Councillor’s disgust at bad behaviour at Bears Way meeting

Bears Way, Phase 2 at Hillfoot
Bears Way, Phase 2 at Hillfoot

A local councillor has spoken of his disgust at the way many people were behaving when they attended last Thursday’s meeting about the next phase of the Bears Way project.

Milngavie Councillor Jim Gibbons said: “This meeting was a disaster. I could not listen to all the arguments because I had to do crowd control and make sure extra doors were opened in the event of an accident.

“I will take this up with the chief executive as a matter of urgency.

“I was also disgusted at some of the behaviour of the audience. It was not a good reflection of people in the area.”

Hundreds of people packed into Milngavie Town Hall last Thursday, September 1 for the first in a series of meetings about the next phase of the cycle lane project on Milngavie Road.

Phase Two of the project is officially ‘on hold’ until the impact of Phase One has been carefully considered, and the council has organised meetings about Phase Two to make sure that local people are consulted.

The first phase, which created a segregated cycle lane along the A81 Milngavie Road from Burnbrae to Hillfoot, has been unpopular with many local people and commuters because they say it’s caused increased congestion along the road.

The proposed Phase Two would run from Hillfoot to Kessington.

One resident at the meeting who didn’t want to be named, said: “The whole thing was a farce and I couldn’t believe the arrogance of the council officers.

“There was almost a riot at the start of the meeting.

“Any questions or concerns that were raised about Phase Two were ignored, rebuffed or brushed aside.

“There was a general feeling of disgust at the meeting - lots of people walked out.”

One person at the meeting suggested that a local referendum should be held to decide whether Phase Two goes ahead.

However, the new cycle lane is supported by some residents and the Friends of Bears Way group.

One man, who asked not to be named, said; “Despite it not being perfect, I’m a supporter of the Bearsway. At the meeting I felt that the Bearsway representatives did a good job of answering calmly, when people asked actual questions of them.

“They managed this in spite of the impolite and angry interruptions from many who should know better. It’s just a pity that a number of seemingly expert local residents aren’t willing to listen, as they have already made up their minds on the issue regardless of the evidence and careful planning.”