Cycle campaigners pump up the pressure for a ‘better Byres Road’ at local meeting

By Ian Marland at

Grassroots campaigners have stepped up calls to make Byres Road a better place for cyclists and pedestrians.

The group Space 4 People Byres Road took to the busy streets of Partick and Hillhead at the weekend in pursuit of their aim.

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Demands: the group Space 4 People Byres Road has stepped up calls for improvements on Byres Road

The day of action was to gather support for better provision for cyclists and pedestrians in Glasgow City Council’s plans for the upcoming £9m regeneration of Byres Road.

Cyclists are not happy that current proposals do not go far enough, in their eyes, to reduce through motor traffic and don’t make adequate provision for cycling.

The day started with simultaneous cycling and walking marches from the city’s Riverside Museum along Byres Road to Hillhead Library.

There a public meeting was held to discuss the more ambitious proposals created by the active travel campaign group.

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Action; campaigners set off from the Riverside Museum to cycle up Byres Road to make their point

Local councillors Martin Rhodes (Lab), Martha Wardrop (Green), Martin Bartos (Green), and Ken Andrew (SNP) listened to the views of local residents and regular visitors to Byres Road in two round table discussions.

Views collected included: Noticeable pollution, you can taste it / No way I would cycle up Byres Road with my kids / Designers should send their children down it! / Don’t want £9m spent on cosmetic scheme / Separation for all road and pavement users.

Local Dad Jim Collinson spoke to the room saying: “I want a better Byres Road because it’s a place I adore.

“I made friends here, started a business here, met my wife here. We went on our first date here. But it’s not a place that puts people first.

“It’s at once a car park, a through road, a taxi rank.

“A stressful cramped crush, and not a place I relish taking my family. I love it in-spite of these things. Because it’s home.

“But it could be so much more… a place to be proud of: a delightful and healthy place for my kids to grow up and enjoy.

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Representations: attendees at Hillhead Library took part in round-table discussions about the plans

Organiser Euan Muir from Space for People Byres Road said: “Pavements allow for people to walk in safety, separated from motor traffic, and connect together the places people need to go.

“There is no such network for cycling. Instead people, including young children, are expected to mix with motor vehicles resulting in inevitable consequences.

“For anyone of any age and ability to cycle we need to create a safe connected cycling environment, just like our pavements do.”

Cycling and walking activist Josephine Flood, who led the cyclists up the busy street said: “I tend to avoid using Byres Road because it’s so noisy and polluted, it’s not a relaxing destination.

“It was great to see a whole mix of ages cycling in the group today but sadly that almost never happens.”

Space 4 People Byres Road” is a grassroots active travel campaign for the West End of Glasgow, in association with GoBike! – Strathclyde’s umbrella cycling infrastructure campaign.

Their vision is for a Byres Road that has a pleasant walking environment, safe cycling provision, and low volumes of motor traffic.