COUNCILLORS have agreed that a temporary bike route installed in Greenock during the pandemic should be made permanent.
A cycle lane was put in between Battery Park and Greenock town centre last year by Inverclyde Council through the Spaces for People scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, to make it safer for people to walk and cycle during the pandemic.
Councillors today agreed that the bike lane should be kept and improved. A legal process to re-designate parts of the road as cycleway will now begin.
Improvements will be carried out using external funding, in partnership with active travel organisation Sustrans.
• Install delineation kerb between the footway and cycleway.
• Improve the cycle track surface along Brougham Street.
• Install a dedicated cycle phase on the traffic light crossing at Brougham / Patrick Street junction and remove the requirement for cyclists to dismount and cross the junction with the pedestrian phase.
• Install gateway features.
• Improve the sections on Dalrymple Street, Container Way and from Custom House Way to Greenock Ocean Terminal.
Councillor Jim Clocherty said: “In the summer this will be looked at as a good asset.”
Councillor Graeme Brooks said he had been contacted by constituents who felt the lane interfered with the road network and made it harder to travel through the district. His motion to have the cycle infrastructure on the A770 removed was defeated.
A report by officials had recommended that the lane become permanent as it is “well used and there has been no impact on or delay to vehicular traffic”.
It continued: “A traffic survey was undertaken in October 2019 on Brougham Street at the junction with Patrick Street, prior to the construction of the cycle route. In 2019 the results showed that the queue length was back to Campbell Street 15 times during the am peak.
“[latest survey] results show that there has been a continual decrease in the queues since the project was implemented and now the queues are only back to Campbell Street from Patrick Street once a day compared to 15 times a day.
“The traffic and cycle survey results…highlight that the installation of the cycle lane has not had a negative impact on the traffic flow.
“The traffic queues are less frequent and more vehicles pass through the junction. The results over the last year show that there are over 25,000 cycle movements between Greenock and the Battery Park.”
The report continued: “The recorded data does show that some cyclists are still not using the route and are cycling on the road. It is proposed that a media campaign will be developed to promote and encourage cyclists to use the dedicated lane.”
There will also be a “be courteous Inverclyde” campaign to promote that cyclists, pedestrians and wheelers can all use the same space courteously.
Officials also stated: “The route is the first section of segregated cycle path in Inverclyde and is part of a vision to create a dedicated safe cycle route from Gourock to Port Glasgow.
“This route will be off-road and safe for families as well as commuters. The route will also be used as a tourist attraction.”