Glasgow City Council is planning/currently building a new bus link from the city centre to the Southern General Hospital. The hospital is currently undergoing major development by expanding for the creation of a super hospital which will take patients from several other hospitals around the city resulting in their closure. When the site opens there will be a surge in traffic and so the new fastlink project aims to provide public transport to the site.
With difficulty the plans for the new fastlink route have been found and Magnatom has written a piece which has links to them along with remarks: http://www.magnatom.net/2014/01/cycling-afterthought.html
As pointed out in Magnatom’s blog, the consultation for the Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for the bus lanes on the Clyde Arc (Squinty Bridge) was to end on the 24th January but the construction of the new lanes began well before that. The pictures shown below were taken on bridge on the 25th January, a day after the consultation ended, and clearly there has been considerable work done already. For those who don’t know the route a new central reservation has been added, which is a separator for the new buses.
Given that there will be objections to the traffic regulation order (TRO) why has Glasgow City council started construction work? I get the impression that previous plans for the route were published and consulted on and so in the eyes of the council ended the consultation period for the project. However, the devil is often in the detail and only when the specific plans are released can any real critique take place. In this instance the traffic regulation order proposal has barred cyclists from using the express bus lanes and so forcing them to use the other traffic lane. This is of concern since cyclists will then be in the uncomfortable situation of holding traffic up when crossing the bridge when facing an incline, due to the rise in the bridge, and potentially into the wind due to the bridge being exposed.
In short Glasgow City Council has fast tracked their Fastlink project through the key stages of the consultation and failed to make public key drawings showing details of the route. The result of which will be an unpleasant cycling experience with increased chance of conflict – great.