Pollok Roundabout on Barrhead Road shyly accepted its accolade as the single most dangerous traffic location for Glasgow cyclists in 2014, revealed from the newly released road traffic accident data. “It was nothing”, said Pollok. “Most years I manage to nail a cyclist or 2, but raising my game to get 3 in a single year was something I have been building up to. I am in friendly competition with the other roundabouts such as Auldhouse, Battlefield and Shieldhall Road, but this year I got everything right and showed those guys how to be well-dangerous. The bookie’s favourite, Auldhouse, only got one measly cyclist. Shieldhall Road claimed he got 3 but one of those was 50m away and under the rules that didn’t count”.
Funny/not funny, what do you think? I have previously posted on the cycle accident distributions in Glasgow for the years 1999-2013 based on the STATS19 accident data https://glasgowcycleman.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/glasgow-and-the-quest-for-20mph-speed-limits/. This revealed that cycle accidents are unfortunately common in the city centre, main roads in the West End, arterial roads where shops are present and on roundabouts. The 2014 STATS19 data are now available and in the spirit of fact-finding, I thought it valuable to see if there are any clear changes in the accident locations. Don’t hold your breath.
City Centre: As in previous years, the city centre has relatively high levels of cycle accidents, but these are scatted across a relatively wide area.
West End: The egregiously high levels of accidents on the main roads, Byres, Great Western, and Dumbarton Roads persisted.
Byres Road: As well as having a high number of cycle accidents in 2014, the high levels of accidents to female cyclists noted in previous years continues. Three out of the five 2014 accidents on Byres Road involved women which compares to typical male:female cycle accident ratio in Strathclyde of about 5:1. Does Byres Road have particularly high female cyclist usage or are other factors involved? The need for a cycle survey on this street is very urgent.
Roundabouts: Roundabouts such as Pollok, Auldhouse, Battlefield and others remained dangerous; some such as Pollok and Shieldhall especially so.
Shopping Areas on Arterial Roads: Accident levels at these locations continued to be much higher than on arterial roads without shops. Examples of these shopping streets include Byres Road, Dumbarton Road, Victoria Road and Paisley Road West.
As for any conclusions? In any one year, accidents in which cyclists are involved are by-in-large too few and random in nature to show very clear geographic trends, but when the 2014 data are compared to the accident loci for the years 1999-2013 (see 2014 Cycle Accidents), they clearly fit into the same pattern. In other words, in 2014, there was no appreciable increase in safety at the accident hot-spots. Unless action is taken to address the above identified areas they will likely remain dangerous into the future. The evidence is before us, Where is the commensurate action to make these areas safer?
When the 2015 data are available, I am not holding my breath that any improvements will be evident.