As most folk in Dumfries will be aware, the new hospital will be out at Cargenbridge – and we’ve been pressing for over three years now for improvements to the cycling routes to the site once it has opened.
Unfortunately, we have not been successful in securing much in the way of improvements to the crossing of Garroch Loaning. Work will start next week to provide a cycle path past the roundabout and a new crossing on the other side of the roundabout, with some road narrowings to make it easier to get across, but no provision for a toucan crossing. We are extremely disappointed with this, because nobody we talk to, with the exception of road engineers, seems to think that is enough to encourage people to cycle to the new site. We will continue to press for the viaduct to be opened, as that would remain the gold standard for crossing what will be an extremely busy road once the hospital is up and running.
However, that is not the only route to the hospital, and the council have just started consulting on the alternative route, along the Dalbeattie Road and across the New Abbey Road. This is another very tricky crossing (we have stopped running our summer rides along that route because it is too difficult to manage with a group or with children) so any improvements will be appreciated. At first glance, the plans do not look all that promising but you can see for yourself here, here and here.
Please do go along to the consultation if you can. There has been some unease among residents about the reassignments of priorities between Park Road and Dalbeattie Road, so nothing is set in stone. The more cyclists’ voices can be heard on this matter, the better.