New road is ‘accident waiting to happen’

Milngavie Road, Bearsden.
Milngavie Road, Bearsden.

The new layout on the A81 is ‘an accident waiting to happen’ according to many locals, because cyclists aren’t using the new cycle lanes.

Milngavie man Norman Livingstone was shocked to see cyclists using the main road instead of the new lanes.

He said: “The cyclists were swerving in and out of parked cars. It’s an accident waiting to happen, the road’s so narrow it’s very dangerous.

“Cyclists can’t be forced to use the lanes but it seems stupid if they don’t. It means it’s been a waste of money.”

Another resident said: “I was aghast when driving from Milngavie to Hillfoot, to see a group of about 10 to 12 adult cyclists steaming down the road, three-four abreast ignoring the completely empty new cycle lanes.”

Donald Spaeth from Milngavie thinks the cycle lanes should be modified before they are fit for purpose.

And Elizabeth Muir from Bearsden is concerned that emergency vehicles won’t be able to get along the road when the bin lorries are collecting refuse.

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration, said: “As with any innovative design there is an unavoidable period of inconvenience during construction and then a period of education and familiarisation as road users grow accustomed to the new layout.

“The design has been developed by Transport Planning and Engineering - a subsidiary of Cycling Scotland - and approved by both Sustrans and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, the external funders of this project.

“It is felt that a segregated bi-directional cycle lane - where cyclists are separated from motorists by the use of kerbs - will increase safety for all road users while maintaining the required width of carriageway for drivers.

“Separating cars and cyclists minimises the risk of conflict and I’m confident the benefits will be there for all to see when the changes have bedded in.”

Thomas Glen added: “The lane widths are compliant with all regulations and as they would do on any route, drivers operating our waste and recycling lorries will consider the direction of any emergency vehicles and take appropriate action to let them pass.”