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No car zone - Giffnock Main Street
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TOPIC: No car zone - Giffnock Main Street

No car zone - Giffnock Main Street 1 month, 3 weeks ago #1

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Courtesy Briefing Notes.

Reduction in East Ren road size for motorists

Editor’s note: Many of you have written to us on this subject. Space prevents us from publishing them all, unfortunately. We have selected one with our response which can be viewed on our BN Facebook page. This, from resident A, is published unredacted with our great thanks. Good job Citizen A.

Warning: Many of you will be shocked at these details. Please note, ERC held no public consultation and although it is funded by Sustrans, that organisation is 100% funded by public tax monies, so it is still YOUR money that is funding this nonsense. One last point to ponder before we let Citizen A rip: many of us clearly remember part of the front gardens of the houses on Ayr Rd. were compulsory purchased to widen Ayr Rd. from two to 4 lanes.

‘In true East Renfrewshire Council style, nine months after a pandemic is declared and new words such as ‘social distancing’ and ‘self-isolation’ enter the lexicon, they belatedly declare Fenwick and Ayr Roads no longer safe for purpose. Enter stage left, the clipboard and hi-vis brigade. It is panto season after all.

I’m sure you’ve read the stories about Glasgow and Edinburgh City Centres – note, once bustling with people city centres, not suburbs – and ludicrous decisions since reversed such as depositing a disabled parking bay in the middle of a road to make way of the new king of the road – the bike.

To be fair to those authorities, everyone approached Coronavirus with a degree of panic in the beginning as we didn’t know what we were up against. We were still learning how it spread, and how it was mitigated, so you could forgive those authorities for initially overreacting to create space for people to pass whilst maintaining 2 meters distance.

But our very own ERC have decided now is the time to take action. The public sector financial year end beckons, and as those readers with any sort of insight into how these things work will understand, if you don’t spend it, you lose it. The idea of footering about with two main thoroughfares with another body (SUSTRANS) picking up the bill was simply too much for the Administration to let pass them by.

The author of this comment has been in contact with the administrators of a popular local community Facebook page. The unsuspecting locals who were stunned by the appearance of an entire lane-wide cycle lane on Fenwick road with physical cones, those who witnessed a blue-light ambulance (during a pandemic) stuck behind cars with nowhere to go, as the empty cycle lane was physically separated, and the disappearance of car parking spaces at a time we are being told to stay and shop local, created the largest point of discussion the Page has ever seen. By some margin.

Your author has looked at the plans for the remainder of the ‘Spaces for People’ proposals and you may be stunned by what’s to come, if you haven’t looked yourself.

All car parking spaces outside the shops on Fenwick Road are to go – to be turned into extended pavements, despite the that pavement won’t get any busier than outside the butchers on the run up to Hogmanay, and apparently, it’s been safe before now.

The parking on Park Road, opposite the Orchard Park Bar & Grill, is to be scrapped too.

As for on-street parking for those lacking driveways, lacking sufficient space in their driveways, or heaven forbid, look forward to welcoming visitors once this wretched pandemic is over, you can forget it.

Now, there will invariably be some organised, militant and outspoken critics reading this. The pro-cycling lobby - not the people who are keen enthusiasts for cycling as a hobby, many of whom drive themselves to get from A to B - but the minority of people who lead a lifestyle where pedal power suits them better than motorised travel.

But for the rest of us, we generally associate labour-saving machines as an advancement which enriches our lives, makes them easier at a time when life is getting harder, as indeed the majority of the developing world who are scrapping their bikes for cars, such as in China where car sales growth rates are in the double digits.[1]

Reader, your author doesn’t have anything against bikes. The cycle lane on Ayr Road has been perfectly acceptable. And where people need to stop to make a delivery, in event of a breakdown, or for a few hours to check in on an elderly friend or relative perhaps, the pavement is free to park. That means a minor inconvenience to other road users in terms of overtaking the parked vehicle, which for some unknown reason, is completely untenable to cyclists.

What is patently clear to anyone beyond those who blindly support what our Authority does because they have a party-political allegiance to the parties who currently control it, is that these road measures are not about the pandemic. Not now, not nine months down the line. It was around six months ago they coned off a small section of Clarkston Road at Stamperland approaching the Toll – as a local walker myself, a very sensible innovation to ensure both sides of the road are walkable – there are sufficient other spaces for parking.

It is very clear this is about ERC ramming through some deeply unpopular measures such as cutting the speed limit on Ayr Road from 40 mph to 30 mph, despite the purported cones affording cyclists more safety than a painted line, they feel need to cut the speed limit too?

If ERC had to seek a democratic mandate to remove car parking spaces outside your home, you’re your elderly parent’s home, or from popular local traders such as Pane e Vino, the OP, Sainsbury’s Local, Valentini’s and Catch at a time when public health measures and the Scottish Government’s coronavirus strategic framework (tier 3, 4, et. al.) have devastated their business, you know fine well how they would finish up.

So instead this vandalism of our road space is here for 18 months under emergency powers related to the Coronavirus pandemic – nine months on from its onset.

ERC claims it is making ‘Spaces for People’ – except for the majority of local people who drive cars, it seems.

We are up against a minority who have paid lobbyists, campaigners, and as seen by their presence on social media, don’t mince their words when it comes to disagreeing with people.

Don’t get mad – get even, and make sure your comments are reported direct to East Renfrewshire Council on the official response platform: erspacesforpeople.commonplace.is/overview

And if this doesn’t work, you know what you’ve got to do in ’22. Get them out. Make ‘spaces for people’ who respect democracy, respect our opinions, and respect our community.

Extract from AECOM’s ‘Green Transport Recovery’ plan, dated June 2020, being implemented now.

Re: No car zone - Giffnock Main Street 1 month, 3 weeks ago #2

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