The first vital link in the £8m Connecting Woodside active travel project has been formally approved as green for go.
All work on the new cycle route along Garscube Road, including a final safety audit, has now been completed, which means the cycle way is fully endorsed as safe to use.
The completed route establishes a key connection for walkers, wheelers and cyclists between the city centre and the Forth and Clyde Canal paths, which are an integral part of the national cycle route between Edinburgh and Loch Lomond. With Spaces for People for measures in place on Cambridge St, it is now possible to cycle along segregated cycle paths from the north of the city directly on to the pedestrian precinct at Sauchiehall St.
A new pedestrian crossing has also been installed on Garscube Road close to Abercorn Secondary School along with new footpaths along the length of the route.
The ultimate aim of Connecting Woodside project is to create a network of segregated cycle ways and quiet ways that provide alternative routes to busy main streets between Possil Road in the north to Charing Cross and Woodlands to the South and Kelvinbridge in the west. The scheme will also link with the regeneration work at Port Dundas and Sighthill.
Improvements to public spaces and walking routes to give greater priority to walkers, wheelers and cyclists are planned, including the redesign of junctions and other features to address road safety concerns. New charging points for electric cars and bike hire stations are also being included in the scheme.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: "This is a superb piece of cycling infrastructure that makes a significant contribution to the growing network of safe cycle routes across Glasgow.
"It's the first major stage of our Connecting Woodside project to be completed and it makes important links with other parts of the city and beyond. The covid pandemic has had a massive impact across all sectors in the past eighteen months and so it's great we've managed to see this project through.
"Safety is routinely highlighted as the number one barrier to people taking up cycling as a regular form of transport. Investing in this kind of permanent cycle lane will make cycling a viable option for even more people in Glasgow and support a vital shift to more sustainable forms of transport.
"Tackling carbon emissions from transport is a key part of the city's climate plan and with 50% of vehicle journeys 3km or less there is plenty of scope for change. Making cycling a safer, more attractive option for getting around the city is an essential element of achieving our 2030 net zero carbon target. "
The Scottish Government's Minister for Transport, Graeme Dey, said: "With Glasgow hosting the forthcoming COP26 conference, it's so encouraging to see more high quality active travel infrastructure be delivered in the city. It's now even easier for people who live, work and travel through Woodside to choose walking, wheeling or cycling which benefits their health, saves money and protects our climate.
"To meet our world leading climate targets, we need to see fewer car trips and more everyday journeys made by choosing active travel. With extensive community consultation, the first phase of Connecting Woodside has successfully reprioritised road space to rebalance the streets in favour active travel and join up other existing projects into a more cohesive network.
"We need to see more projects just like this right across the country and promote a more active nation, where more people choose to walk, wheel and cycle for shorter everyday journeys. That's why we're investing over half a billion pounds over the next five years to support segregated active travel infrastructure and sustainable travel projects and have co-funded this project."
Other improvement works have also been undertaken throughout the area with 22 dropped kerbs installed for enhanced accessibility for all, a 20mph zone in all residential streets in the north east of the project and added over 80 new cycle parking spaces.
Picture shows Councillor Richardson, Graeme Dey and Karen McGregor, Sustrans' Scotland Director.