Plans unveiled for £470m active travel network covering entirety of Glasgow

PLANS have been unveiled for the creation of a £470 million active travel network covering the entirety of Glasgow.

It comes as the city’s council looks to support a ‘crucial’ shift to walking, wheeling and cycling in an effort to reduce Glasgow’s carbon footprint and improve air quality.

The plans would add 270 kilometres of ‘high quality’ cycleways and improved footways across the city, with schools being within 400m of the main active travel routes and homes no more than 800m.

The local authority said that it is anticipated that the new active travel network would allow anyone who cycles to reach most of the city within 30 minutes and almost all of the city within an hour.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction at Glasgow City Council, said, “Safety is the number one reason for people being discouraged from using active travel and in particular, cycling.  The existing network is expanding and the spaces for people project helped show the appetite for change. By creating a network of cycle lanes and associated footways that reaches into every corner of the city we will maximise the opportunity for active travel to be the first choice for everyday journeys.

“Glasgow’s population is continuing to rise with the obvious consequence that more and more journeys are being taken in the city. To avoid increasing traffic levels, congestion, air pollution and road safety issues in future then we must provide alternatives for people to get about the city.

“By having an active travel network easily accessible to every home and school across the city we can start to turn around a situation with half of the vehicle journeys in Glasgow are less than 3km. By reducing our reliance on private vehicles for getting about Glasgow we can begin to reduce the carbon impact of our transport system. Encouraging a shift to the most sustainable form of transporting available to us can make a major contribution to Glasgow’s effort to tackle climate change. ”

It is intended the active travel strategy will sit alongside the council’s recent liveable neighbourhood’s Plan, which also seeks to reduce dependency on private cars by improving access to local centres and the range of services people rely upon on a daily basis. Taken together, the two strategies will seek to identify opportunities for improved active travel by making better use of existing routes along canals, rivers and old railways.

The active travel strategy also provides a focus on training and education within schools but also looking to target groups that are under-represented or disengaged from walking and cycling.  This will tackle the barriers that large numbers of older people, people at risk of deprivation and people from ethnic minority groups face to this cheap and healthy form of transport.

The strategy will be subject of a public consultation starting in mid-October.