apply an "active travel!" sticker).

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