Anger over meetings for Phase 2 designs of ‘Bears way’ cycleway

Milngavie Road 'Bears Way'.
Milngavie Road 'Bears Way'.

Residents are furious that the council has organised public meetings to allow people to get involved in designing the next phase of the A81 project.

The council says the public forums will ‘inform future work on the proposed phase 2 of the cycleway’ - which will run from Hillfoot to Kessington - to ‘address issues which have been identified through engagement to date’.

However, residents claim the council should not be holding these meetings because any further construction work for phase 2 is currently on hold until a full analysis of the impact of phase 1 has been carried out.

Phase 1 - funded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Sustrans - from Burnbrae roundabout to Hillfoot, has been unpopular with many local people.

Burnbrae resident Aileen McIntyre collected 2,560 signatures for a petition which calls for the council to ‘reinstate the A81’ to the way it was before the ‘Bears Way’ scheme.

She said: “This project is meant to be on hold.

“It seems they are going ahead with designs for the next phase regardless of this.

“They seem absolutely determined to continue with this project but I’ve not spoken to anyone who wants the next phase to go ahead.

“Most people detest what’s there already and they want the road to be returned to the way it was before.

“It’s heartbreaking that this council are dictating to us and forcing something upon us that most people don’t want.

“We are the ones who will have to live with the increased traffic congestion - not them.”

The council claims that there was an average of over 1,000 cycle trips a week (from November 2015 to June 2016) with 24-hour automatic counters installed to monitor usage.

But Mrs McIntyre has questioned these figures. She added: “This would mean there’s 140 cyclists per day, we only ever see a handful of cyclists each day so I’m not sure where they get these numbers from.”

The public forums are going to be held on Thursday, September 1, 6pm to 8pm and Wednesday, September 7, 7pm to 9pm in Milngavie Town Hall.

Three other ‘drop-in’ information events will be held in the Allander Leisure Centre on Thursday, September 1, noon - 2pm, Saturday, September 3, 11am - 3pm and Wednesday, September 7, noon - 2pm.

Leaflets are being delivered to properties in Bearsden and Milngavie - giving people information on how they can get involved.

In addition a Business Forum will be held on Thursday, August 18 and a Design Forum is scheduled for Thursday, August 25 - including stakeholders and representative groups. Both of these forums are invite only.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said: “This is an ongoing project and we are working hard to ensure that it works for everyone whatever mode of transport they choose.

“People who previously would never have dreamt of being able to cycle on the A81 are now doing so and that is great to hear.”

Phase 1 of the Bears Way was recently recognised for ‘Achievements in Cycling’ at the Scottish Transport Awards.

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