A member of the public phoned the police at last Thursday’s council meeting about Phase 2 of the Bears Way project as a precaution - due to concerns about the large number of people and because discussions were getting heated.
However, no arrests were made at the event in Milngavie Town Hall which was attended by about 250 people, many of whom are unhappy with Phase 1 of the project and not in support of Phase 2 either - which plans to extend the protected cycleway along the A81 from Hillfoot to Kessington.
A crowd of people were forced to stand at the back of the room because there weren’t enough seats available for everyone.
One person who was there but asked not to be named, said: “There was a terrible atmosphere in the room from the start.
“It was a very difficult meeting - a lot of people were very, very angry about Phase 1 and this was the first chance they’d had to express their views to council officers.
“The consultation for this project has been pathetic and people are concerned that the council is going to ignore their views and go ahead with Phase 2.
“There was a lot of unpleasantness within the audience and it could have easily flared up into a fight.
“People were calling each other names, turning their back on each other and even prodding each other.
“It shows there’s a real strength of feeling about this.”
A second public forum is being held tomorrow (Wednesday, September 7), 7pm-9pm, in Milngavie Town Hall.
A further drop-in session will be held in Allander Leisure Centre tomorrow (Wednesday, September 7), noon - 2pm.
Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said: “It was disappointing to hear of the lack of courtesy extended to council employees and partners by a small number of the audience. Such behaviours are not acceptable.
“It’s important that all points of view are taken into account and respected, and that everyone has the opportunity to make a contribution, supportive or not.
“There was a range of views expressed on the night - from people in favour of the cycleway and significant investment in the area to those with concerns about phase one and ways in which they would wish to see it improved - through to others who expressed in-principle disagreement with the model of a dedicated separate cycle way.”
A variety of potential problems have already been identified at Hillfoot, Boclair and ASDA junction.
If you have any ideas, comments or want to join the mailing list please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/cycling and www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/bearsway