Links to DG One

This post is one of our Missing Links series, where we’ll be detailing how the existing cycling network could be made more joined up. The aim is to make it easy for people to cycle safely anywhere they need to go, making the bike a true practical alternative to the car for shorter journeys in Dumfries.

DG One is Dumfries’s flagship leisure centre and an important venue for the town. It is relatively new and very well used – the car park is almost always pretty full. It has decent bike racks and a Go Bike docking station, and the first year of Go Bike rentals shows that it was actually one of the busiest stations for the orange bikes, suggesting that there is a desire to cycle to and from DG One, not just on stationary bikes once inside.

These orange bike renters must be pretty determined though – because it’s not the easiest place to get to by bike. The only entrance to DG One that’s accessible by bike is the same one the cars use to get into the car park. This comes off Hoods Loaning, which runs between English Street and Leafield Road. If you imagine our Orange Bike rider, wishing to cycle (legally) from the station or the Whitesands rental points – how are they supposed to get there?

Three routes from the station (blue) or the Whitesands (red and green) docking points, whether by car or bike

Three routes from the station (blue) or the Whitesands (red and green) docking points, whether by car or bike

By car, the one-way system means that traffic is funneled onto roads like Brooms Road, Loreburne Street and English Street – roads which are pretty hostile to all but the most experienced and assertive cyclist. Unfortunately, because there are very few exceptions for bikes, those are also the only legal roads for a cyclist to use too.

turning onto English Street St Michaels Bridge

Making these roads safe and attractive for cyclists will be a difficult and long-term project – but fortunately there’s a quicker and cheaper alternative. If the planners of DG One had properly considered bikes, for instance, the foot entrance at the bottom of the car park could have been made accessible to them, allowing cyclists to approach via the much quieter Brook Street – but at the moment, it’s not even all that accessible for push chairs and wheelchairs, let alone bikes. Replacing the railings with a single bollard, dropping a few curbs, and allowing cyclists to go two way through the car park would quickly produce an attractive alternative to the main entrance.

Wasted opportunity: why weren't cyclists designed into this entrance from the start?

Wasted opportunity: why weren’t cyclists designed into this entrance from the start?

And for cyclists coming from the other direction, there is an alternative to English Street that would be just as easy to put in. Newall Terrace is a good direct bike route into town, especially now its contraflow bike lane has been created. A similar bit of ‘filtered permeability’ – ie. allowing bikes to go places where cars cannot – would let cyclists cut through the existing council car park to emerge onto English Street directly opposite the turn off to Hoods Loaning. Add in a toucan crossing and some route signs, and a very neat short cut for bikes could be produced, which would also benefit people on foot. Given that this is the council’s own land – and it’s own flagship facility – we can’t see why this can’t be done immediately.

Two simple alternatives to the main roads for cyclists going to DG One

Two simple alternatives to the main roads for cyclists going to DG One

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Links to DG One

  1. David Wright

    Two excellent suggestions… I live in Nunholm and often cut through the council car park from Newall Terrace to get to dg1/ Morrisons ( I totally object to using a car to travel this v. short distance). Be interested in response/ updates on this, thanks.

  2. Pingback: Missing Links | Cycling Dumfries

  3. John Henry

    mmmmmm! A trick you may be missing is that if cyclists, especially adult cyclist, took a Bikeability 3 course and increased their confidence on the road then accessing DGone and other places around town would not be such an issue….imo I understand where you are coming from but their are alternatives.

    ________________________________

    • John Schofield

      sorry John never heard of a bikeability 3 course, and I’m an experienced cyclist, but with all due respect, you can do a course and then the first car to cut you up might put you off for a long time

  4. sallyhinchcliffe

    @David – we’ll be passing all these to the council & we’ll keep people posted with the response
    @John – training can be helpful as you say for adults – but that’s not going to help people wanting to cycle with their families. We think places like DGOne should be accessible to kids as well as those with advanced training

  5. John Schofield

    excellent suggestions sally but can we also ask for zebra crossings across the entrances too, this would help pedestrians, as when DG1 is bery busy it must be difficult for pedestrians crossing the entrances and exits.
    Can we also ask for a cyclists exit at the entrance so that cyclists don’t have to go onto the busy Leafield road to exit.

  6. sallyhinchcliffe

    @John – yes I forgot about the entrance /exit problem, I’ll add that in

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