After an extensive three stage assessment process for the Scottish Government's Community Links Plus funding, which featured 25 initial cycle route proposals from across Scotland, it was announced on the 12 August 2016 that Glasgow's South City Way proposal has been successful in obtaining £3.25 million pounds of funding from this source.
This will match the £3.25 m from Glasgow City Council to take the project through to completion.
This project will deliver safer, more comfortable, faster and more coherent cycle routes that will continue to expand Glasgow's Cycle Network. It will help redevelop Victoria Road as focus for the community and as a place for sustainable walking, cycling, bus and rail travel.
The new route will be delivered alongside cycling promotional campaigns from the council and various community cycle groups that have come together as the Glasgow Community Cycling Network. The network features Glasgow Bike Station, SoulRiders Scotland, Freewheel North, South West Community Cycles and Cycling UK. As well as bringing together expertise in delivery of cycling initiatives across Glasgow's diverse cultural and ethnic population, the groups target accessibility and gender issues ensuring a promotional message that cycling is for everyone.
Glasgow's ambitions to become a cycle friendly city has begun through its "City Ways" programme with the opening of the West City Way and the South West City Way. The development of a "City Way" cycle network will provide infrastructure suitable for everyone of all levels of experience. Links to surrounding routes and destinations are provided by "Quiet Ways". These links typically consist of advisory cycle lanes on streets with low levels of traffic, making cycling enjoyable and the easiest, healthiest and most environmentally responsible way to get around.
Proximity to the city centre makes this project ideal to encourage sustainable and active travel via safe cycling facilities integrated with modern public transport hubs.
Initial engagement with residents, businesses and potential users has indicated great enthusiasm for the project. The proposed route will link healthcare, academic, social, leisure and cultural venues, Queen's Park Rail Station and bus stops to a main City Way with cycle parking at key destinations.
The South City Way will be integrated with modern public transport hubs with improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
This project will link to the recently completed South-West City Way connecting Glasgow's south side to the wider cycle network.
We are investigating the option of improving the streetscape of Gorbals Street.
This will highlight the importance of this busy residential and cultural centre and sustainable transport corridor. Development of the route takes into account of key destinations such as parks, hospitals and medical centres, shopping, academic, leisure, cultural and religious establishments along and in proximity to the core route.
During winter 2017/18 physical work commenced on phase one of the South City Way, between Queen's Park and Queens Park Railway Station. Focusing initially on establishing the new mini-plaza areas at Albert Avenue and Albert Road, the contractor has also constructed the terraced cycle track on the west side of Victoria Road. The terraced cycle track on the east side of Victoria Road is under construction, include a new 'floating' bus stop and modifications to the Queen's Drive/ Victoria Road junction are underway. New signals will then be installed.
The first of ten new trees has been planted with help from Glasgow based environmental charity, South Seeds. Lucy Gillie, general manager at South Seeds, said: "There is real regeneration happening along Victoria Road and the South City Way is undoubtedly is very much part of this. "Creating green space within the area will attract more people to this part of the city as well as enhance the space for current residents and the community." In addition to the new trees, the mini-plaza areas will host benches, bins and cycle parking racks.
Meanwhile, design work continues for the remaining phases of the project, with phase two (between Coplaw Street and Cumberland Street) undergoing a tendering exercise. Physical work for phase two is expected to start during the early summer months.
On 4 December 2017, works commenced on Glasgow's multi million pound active travel project. Launched by the Minister for Transport and Islands, Humza Yousaf and Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction our contractor started physical work on the first phase of construction of South City Way. Creation of the mini-plaza areas at Albert Avenue and Albert Road is being undertaken first, along with installation of the cycle track and new footway surfacing between Queen's Park and Queens Park railway station. Work will extend into the spring of 2018.
During the autumn, our new 12 metre banner that spans Pollokshaws Road on the M74 flyover was received well by passers-by. As well as promoting the South City Way project, it draws attention to the short journey times when cycling or walking, advising that it only takes 12 minutes to cycle from Queen's Park to the City Centre and only 30 minutes on foot.
During the winter, design work for South City Way progressed, enabling a site start to be made in March with some advance works. The works included provision of three 'floating' bus stops on Pollokshaws Road and Devon Street. These enhanced bus stops areas allow cyclists to safely pass any waiting buses, whilst passengers are getting on or off.
At the River Clyde, a new ramp has been constructed connecting Victoria Bridge to National Cycle Route 75. This is a very busy location, with high numbers of pedestrians and cyclists.
New cycle parking racks have been installed outside Govanhill Baths to satisfy the increasing use of the building as a community centre. Seven racks (14 spaces) have been installed by widening the footway, serving not just the community centre, but the adjacent shops as well. If you have your own suggestions for new cycle parking locations please email the South City Way project team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposed designs for the first phase of the Victoria Road, i.e. between Queen's Park and Queen's Park station are now available and can be downloaded by clicking on the link below. The project team attended the launch of Bike Station's new premises on Victoria Road and manned a stall to promote the route, distribute information on cycling and answer any questions. Discussions with traders along Victoria Road will continue during the next few months to maximise opportunities for Victoria Road to thrive commercially. Further discussions with community groups are planned over the next 6 months.
To help promote active and sustainable travel in the area, we are working with Sustrans and have appointed an I Bike officer. The I Bike officer is based with the council's road safety team and has already signed up four local schools for numerous cycling activities during the school's summer term. Additional schools will be supported during the autumn school term.
Local environmental charity South Seeds, has produced factsheets giving advice about cycle storage in tenements, showing a range of different solutions and how some simple DIY measures can help, such as hooks, racks or pulleys.
To assess how many cyclists currently use the South City Way corridor, base counts were carried out during March. These counts will be repeated at frequent intervals throughout the project. Our funding partner Sustrans, also held focus workshops with representatives from the local community, to assess current attitudes to active and sustainable travel.
Looking forward into the summer/ autumn months, design work will continue to advance, a permeability study of Govanhill will be undertaken, promotional activities will take place and details of the South City Way community grants scheme will be made available.