Council shortlisted for award for ‘Bears Way’

New cycle path on A81 Milngavie Road

New cycle path on A81 Milngavie Road

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East Dunbartonshire Council has been shortlisted for an award for the design of a new roundabout which will be part of the A81 Bears Way project.

The roundabout is one of ten proposals from across Scotland which aims to encourage people to walk or cycle, which are in the running in the national Community Links PLUS design competition.

This means that East Dunbartonshire Council could receive cash from the Community Links grants scheme that provides match funding for the creation of cycling network infrastructure in Scotland, for everyday journeys.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s proposal explains it will be “exploring the potential for a roundabout that all types of cyclist would feel comfortable using”.

The plans state: “The proposal is based upon several types of roundabouts that can be found in the Netherlands.

“It will draw upon the CROW (Netherlands) cycling infrastructure design guidance, and use ‘continental geometry’.

“Also as part of the project East Dunbartonshire Council will be looking to continue the Bears way along the arterial routes, including to Milngavie town centre precinct and the train station, as well as connecting to Balmore and Torrance via Glasgow Road and Auchenhowie Road.

“The aim is to develop and expand the cycle network to ensure routes and facilities are coherent and provide choices to achieve an increase in modal shift.”

The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (www.transportscotland.gov.uk/report) sets out a vsision that “By 2020, 10 per cent of all journeys taken in Scotland wil be by bike.”

However the first phase of the ‘Bears way’ project, which is now complete, has caused controversy and proved to be unpopular with many local people.

Critics have complained that the road has been narrowed too much and cars can no longer pass buses or cyclists when they are on the road (if they choose not to use the new segregated cycle lanes) and this causes traffic congestion.

Some people have even suggested that the new layout is dangerous because kerbs are now difficult for motorists to see, especially in dark and rain/snow.

There are also concerns that emergency vehicles cannot get along Milngavie Road quickly, especially when bin lorries are collecting refuse.

Cyclists have even criticised the new lanes because they have too many junctions, which puts them in danger of being hit by a car. They also complain that they can’t go fast enough as they have to stop for pedestrians and cars parked in the lane that shouldn’t be there.