Would you like to see the Glasgow hire bikes come to Dennistoun? See below for the story so far.
Inspired by the success of the NextBike Glasgow cycle hire scheme, Dennistoun Community Council wrote to Land and Environmental Services (the Glasgow City Council service that oversees the project), to encourage future expansion of the scheme to include Dennistoun. All Councillors, MSPs, Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and our MP with responsibility for the area covered by DCC were copied in. See our Representatives page for further details.
The text of our message was as follows:
Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) was one of the first to be established in Glasgow and has operated continuously since the late 1970s. With almost 16,000 residents, DCC is currently the largest community council in Glasgow and has recently increased its membership in response to local interest. As with other community councils, DCC has a role to seek and represent the views of local people and businesses on all matters affecting our community, and to feed this back to local authorities and other agencies.
DCC recognises the success of the NextBike Glasgow scheme and the contribution it has made toward providing a better range of transport options within our city. It notes that the availability of NextBike forms an essential part of the drive toward make cycling the biggest participation activity in the city by 2020, as per ‘Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling 2010-2020’. DCC shares the Plan’s identification of cycling as playing an important role in contributing to the health and well-being of those who live, work and visit the city. The aim of the Plan that “all communities in Glasgow will have the opportunity to cycle safely and comfortably within the city” is especially encouraged.
The awards Glasgow City Council recently received in the ‘Excellence in Cycling and Walking’ category at both the UK Transport Awards and the Scottish Transport Awards, in recognition of the significant benefits its sustainable transport strategy has delivered, are further indications of the progress being made in terms of cycling infrastructure within the city.
The 2-year, £230,000 CTC-led Play on Wheels project announced in January of this year, set up to allow every four-year-old child in Glasgow the opportunity to learn to ride a bike is further evidence of potential for the growth of cycling within the city.
DCC noted with interest the recent motion by Councillor Frank McAveety that “Council welcomes the successful launch and introduction of the Mass Automated Cycle Scheme; notes that in 2 months since its launch 17,000 hires were made; welcomes the award of the maintenance contract to Glasgow Bike Station; reaffirms its commitment to Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling to improve infrastructure and encourage cycling and active travel in the city, and commits to the continued success and development in the months and years to come.”
In relation to “continued success and development” of the scheme, DCC believes that the 31 permanent sites throughout the city which are operated by the NextBike Glasgow scheme could successfully be extended to include a station (or stations) within the Dennistoun area. Currently, the nearest available hire stations are located at Glasgow Cathedral, Strathclyde Uni (South), Trongate, Glasgow Green, and the Emirates Arena & Velodrome. A quick glance at the map of hire points confirms that each of these sites are, comparatively, quite some distance away from the substantial (and currently under-served) population centre of Dennistoun.
Dennistoun’s close proximity to Glasgow city centre makes it an ideal location to benefit from an expansion of the Next Bike scheme. Further, Dennistoun is characterised by low rates of car ownership and a burgeoning student population.
On that basis, DCC proposes that the inclusion of Dennistoun within the list of locations served by NextBike, at the earliest opportunity, would prove to be a logical and popular addition. This opinion was raised and unanimously confirmed at a recent monthly meeting.
Should Glasgow City Council be able to positively respond to this request, it is suggested that sites at Bellgrove Street/Duke Street and Alexandra Park gates (at Alexandra Parade) provide excellent locations for further expansion. DCC members would welcome any opportunity for further discussion on this matter.
Your response to the foregoing would be welcomed such that it can be reported back to the community council and local residents at the next available opportunity.
Land and Environmental Services responded as follows:
Thank you for your informed e-mail and positive remarks on our new Mass Automated Cycle Hire (MACH) Scheme, which Glasgow has really embraced in the short time it’s been in operation. I can advise that we are currently in discussion with Nextbike GmbH (the service provider) about expanding the scheme in time for next Spring, which will widen coverage to areas outwith the City centre, including Dennistoun.
Our aim is to submit a paper to our Sustainability and the Environment Policy and Development Committee early in 2015, outlining finalised expansion plans, and will ensure that the views expressed by Dennistoun Community Council is considered in any expansion proposals.
Additionally, a motion was submitted to the Scottish Parliament by Paul Martin MSP, reiterating support for the scheme at a city and local level. It was reported by STV here, you can see the motion here, and the full text was as follows:
That the Parliament notes calls from Dennistoun Community Council for the NextBike Glasgow scheme to be extended to include a station in the Dennistoun area; believes that Dennistoun’s close proximity to the city centre, low rates of car ownership and growing student population make it an ideal location to benefit from an expansion of the NextBike scheme; considers that the NextBike Glasgow scheme has helped to significantly improve the range of transport options in the city; understands that Glasgow City Council received an award in the Excellence in Cycling and Walking category at both the UK Transport Awards and the Scottish Transport Awards, and welcomes efforts to provide communities in Glasgow with the opportunity to cycle safely and comfortably in the city.
We also received messages of support from Cllr Jennifer Dunn, Cllr Yvonne Kucuk, Cllr Alison Thewliss, Cllr Frank Docherty, John Mason MSP and David Stewart MSYP.