Crossroads to go Dutch to boost cycle safety

It is hoped the creation of the South City Way will encourage more people to cycle Glasgows streets. Picture: Jamie Forbes

Plans for what is thought to be the UK’s first segregated junction for bikes are being devised for a busy Glasgow street, The Scotsman has learned,

The Dutch-style layout is designed to enable cyclists to turn right more safely.

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Lanes would guide them clockwise round the perimeter of the junction like a roundabout, rather than directly across it.

The scheme is planned for Victoria Road as part of the South City Way, a new segregated cycle route between the city centre and Queen’s Park. Work on the £6.5 million route is due to start this month.

It is expected to set a new standard for similar schemes, which ministers see as critical to boosting cycling by keeping riders away from other traffic.

The news, revealed at Cycling Scotland’s annual conference, comes weeks after Edinburgh City Council announced Scotland’s first two-stage right turn junction for cyclists would be installed on Leith Walk.

The new Glasgow crossings are planned for the Allison Street and/or Calder Street junctions with Victoria Road.

However, Glasgow City Council is likely to need special ministerial approval because of their novelty.

Similar junctions have been considered for London but have yet to be introduced.

A council spokeswoman said: “The South City Way will be a high-quality active travel [cycling and walking] corridor and this design for a segregated junction is an option we are looking at as part of that.

“Our aim is to make cycling a safe, attractive and accessible option for all of Glasgow’s citizens.

“Extensive engagement has been undertaken with local communities and other stakeholders and this will continue throughout the project.

“Aspects of the designs, including the segregated tracks along both sides of the road, have been shaped by these exercises and feedback.”

Ian Maxwell of cycle campaigners Spokes said: “Traditional road junction design in the UK still tends to be focused on avoiding delays to motor vehicles, so it’s great to see Glasgow traffic engineers taking a different approach.

“Cyclists can be fearful of using busy junctions – deterred either by the risk of vehicles turning left through them as they go straight ahead, or finding the best road position to turn right themselves.

“These designs for Victoria Road offer some direct answers to this problem, rather than just relegating cyclists to circuitous side street routes.

“Spokes welcomes this approach, while continuing to stress that reduction in private vehicle use in city centres should take place alongside junction redesign.”