Angry residents hit out at A81 road alterations

22-05-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Bearsden. A81 improvements work being carried out.
22-05-2015 Picture Jamie Forbes. Bearsden. A81 improvements work being carried out.

Furious residents claim that work being carried out on Milngavie Road to ‘improve’ it will cause more problems in the long run.

The Bears Way project currently being undertaken by East Dunbartonshire Council on the A81, south from the roundabout at Homebase, has been funded by Strathclyde Passenger Transport and Sustrans.

However, many local people and a local councillor have voiced their concerns.

Ron Borthwick said: “We are amazed, disgusted and concerned about the alterations presently being made. It has come as a shock to see that it is all in order to create a cycleway.

“From what was a broad and safe road with almost four lanes and free flowing traffic and cycling zones on both sides, we are now getting a single carriageway with chicanes and a segregated cycleway on one side only.

“This has slowed down traffic flow, is frustrating motorists and has increased the potential for standing traffic with added pollution. No doubt the local economy will slow also. This road is a main artery in to Glasgow and has not been a problem in the past for cyclists or motorists.

“These are not improvements but destruction of a previously good road.”

Margaret Tough added: “I’ve seen several cyclists ignore the cycleway and continue to use the road. Consequently cars were crawling along.”

Councillor Duncan Cumming said: “Many residents are furious about the lack of meaningful consultation with them over these plans.”

But Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said: “There has been considerable engagement with the public and businesses - as well as local members - over an extended period.

“Throughout the design process, comments were received via the consultation pages on the council website. These exercises resulted in alterations to the original scheme.

“I would emphasise that the road has not been narrowed from ‘almost four lanes’ - the number of formal lanes on the road is unchanged. What has changed is that motorists will no longer be able to drive on cycle lanes.”