Glasgow to monitor cycle traffic through new app

Picture: Glasgow City Council

Picture: Glasgow City Council

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CYCLE traffic across Scotland’s biggest city will be tracked by an innovative free mobile phone app launched by Glasgow City Council today to focus improvement spending on the busiest routes.

Cyclists will be encouraged to share information about their journeys, which is recorded by the Glasgow Cycling app as they pedal.

The council said cycle trips into the city centre had trebled to more than 9,000 a day over the last seven years, but it has only limited information about the busiest routes.

There is an electronic counter beside the “Bridge to Nowhere” over the M8 in Anderston and an annual count done manually.

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Council leader Gordon Matheson, who chairs the technology innovation group Future City Glasgow behind the project, said: “This new app will provide accurate information which will be extremely helpful when decisions are being made on where and how to upgrade or extend cycling facilities.

“I hope bikers will seize this chance to contribute directly to work to make Glasgow more bike friendly.”

Dr Colin Little, the council’s travel planning co-ordinator, added: “We can see what the demand is for cycling along those routes.

“That gives us the opportunity to target where we put infrastructure so it will see very real use.”

Cyclists can submit information about their journeys, such as distance and time, anonymously.

They can also rate how much their routes are flat and off-road, to help fellow riders plan their journeys.

The app also shows the location of cycle parking and bike shops.

It is available from the Apple store, with an Android version to follow soon on Google Play.

Victoria Leiper, campaign manager of bike recycling and promotion group Glasgow Bike Station, said: “This is our opportunity, as cycle commuters, to shape decision-making.

“It is perhaps the most pro-active thing we can do.”

Keith Irving, chief executive of national cycle promotion organisation Cycling Scotland, said other local authorities should follow suit.

He said: “All councils should be increasing monitoring of cycling levels.”

Glasgow’s cycling has been boosted by last year’s launch of its hire scheme, in which bikes have been picked up and dropped off at points across the city more than 34,000 times so far.

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