Anger mounts over A81 Bears Way cycle lane roadworks initiative

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.

There have been calls for more consultation over the A81 cycle lane project which has angered residents, motorists and pedestrians.

Phase 1 of the controversial Bears Way scheme on Milngavie Road has now been completed, but it has resulted in a narrowing of the road to accommodate a new two way cycle path which is seen by many as potentially dangerous.

Bearsden North independent councillor Duncan Cumming is worried East Dunbartonshire Council will now push ahead with phases 2 and 3 without proper consultation. He is to put a motion down at a council meeting tonight (Thursday) asking the council to pause further work until residents have had a chance to find out want is planned. Councillor Cumming was responding to the growing anger and frustration over the roadworks.

He said: “I have been advocating that there should have been far more meaningful consultation across Bearsden and Milngavie, before such a project was embarked upon. On numerous occasions I have formally suggested that the council produce an information leaflet that should have been distributed. The council’s reply was they did not have sufficient financial resources. This in itself is nothing short of outrageous, since it would cost only a couple of thousand pounds.”

Resident Steven Duncan said he had been left with nowhere to park outside his elderly parents’ house due to the roadworks and wanted answers. And cyclist Paul Murphy said the new cycle path was dangerous because users now have to cross a busy road as the cycle path goes from one side of the road to the other.

Councillor Alan Moir, EDC’s convener of development and regeneration,said: “There has been extensive engagement with the public, businesses and local representatives over an extended period as regards the A81 Bears Way project. That includes all councillors - particularly local members - who were in a key position to complement the community consultation and engagement carried out by the council.

“We have listened and reacted to feedback from the community throughout the planning and design process - and continue to do so as works are carried out. Extensive engagement included a consultation event in Kessington Public Hall in November 2013, an all-day event outside Kessington shops in May 2014 and numerous media releases and online engagement.

In addition, in July 2014, residents along the route of the cycle lane were given full details of the project.”