Return to Glasgow

While touring the hills of England and Scotland a month ago, I briefly stopped off again in Glasgow.  I think they must have read my blog and been shamed into action.  Look how the city has changed in just six months!

This is new:

Berkeley Street, West End
Berkeley Street, West End.  (Note how they’ve chosen to do the bus stop in the background.)

This is… interesting:

Junction of Elderslie and Berkley. Not really sure where this route is going...
Junction of Elderslie and Berkley. Not really sure who this route is for. You can see the segregated track continues ahead as a contraflow on Elderslie St, but you have to get back into the carriageway and wait in front of the stop line and the left-turn-only motor vehicles for the lights to give you the clear to cross the junction.  The cycle track traffic light only turns red when the manually-activated pedestrian crossing is used.

This is even newer, and not quite finished:

Elderslie Street, with the previous junction in the distance.
Elderslie Street, with the previous junction in the distance. Cycle track a bit wider here —  looks like they’ve nicked a foot or two of the footway, not just the parking bays that they nicked further up.

And this is even more interesting:

Looking the other way on Elderslie St: the cycle track ends at a crossroads and then restarts on the opposite corner.
Looking the other way on Elderslie St: the cycle track ends at a crossroads and then restarts on the opposite corner, where the yellow “parking suspended” cones are. Not yet clear how users are expected to get there.

The tracks were put in by Sustrans as part of Connect2.  When complete, they will link the University, museums, and park at Kelvingrove to the existing riverside path into the centre.  Other than the funny business at the junctions, the tracks don’t look too bad, though in places — especially that sharp corner with the traffic lights — they are clearly too narrow to comfortably accommodate two-way operation, and we’ll see how they look after a few more years of street maintenance budget freezes.  Other than those concerns, would these tracks prove that the British are sometimes capable of building high quality cycling infrastructure?  Sadly I fear not.  Elderslie Street and the riverside path are a considerable detour if cycling between the university and the city centre.

I almost didn’t recognise the city.  But luckily a few things never change:

A nice traditional Glasgow street surface.
The waterfront.
The waterfront.

Not that Glasgow’s cyclists have anything to complain about.  They have the ultimate segregated facility:

Wind and rain free at all times...
Wind and rain free at all times…

5 thoughts on “Return to Glasgow”

  1. Interesting. Very similar designs to the Camden cycle tracks I have blogged about. And possibly an indication of increasing transport policy divergence between England and Scotland as a result of devolution; c.f. railways.

    There looks to be a lack of clear priorities at the junctions and where the track crosses the street, unless they have just not put the lines in yet. How important this is clearly depends on the traffic volume, but that looks substantial on Elderslie St judging from the photo. The track crossing sides there will be a big problem if it is 2 way for motors, as it appears. The designers, be they Sustrans people or City of Glasgow people, really need to study Dutch junction designs rather than making all their own mistakes unnecessarily.

    1. Most of our old city streets were done this way. The old stones make a nice study foundation, but we all decided we didn’t like the bumpiness. If I recall correctly, from reading Carlton Reid, it was actually cyclists who initially campaigned for them to be surfaced over.

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