Glasgow council vows nobody will live further than 800m from cycle paths

All Glasgow residents will live no more than 800 metres from a safe cycle path by the end of the decade, the council has vowed.

The council is planning to install 270km of walking and cycling routes.

What is Glasgow City Council doing?

Glasgow City Council is set to install 270 kilometres of walking and cycle routes as part of the road network by 2030.

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It could cost £470 million for the infrastructure according to a council report.

It means people would be able to cycle to most of the city within half an hour and almost all of it within an hour.

The goal is to persuade more people to hop on a bike as well as walk more. But the council faces an uphill battle as many people including 76 per cent of women never travel on two wheels according to a council report.

What are the plans?

Derek Dunsire, council group manager, liveable neighbourhoods, told councillors active travel networks would be inclusive and of accessible design.

He said there is a goal for people to make “modal shift” in how they get around – ditching cars for public transport and active travel.

Describing the path network as a “game changer,” he said communities previously separated due to the river, canal motorway and railways would be connected.

Mr Dunsire said: “Ultimately we are looking to remove the social and safety barriers that stop some people from choosing active travel – creating an enabling environment for all.”

Helping school kids

There is also an aim that schools will be within 400 metres of the main active travel routes.

Speaking at the council’s environment, sustainability and carbon reduction city policy committee last week, Mr Dunsire said: “At the moment over 80 per cent of school kids travel by vehicle to their local school. We need to flip that back to being over 80 per cent choose active travel. To do so we have to provide them with the confidence that can be provided by a safe, coherent, cohesive, segregated network.”

Will Glaswegians be consulted?

The details were revealed in an active travel strategy and action plan covering 2022 to 2031 presented to the committee.

The document is due to go out to public consultation on October 12.

What do Glasgow councillors think?

Committee chair SNP councillor Angus Millar described the strategy as a “phenomenal piece of work.”

Conservative Councillor Kyle Thornton raised concerns about maintenance about paths.

He said keeping paths serviceable seems to be a challenge in the city.

Mr Dunsire replied: “We are looking at delivering over 270 km of segregated cycleway as part of the road network.

He added: “The very fact that it exists on the road network is that it will by default become part of the everyday maintenance regime that currently takes place within the road network.”

The council is in discussion with Transport Scotland about funding the cycle network.

Cllr Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Under the SNP, Glasgow is becoming a city that will be safer and easier for walking, wheeling and cycling.

“We continue to secure funding and deliver active travel infrastructure across our communities. From the completion of the South City Way from Queens Park, to the transformative investment in the Connecting Woodside project, and the ongoing construction of the East City Way, we are working to make it easier to get around Glasgow sustainably.”