Council vow to build cycle paths close to homes ‘could cost £470m’

Glasgow City Council plans to install 270km of walking and cycling routes in the city by 2030.

Council vow to build cycle paths close to homes ‘could cost £470m’ iStock

All Glasgow residents will live no more than 800m from a safe cycle path by the end of the decade, the council has vowed.

Glasgow City Council is set to install 270km of walking and cycle routes as part of the road network by 2030.

It could cost £470m for the infrastructure, according to a council report. 

It means people would be able to cycle to most of the city within half an hour and almost all of it within an hour. 

However, the council faces an uphill battle as many people, including 76% of women, never travel on two wheels according to a council report.

Derek Dunsire, council group manager, liveable neighbourhoods, told councillors active travel networks would be inclusive and of accessible design.

Describing the path network as a “game changer,” he said communities previously separated due to the river, canal motorway and railways would be connected. 

Mr Dunsire said: “Ultimately we are looking to remove the social and safety barriers that stop some people from choosing active travel – creating an enabling environment for all.”

There is also an aim that schools will be within 400m of the main active travel routes. 

Speaking at the council’s environment, sustainability and carbon reduction city policy committee last week, Mr Dunsire said: “At the moment over 80% of school kids travel by vehicle to their local school. We need to flip that back to being over 80% choose active travel. 

“To do so we have to provide them with the confidence that can be provided by a safe, coherent, cohesive, segregated network.”

The details were revealed in an active travel strategy and action plan covering 2022 to 2031  presented to the committee. 

The document is due to go out to public consultation on October 12. 

Committee chair SNP councillor Angus Millar described the strategy as a “phenomenal piece of work”.

Conservative councillor Kyle Thornton raised concerns about maintenance of paths.

He said keeping paths serviceable seems to be a challenge in the city. 

Mr Dunsire replied: “We are looking at delivering over 270km of segregated cycleway as part of the road network.”

He added: “The very fact that it exists on the road network is that it will by default become part of the everyday maintenance regime that currently takes place within the road network.”

The council is in discussion with Transport Scotland about funding the cycle network. 

Cllr Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Under the SNP, Glasgow is becoming a city that will be safer and easier for walking, wheeling and cycling.

“We continue to secure funding and deliver active travel infrastructure across our communities. 

“From the completion of the South City Way from Queens Park, to the transformative investment in the Connecting Woodside project, and the ongoing construction of the East City Way, we are working to make it easier to get around Glasgow sustainably.”

By local democracy reporter Sarah Hilley

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