Two Tier Cycling in Scotland?

Transport minister Humza Yousaf will be visiting Dumfries next week – we hope that he hears not just about roads and more roads, but about investment in the sort of infrastructure that makes cycling possible for everyone.

crossing the KM bridge

Infrastructure like the Kirkpatrick McMillan Bridge works for everyone – but Dumfries and Galloway risks losing out in the future. Photo (c) Jim Craig, 2016

Today, the minister announced the winner of the Community Links PLUS competition to build a ‘game changing’ active travel scheme in Scotland. Congratulations to Glasgow, and the people of the Southside – the South West Cycle Way plans look like they will extend what is already one of the best cycle routes in Scotland, with an exemplar project that other towns and cities can emulate.

But you will notice that Dumfries and Galloway don’t feature in the shortlist, didn’t submit any schemes at all for the competition and indeed, weren’t granted any money at all for cycling schemes this year. We’re in danger of being left behind, while better funded cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh invest in the capacity to develop cycling infrastructure – which means they can win more central government cash and build first-class schemes while we can’t even get a crossing to the hospital.

Waiting for a gap in the traffic

Waiting for a gap in the traffic – is this any way to treat NHS staff who want to cycle to our new hospital?

As long as cycling cash is only handed out to the councils who have the capacity to bid for it, then places like Dumfries and Galloway risk being left behind – and that means a two-tier cycling network for Scotland. Glaswegians will sail into town on their shiny new path, while we are left wheeling our bikes because the main crossing into town is cut for two months for repair work, and there are no reasonable alternatives that children and families can use

bridge detour

Two-tier cycling in Scotland?

If you think this is wrong then please let your MSPs know that you’d like to see investment in cycling and walking spread across the whole of Scotland (and here’s one way it could be done and help boost Scotland’s economy after the Brexit vote). Tell them to tell the Minister that cycling is not just for the Central Belt, for Glasgow and Edinburgh. It should be made accessible to everybody in Scotland.

You can write to your MSPs here.

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2 Comments

Filed under Policy

2 responses to “Two Tier Cycling in Scotland?

  1. Jack S.

    WHilst I agree with your general thrust, there are other places to cross the river in Dumfries on a bike whilst the Loreburne bridge – which only opened in 2001 anyway – is being done up. I use the Mawelltown path, for example, and once over the viaduct, the ‘Lovers Walk’ cycle path (alongside the railway line) will take you safely to the station, and from there Newall Terrace will deliver you safely into the town centre. Or you can cross the suspension bridge down near Dock Park, which is narrow but if there’s no one crossing on foot and you ignore (as everyone seems to) the ‘No Cycling’ sign, it’s easily crossed on a bike. Further downstream to there’s the Kirkpatrick Macmillan cycle bridge (as you mention). If the worst comes to the worst, it’s only 50 yards of pushing across the Buccleuch bridge, and then you can get back on your bike both sides; not really the end of the world.

    In any case, as far as I’m concerned, we shouldn’t be putting bike lanes in but rather shutting cars out. Every single cyclist I know runs a car – that’s where the problem begins. (I don’t, by the way, despite living in the countryside.)

  2. Pingback: Transport Summit – what’s missing from this list? | Cycling Dumfries

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