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The 'Bridge to Nowhere' in Glasgow

Launch of the 'Connect2' research report

In January, Glasgow Centre for Population Health’s (GCPH) Programme Manager Bruce Whyte oversaw the launch of a new research report exploring the views of users of a new cycling and walking route in Glasgow.

Held at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, the event gave participants an opportunity to discuss the findings of the report, 'A mixed method study exploring the views of cyclists and pedestrians using the new Kelvingrove-Anderston route in Glasgow'.  Commissioned by the GCPH, it was designed to canvass views on the Kelvingrove-Anderston route, part of the UK-wide 'Connect2' project, led by Sustrans. The route connects Kelvingrove Park in the west end of Glasgow to the city centre.

Route users were interviewed face-to-face on different parts of the route, with smaller numbers subsequently taking part in focus groups to hear people’s opinions on different aspects of the route, their experiences of using it, and whether it has made a difference to their journeys.

Key findings included:

  • The route was perceived as a successful addition to the active travel network, with a general consensus that more routes with similar safe infrastructure were needed in other parts of the city.
  • The safety of the route was very important, especially for cyclists. The raised kerb separating the cycle lane from traffic, has contributed to cyclists feeling safer and more inclined to use it – even if their journey time became longer.
  • Almost half of the participants interviewed (45%) changed their journey to take advantage of the new route, while others (22%) used the route more frequently now than previously, mainly due to increased feelings of safety.
  • The route has encouraged more people to change their mode of transport (23%) from driving or using public transport to walking or cycling. Participants reported faster, cheaper and less stressful journeys as a result.
  • With both cyclists and pedestrians using the route, there were sometimes tensions between these groups. Cyclists suggested that awareness of the dedicated cycle lanes and of cyclists in general needs to be improved, particularly in city centre locations.

Bruce Whyte commented: “This study highlights the benefits of a new safe cycling and walking route that links up a commuting area to the city centre. The Kelvingrove-Anderston route, while it could be improved further, is perceived by users to be safer than other on-road alternatives and has encouraged modal shifts to more active and sustainable forms of travel.”

Bruce also noted: “It is interesting that there is support for further development of this type of safe infrastructure in other parts of Glasgow and that people would like to see more routes in order to create a more cohesive active travel network across the city. If more journeys in Glasgow were made by bike or on foot, our population would be healthier and happier and we would have cleaner air in our city, as our streets would be less dominated by motor traffic.”

You can read more about the Connect2 project here.


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