Almost all of this route is lit, so it can be considered as a 24-hour cycle route. Only two sections are not; one is a country lane leading to a farmhouse which doesn't need to be lit, the other is a path in Coatbridge, partly used by Sustrans, which can be by-passed at night using local roads.
This route starts in Baillieston Main Street, which is on a Quality Bus Corridor. From here it forks right onto Church Street, turns right into Muirhead Road, left into Station Road, following round to the left into Bracadale Road and straight on into Bracadale Gardens. From here it leaves urban Glasgow to use a country lane to the city boundary. Firstly, it leaves the housing estate by forking right then turning right over a railway bridge, Ellismuir Farm Road, then turning left where it meets the only obstruction on the whole route.
This gate is locked shut, but a chicane-type gap is left at one side to allow walkers to pass through. The gate prevents vehicles using the country lane as a rat-run between Glasgow and Coatbridge. However, it prevents cyclists using the route properly, forcing them to lift their bikes over the gate. It would not take much to replace this gate with more acceptable access controls, and allow cyclists to get through. The short length of path connecting the gate to the country lane, and the lane itself are tarmacced throughout. This is the one of the two sections of route without lighting, mentioned above, but due to the nature of the route does not need lighting. The lane further east is lit by lights on the adjacent motorways. There is one small section where fly-tipping is evident in a gateway, but the rest of the lane is in a good state of tidiness. There is a disused cattle-grid that could be removed, but can be by-passed by cyclists. The eastern-most section of the lane is Bredisholm Road.
The next section of route is in Bargeddie. Arriving in Bargeddie along Bredisholm Road, the route turns right onto Rosebank Terrace (a 20mph zone), right into Bredisholm Road at the station, then arrives at Kirkwood.
Firstly the route has to cross the A752. From experience, this is easy enough to cross off-peak, but a Toucan Crossing may be desirable to ensure crossings can be made at busy times. Remember, Bargeddie is currently hemmed in by busy roads, and it is difficult to go anywhere without using motorised transport. It would not be before time for a signalised crossing to be provided so Bargeddie can be linked with neighbouring Kirkwood and the facilities there. The Sustrans cycle route is joined at this point, which enters Kirkwood from the south, having come from Uddingston.
It would be nice to end the description of this future cycle route here, since the Sustrans cycle route in theory connects to the centre of Coatbridge. However, the present form that the Sustrans route takes is so discontinuous that it is unusable by cyclists and only of use to dog-walkers. There's a missing section of cycle route around Kirkwood station, where cyclists have to dismount and walk along the narrow footway under a bridge, then cross the road to use a path that has a short flight of steps in it, then cross the railway again to use a path that seems to be a gathering point for youths to smash glass at (and not just in the usual quantities that can found on urban cycle paths), then descend to use another footway under a bridge before climbing up to use a bridge over the same road. Therefore this route uses the route Sustrans used before building its current abomination.
From Kirkwood Sports Barn, the route turns left onto Mitchell Street (a 20mph zone) and follows it up the hill. At Woodside Street, the route turns left then right to use Cuparhead Avenue, then right onto Nelson Avenue to get to a park. The route forks left once inside the park, then exits it on the left a short while after. Unfortunately, this exit to the park has now been fenced off, so it is no longer possible to follow this route. This path runs neatly towards Coatbridge town centre, or at least it used to. A new housing estate road now bisects the path, and the path done away with. This path used to link directly from the road to the park in one direction, and to the town centre in the other, so would be well used if it was finished to an acceptable standard.
This path was also the other unlit section of the route. For night use, those not wishing to use the path can follow an alternative route using local roads around the south of the park and Dundyvan Road to the east.
Once across another road, again the crossing could be tidied up, and under a railway bridge, the route joins the Sustrans route for the final approach to Coatbridge town centre. The Sustrans route climbs up a ramp from Dundyvan Road to join the path, which then carries straight over a bridge across Dundyvan Road, then passed under a railway bridge to turn left into Stobcross Street. Although this is a street, it is not a nice area, and I saw a youth with a gun (air rifle?) here when I used the route recently. The area needs redeveloped to bring legitimate use to the area - the cycle route is not enough - and in the mean time legitimate uses will be deterred from using the cycle route if it is left as it is.
On arrival at Coatbridge town centre the Sustrans route takes to a narrow footway, with a "Cyclists Dismount" sign advising cyclists not to try cycling. The road here happens to be quite wide, but no attempt has been made to widen the footway or to create a cycle track between the footway and roadway. There is also no attempt to link to the Monkland Canal on the other side of the road. The Sustrans route does connect with the Monkland Canal (dry within Coatbridge) further east and indeed uses it through Sheepford, before climbing up to a disused railway viaduct for onwards travel to the east, but no connection is made at this point.
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