Cycle Facilities in Cowcaddens

Website by Andy Preece

Cowcaddens is immediately to the north of Glasgow City Centre and is at a main junction of routes, both in terms of main roads and indeed of cycle routes. A new scheme was put in to connect the Forth & Clyde Canal at Spiers Wharf with the cycle routes at Cowcadden but it has not helped cyclists one bit!

Duplication and clutter The route starts off with some duplication of signage. There are two cycle routes but there is no need for two sets of signs. Two destinations could be put on one sign.

Note the wheelchair symbol. There is a step-free route to the canal, but it is via the next street on the right, at the white building. Read on to see the steps on this route!
Here the two signs are put on the same post, but one sign would have been better.

A straight ahead for recommended cycle destinations sign does not exempt cycles from a No Entry sign. Two don't either!
Go right ahead!
This way please! In the opposite direction the sign clutter is not better. However, the pedestrian, cycle and wheelchair symbols have been dropped (isn't a blue sign without a pedestrian or cycle symbol automatically a motorway sign?) and a tourist information style 'i' added instead. Needless to say, the route is not signed all the way to the Tourist Information Office.

By the way, is that recycling bin legally parked?
On arrival at the Cowcaddens junction the signing for Hillhead disappears, because it was removed when the streetscaping was being done. The Hillhead route, part of Glasgow City Council's flagship Colleges Cycle Route, turns left here. You would never know!

A route to a city centre shopping precinct diverges on the left here too.

The tarmac surface has been replaced with modern cobbles - just not what the modern cyclists wants.
Too difficult for road designers to cope with!
Turn left now! The Colleges Cycle Route turns left here, before the turning head. There isn't even a clue in the surface, which with its uniform paving slabs looks like continuous footway. At least the cycleway straight ahead, on the route to the canal, is tarmac.
A couple of cycle parking stands have been provided outside the underground station. However, not only are they the "bolt-on" type, unsuitable for unsupervised locations where anyone could come and uproot them, they are also located too close to the wall, meaning you can't lock through the rear wheel. Poor design, poorly implemented!
Slippery! The ramp down to the underpass on the main Colleges Cycle Route has been resurfaced with smooth paving slaps, which are slippery when wet. They already have skid marks on them!

The "pedestrians/cyclists" sign is also the wrong way round, while the one at the other end of the underpass indicates no segregation, even though there once was a dividing line, now somewhat worn out. Perhaps some money could have been spent renewing that instead. This underpass floods too.
At the other end of the tarmac cycleway towards the canal, there is another "pedestrians/cyclists" sign the wrong way round. The sign is also next to an junction box for the bus shelter's electrical supply, which should have been moved clear out of the way. Leaving it there forces cyclists closer to the bus shelter and the perils of pedestrian conflict. Which side should you take?
Under you go! Phase 2 of the scheme is meant to be replacing this underpass under Dobbies Loan - a very busy road effectively the city centre ring road - with pedestrian crossings. However, this underpass is actually not too bad, as underpasses go, and the pedestrian crossings would cause delays to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as danger due to the very poor sightlines on the eastbound carriageway where traffic will be coming off the gyratory system.

Drainage improvements have been made here so maybe the underpass will be kept after all!
Getting close to the canal now, but it looks like the budget for sign posts has run out! This sign, indicating the right turn for the canal, is tucked away on a post with a sign for a demolished nursery. Perhaps a sign further back could have donated its pole to this crucial location.

But what of those that want to go to Woodside? Do they not get a sign? Or are they meant to know to go straight on and up the ramp to the footbridge?

And why is there no provision for cyclists coming off the main road, wishing to skip the gyratory and join the cycle network? There isn't even a convenient dropped kerb.
Turn right here, or go straight on if you prefer!
This way to the canal! And so we arrive at the aforementioned steps. The canal is at the top of the steps, yet the signs still indicate wheelchair access. In case you don't believe me, the next photo shows where the continuing path goes...
...a dead end! However, cyclists coming down from the canal use the grass slope and end up on this path, avoiding the steps. Not suitable for those in wheelchairs though. A dead end!
Watch your step! The steps are also in a poor state. Perhaps some money could be spent here. A ramp down the side on the grass, even with hairpins, would do nicely too. This may well be the biggest flight of steps in Glasgow, yet it is signed as being wheelchair accessible!
This is the welcome cyclists receive when they arrive in Glasgow along the canal! Welcome to Glasgow!

If you have a cycle route that needs looked at then tell me all about it!

Website by Andy Preece