Calls for Bears Way extension

The Friends of Bears Way on their Advocacy ride along Milngavie Road.
The Friends of Bears Way on their Advocacy ride along Milngavie Road.

The Friends of Bears Way have presented a petition with nearly 3,000 signatures to East Dunbartonshire Council which calls for the extension of the Bears Way cycle lane.

Phase One of the Bears Way installed a segregated cycle lane along Milngavie Road from Burnbrae roundabout to Hillfoot.

The project was deeply controversial with many local people opposed because they claimed it increased traffic congestion and caused potential hazards for drivers and cyclists.

Bearsden resident Aileen McIntyre collected 2,600 signatures for a petition which called for the reinstatement of the A81 to the way it was previously.

And a majority of councillors voted against Phase Two of the project to extend the lane from from Hillfoot to Kessington last September because they said they’d had so many complaints from constituents.

However Dr David Brennan, one of the organisers of Friends of Bears Way, says many local people and nationally felt the decision not to extend the cycle lane was based on political agendas and not on the needs of the local area.

He said: “ We started a petition that has reached 2,957 signatures, asking for the recent decision not to extend the lane to be overturned.

“We would like the councillors who voted against the scheme to re-consider the significant benefits that cycling can bring to the area, especially considering the recent news from Friends of the Earth that Roman Road, a short distance from the proposed Phase Two route of the cycle lane, is one of the worst polluted roads in Scotland.

“We are very encouraged by the show of support for extension of Bears Way, with thousands signing the petition and over 200 cyclists showing support on an advocacy ride in November.

“We call on the council to reconsider its stance on Bears Way.”

Thomas Glen, depute chief executive - place, neighbourhood & corporate assets, said: “I can confirm the petition has been received by East Dunbartonshire Council and a report will be presented to councillors in due course.

“Elected members considered the Bears Way A81 segregated cycle route on 29 September 2016 and decided not to progress with any of the options put forward for Phase 2 . The council’s position is to maintain Phase 1 of the Bears Way.”