Statement on Traffic and Streetscape

A PDF version of this statement is available here.

Context

Dennistoun Community Council (DCC) is keen to see improvements in our streetscape to help create better safer streets for all as part of a thriving sustainable future for Dennistoun.

In recent months this has been primarily via communication with Councillors. Prior to that, DCC has requested that Glasgow City Council carry out a full review of and consultation on traffic and parking issues in Dennistoun. This has been met with some positive engagement but clear strategy and messaging has not been forthcoming. DCC therefore understands the confusion and frustration voiced by some residents when hearing of recent RPZ and LTN proposals.

Background

A Restricted Parking Zone (RPZ) proposal with extents including Dennistoun was publicised by Glasgow City Council both online and at a series public exhibitions by Glasgow City Council in July 2019. DCC shared information about that here, with an additional Frequently Asked Questions page here. DCC engaged in this process and sought to establish answers to various unknowns and concerns raised by the community. It also sought to establish a summary of the information gathered by Glasgow City Council during the exercise, but this was not provided. DCC did not make an overall statement of support or objection to the RPZ at that early stage, on the basis that a consultation on the final proposal was to be forthcoming with the opportunity to formally comment, object or support the proposals in due course. It would appear that progress on this has been halted due to circumstances related to coronavirus.

A ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ (LTN) scheme was announced earlier this week by Glasgow City Council as part of the Spaces for People programme. Details are here: glasgow.gov.uk/article/26417/Spaces-for-People-Dennistoun. The document describing the scheme is here. The overview drawing of the scheme is here.

Development

To date, DCC has not had any input into the development or design of the Glasgow City Council LTN scheme.

DCC was first provided with a version of the Glasgow City Council LTN on Monday 30th November. DCC reviewed and discussed this internally with a view to creating a response. A revised version was then provided by Glasgow City Council on Friday 4th December.

A member of the public approached DCC with some active travel proposals at the end of May 2020 and DCC wrote to Dennistoun Cllrs in early June to note them as being a positive and well-informed contribution. The same individual then followed up by submitting an LTN proposal to DCC immediately prior to the October DCC meeting. October minutes note that DCC would promote the proposal to Cllr Richardson (City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction). A draft correspondence, including comments and concerns about broader traffic and parking matters, was discussed internally by DCC (and shared with the member of the public for proposer for comment) in between the October and November meetings. Further discussion took place at the November meeting (to allow the proposer and other members of the public a fair chance to comment publicly), with various aspects and concerns were given further consideration. DCC didn’t ultimately get as far as sending a final version of the correspondence because Glasgow City Council released their own scheme as part of the Spaces for People programme.

Further details on this, and all other DCC activity, can be found in our published minutes, available at dennistouncc.org.uk/minutes. Dates of future meetings can be found at dennistouncc.org.uk/dates.

Comments

DCC comments on the Glasgow City Council Spaces for People ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhood’ Scheme are as follows:

  • The improvements around the primary schools are very welcome (though there is potential for improvements around nurseries and Whitehill secondary also, especially where yellow zig-zags are already in place).
  • Rat runs are not eliminated whilst through traffic routes between Alexandra Parade and Duke Street (and vice versa) remain in place. If there’s a route, private motor vehicles will use it, thus the principle of an LTN is severely (possibly critically) diminished. Not only in terms of the effect on reducing levels of vehicular through traffic on residential roads, but also on the circumstances required to make the shift towards active travel more likely.
  • ‘No-entry’ points that only span half the road width but have two-way traffic on both sides (as is proposed for two locations on Craigpark) are liable to become ignored and treated as mere chicanes, with the prohibited vehicular movements creating a new risk to all road users.
  • No evidence of an emergency services consultation has been provided, although DCC acknowledges that, by their very nature, well-implemented LTNs tend not to be a concern for emergency services.
  • DCC is aware that a public consultation is not required as per the guidance and legislation outlined by Transport Scotland here. But if Glasgow City Council had engaged in a discussion about traffic and parking as per DCCs long-standing requests in relation to the whole of our area, with a resultant coherent plan for traffic, parking and streetscape plan in place, DCC believes that public concerns would have been addressed in advance of the LTN being announced.
  • Ultimately, the Glasgow City Council LTN is not truly a comprehensive LTN, and fails to solve some key issues, potentially even creating some new ones. DCC acknowledges that the Glasgow City Council LTN is temporary, which allows for amendments to be made during its implementation. And mention has been made that a consultation would be required for a permanent installation. But details of a plan beyond the ten week temporary period have not been adequately outlined.

Priorities

DCC believes that a coherent plan for traffic, parking and streetscape improvements in Dennistoun should be produced, including, but not limited to:

Permanent LTN, with the following minimum requirements

  • School car free zones.
  • No rat-run connections between distributor roads, with all ‘no-entry’ points to be full width of carriageway to motor vehicles (rather than being little more than easily bypassed chicanes).
  • 20 mph limits on all non-distributor roads.
  • Contra-flow cycling to be permitted on 20 mph one-way roads.
  • Raised tables on residential roads at junctions with distributor roads (we have some dilapidated ones adjoining Alexandra Parade and Cumbernauld Road, but they require renewal, and there are none adjoining Duke Street).
  • The above LTN measures should be applicable throughout the full DCC area.

Maintaining Pavement Space

  • All large on-street bins (i.e. commercial, public recycling, and shared domestic, but not litter or grit bins) to be located within carriageway space if placement on pavements would narrow the pavement to less than 2.5 m width, or by default where the existing pavement is less than 2.5 m).
  • Proper enforcement of all existing parking regulations that are currently in place.
  • Enforcement of the newly legislated pavement parking ban.
  • Removal of obstructive advertising sections of bus stop shelters.
  • Proper maintenance/protection of space around cycle parking stands.
  • Full review of signage to remove or replace signs which are redundant, are in the desire line of pedestrian travel, or are otherwise contributing to pavement clutter.
  • Policy on standardised positioning or licensing of A-boards in public pavement spaces.
  • Policy on electric car charging points ensuring that their introduction does not cause a reduction in pavement provision.

Pedestrian Provision Improvements

  • Very considerable improvement in tactile paving provision.
  • Substantial reductions in wait times for pedestrian crossing green lights.
  • New signalised pedestrian crossings, such that they are no more than 250 m apart on all distributor roads.
  • Maintenance funding set at a level which allows for the backlog of resurfacing and drainage issues to be dealt with.

Joined-up Journeys

  • Duke Street Avenue to continue eastward with fully segregated cycleways to/from Millerston Street and soft-segregated cycleways to/from Parkhead.
  • Segregated or soft-segregated cycleways along Alexandra Parade and Cumbernauld Road.
  • More cycle parking lockers (in addition to the three that have been promised).
  • Enhanced NextBike provision: more bikes (including e-bikes) at more locations.
  • Fully accessible railway stations.
  • Reliable live service updates at bus stops as an absolute minimum, although the broader issue of bus service provision requires to be addressed also.
  • Co-wheels pool-hire vehicles to be better promoted, with more of them, located closer to the population centres.

Summary

DCC acknowledges that some positive measures are being proposed. But, as with the RPZ proposals, DCC cannot unreservedly support the Glasgow City Council LTN scheme as it does not form part of a clearly communicated plan to fulfil the medium and long terms goal of better safer streets for all as part of a thriving sustainable future for Dennistoun.

Improvements must come by supplying the conditions for encouraging positive choices. Enabling those choices by introducing infrastructure that will enhance existing conditions is critical to seeing the greatest possible range and diversity of uses among the people of Dennistoun.

This statement was sent to all Dennistoun and Calton Ward Councillors and Cllr Anna Richardson (City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction) on Monday 7th December 2020.

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Dennistoun CC

Dennistoun CC's aim is to ascertain, coordinate and express the views of the wider community. It seeks to promote the Dennistoun area as a positive and inclusive neighbourhood.

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