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South City Way (Candleriggs / Merchant City)

  • (slightly long build-up, but there's a point at the end... honest)

    Remember that time when Humza Yousaf stood on Candleriggs with a banner to publicise South City Way winning a competition for funding?

    I've had a fair few grumbles on Twitter since then about drivers abusing the pedestrianised section of Candleriggs as a shortcut on to Trongate. It's pretty endemic

    Youtube Video

    The planters at the top and the signs on every second lamppost would, you'd think, make it pretty obvious but every driver I've challenged on it has said they didn't realise.


    Worse, the planters are big enough to hide pedestrians walking across the street behind them and I've seen drivers race through, almost hitting people. Even half-way down the street I've had drivers aim at me, seemingly to 'teach me a lesson' for daring to walk in their way.

    Things got ridiculous a couple of days ago when the police followed two cars on to the pedestrian precinct.


    I'd assumed they were going to pull them over and have a word, but they didn't. Instead they just followed them through. After the two cars in front had turned left the traffic lights changed to red but the officer just carried on, jumping the lights and turning right.

    So, I was pretty incensed and I made an official complaint about the officer that evening.

    I had a call yesterday from the officer investigating my complaint. It was more positive than I'd expected, which was good. Turns out the officers were armed and after public consultation there's a Police Scotland agreement that armed officers won't get involved in minor traffic infringements (which is fair enough). The jumping of the lights has been flagged to their supervisor.

    Anyway, on to the 'how this relates to CityCyclingGlasgow' bit (told you there was a point)...

    One of the things I'd discussed with the officer when he called me was that this is actually to be one of the cycle routes linking to the South City Way.

    I've had a letter today with an update in which he says that he has raised this with the Roads Policing Inspector who has confirmed that the traffic management team is aware of concerns about vehicles driving on pedestrian precincts in Glasgow, including this one. This is, he says, a regular item of discussion when the police meet with Glasgow City Council. Also, assessments of vehicular and pedestrian access on the proposed cycle routes in the city centre are also regularly discussed at these meetings.

    Of course, there has been a problem here for years so it remains to be seen how fruitful these discussions will be. But I am at least slightly optimistic knowing that it has now been highlighted to the Roads Policing Inspector. It would be nice to think that by the time the South City Way is complete we won't be running a gauntlet to get to the start of it.

  • administrators

    Good for you! 👍 I too have reported the Police themselves for bad driving, and received an apologetic call.

    Given you were nearly hit there, I'm not so sure about "minor" road traffic offences being ignored. It feels like it's been normalised.

    It's particularly interesting that you have spoken with people and they don't realise it's no-go for cars. Do you think that this could stem from a belief in being allowed to drive anywhere that is physically open to cars? As is often the case in the UK. Or are people not used to seeing those signs?

    Concerning to hear of driving on pedestrian areas - even the few places of refuge are being compromised.

    We're organising a GoBike Call for Action Workshop next month, details to follow soon, and there's going to be a South City Way/Victoria Rd support group being setup. And this is the type of campaigning that could form a part of it. I'll post the details once it's finalised!

  • I've challenged probably a half-dozen drivers as either as they've stopped to find out why I'm pointing at them, or when they're getting out of their cars after parking in front of Guys restaurant for dinner (btw, the car at the front of the three in the picture above... that's Guy himself - a regular abuser).

    All have said they didn't realise it was pedestrianised. I think for some that's just an excuse - you'll often see drivers get to the planters, slow and have a look about before deciding to drive down there. For others though I think you're right; it's a roadway, with a gap physically big enough for their car, so why wouldn't they be allowed to drive down it. Especially since there are traffic lights at the end beckoning them on.

    Looking forward to the details on the workshop. 😄

  • administrators

    Sounds like you got a potential project to work on for the workshop!

  • Yep. Was 'close passed' by a taxi as I walked down there this afternoon. He got stopped at the lights and had his window down so I very politely (really) asked if he knew it was a pedestrian precinct. He replied that it's not because there's access. So, for him at least, it really is a case of "I can fit, therefore I can drive on it".

    Oh, when I said to him that it only had access for deliveries between 9am and 11am he said I should report him to the police.... so I shall.

  • administrators

    @JoeSoap76 Good for you! Perhaps he'll listen to the Police. I'll be interested to hear how the Police handle it, particularly since you had a near-miss there yourself.

  • When I reported a taxi to the police over an incident I was advised to report it to the council's licencing department as well. I was unfortunately bogged down with emails and didn't chase it up but they were very helpful about trying to get details.

  • Took about 12 hours for GCC's licensing department to close me down with a standard response.

    Date: Friday, 30 June 2017

    Dear Sir,

    Complaint re. glasgow licensed vehicle

    I refer to your complaint and would advise that powers available to the Enforcement Unit in complaint investigations are restricted to addressing incidents where a licence holder has contravened a condition or conditions attached to their licence or where a licence holder fails to meet the requirements of the legislation that governs his/her licence and as such your complaint falls out with our remit.

    If you consider that the actions of the driver endangered members of the public or may constitute a road traffic offence, then the appropriate authority to contact in this respect would be Police Scotland


    John Donohoe
    Team Leader (Taxi Inspections & Enforcement)
    Service Development Division (Transport)

    Shall wait and see what the police have to say...

  • administrators

    It looks like if the police fob you off, then the council letter puts it back on them. Though you have to be sure what road traffic offence it is.

  • That's disappointing. They were certainly much more helpful to me but it was a question of a taxi driver being abusive so perhaps they have a different perspective on different types of incidents.

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