Bears Way scheme ‘on track’

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What’s proudly claimed to be trailblazing work on an all-abilities cycleway from Milngavie to Glasgow has officially passed its first phase.

The Bears Way project aims to enable and encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport along the A81.

The scheme centres on a segregated two-way cycleway linking Milngavie, Bearsden and Glasgow, and last week pupils from Bearsden Primary School got the chance to try out the first completed stretch, between Burnbrae and Hillfoot.

But some local people – both motorists and cyclists – have major concerns about the cycleway, with claims from both that the layout isn’t practical.

Complaints from motorists include claims that cyclists aren’t sticking to the designated lanes, while some cyclists say motorists are causing problems at key intersections.

However a posse of Scottish cycle heroes who recently took part in the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles were said to be delighted to see the track taking shape.

Bears Way is being financed through external funding from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), Sustrans and Transport Scotland.

Development and regeneration convener Councillor Alan Moir said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people of all ages and abilities using the cycleway already.

“I am sure the numbers using Bears Way will continue to rise as more and more people discover what an enjoyable way it is to travel.”

He added: “The previous cycle lanes were advisory and worn in many places, with moto vehicles routinely swerving onto the lanes and also using them for parking – forcing cyclists into the road, and making it unsuitable for families and less confident people on bikes.

“The new segregated cycleway separates cyclists and motorists using kerbs - increasing safety and minimising the risk of conflict.”

A public consultation will take place on the design of Phase 2, from Hillfoot to Garscube, which will include a workshop session on November 19 in Kessington PubliccHall (more detailso on the Easty Dunbartonshire Council website).