Occasional Thoughts About Cycling In and Around Dundee

Dundee Cycling Forum Newsletter – February 2021

Hi all – and welcome to the February 2021 DCF newsletter!

It’s a short one this month, and the theme seems to be drive-throughs, which we have seen a rash of applications and approvals for. It looks like businesses may be capitalising on the fact that people (understandably) feel safe from Covid inside the private bubble of their cars; however, we need to build back better, and building our cities around cars is absolutely not the way to do this.

If you feel the same, please object to the planning applications below. Making our collective voice heard is really important, so please do take action if you are able!

Planning

Drive-throughs at Riverside

The planning application for two drive-throughs at Riverside Avenue (20/00031/FULL) was this month approved at appeal by the Local Review Body, who overturned Planning’s original decision to reject the application. You can view a notice of their decision here.

This was, in our view, a short-sighted decision which saw the application being approved at all costs because of job creation. In making their decision, the LRB stated – with no evidence – that the drive throughs would not affect the city or district centres and that most journeys there would have been happening anyway. This is completely counter to the evidence that does exist and the fact development of these drive throughs will only swerve to create a more car-centric, unsustainable city. Far more jobs will be created the more attractive a city we make Dundee, and drive-throughs will achieve the opposite of this.

DCC has a planning policy called “Town Centre First”, which should in principle stop all out-of-town developments by ensuring developers consider district and city centre locations first. However, they do still appear to slip through the cracks – we are therefore campaigning DCC to update policy documents to explicitly ban drive throughs.

Planning deputation

The DCF spoke at a deputation to the planning committee this month regarding Tim Horton’s relentless mission to bring yet another drive-through to Dundee – in fact they have a stated aim to bring a drive-through restaurant to every town in Scotland!
Despite having an application rejected by the committee in November, they had decided to apply again under planning application 20/00796/APCONL. We were very pleased to see that this second application was soundly rejected by the committee with a far better margin than in November, at 12 votes to 6.

The application that was rejected in November, however, was appealed to the Scottish Government – it’s not over yet…

Planning objections

There’s three applications we objected to this month – and two of them are drive-throughs! You can view the full application documents by going to  http://idoxwam.dundeecity.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/ and searching for the reference numbers.
If you’d like to help, see below for our objections which you can download, add your name and address to, and email to planning.info@dundeecity.gov.uk to register your objection(s).

21/00079/FULL, for the Erection of restaurant with drive-thru lane (Sui Generis) with associated parking and other ancillary works at Land In Car Park Of 61 Myrekirk Road Dundee – this is for yet another drive through on the Kingsway, encouraging more unnecessary car journeys and ripping the heart out of the city and district centres.

21/00057/FULL, for the change of use from vacant ground to hot food takeaway/drive-thru with associated car parking at Land To East Of Fulton Road And West Of Myrekirk Road, Dundee. – this is to add a drive-through lane to an already approved (but not yet built) Clark’s takeaway. As above, more drive-throughs will simply encourage more driving and reduce the vitality of city and district centres.

21/00084/FULL, for the demolition of existing building and erection of 54 bed care home with associated open space, infrastructure and car parking, at 8 Dalhousie Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD5 2SQ. – This is a simple objection asking that better/more cycle parking is provided for staff/visitors, and less car parking.

Cycling UK campaign

Cycling UK are running a petition to show the support that exists for improved cycling infrastructure in Scotland. They’re asking for the next Scottish Government to:

Invest more money in cycling,
Create safe space for people to cycle, walk and wheel,
Enable people in rural communities to cycle.

It’s absolutely essential that our voice is heard before the elections, so please do sign their petition here.

Thanks!

That’s all for now – thanks for reading! The Slack channel is the best place to stay up-to date on all things DCF – email  Steve (steve@biggreybox.net) if you haven’t got access yet.

Until next month,

Russell P.

5 Comments

  1. Jim Bryce

    Thank you!!

  2. Terence Callachan

    You do a great job but im not in agreement with appealing a burger king in an asda car park and dont see how that helps cyclists.More targeted efforts for separate cycle lanes with barriers into city centres is what needed and really all thats required is one from each of four directions N S E W if these four routes into city centres were traffic free and safe for cycling people would make their way to whichever one was closest to them and cycle into town and back.
    Thats what we really need.
    Each city or town with a cycle path or traffic free road route from north south east and west into town / city centre.
    Tackling the broad scope of all things in my humble opinion will fail.
    We should leave planning applications and concentrate on that one thing every town and city to designate roads traffic free from NSEW into their city centre, people would walk it run it cycle it, cars can have the rest.
    Cycle lanes are a death trap now that we have electric and hybrid cars that are virtually silent.
    Cars buses trucks vans they all drive too close to cyclists in fact if a driver of one of those vehicles finds themselves in a situation where they dont have room to squeeze through they will bump the cyclist rather than risk their own life hitting another vehicle such as a truck car bus van.
    Targeted no vehicles allowed routes N S E W is the way forward

  3. Valentine Scarlett

    To be honest I think that is a really good point that Terence makes. I hate the thought of cycling downtown especially with my trike. I think to object to the drive thru at Riverside was fine actually for all the reasons I said but maybe our energies would be better focussed on pushing for better cycling conditions in and out of the city. It takes a lot of thought and energy to campaign for things and I admire what you have done to date. Maybe we could look at what worries cyclists most about travelling around the city and for me it is coming in and out with all the traffic and no set lanes. Perth Road is a nightmare and I have no idea how I would manage with my trike. I can imagine holding up the traffic grand style with lots of tooting horns and swearing going on behind closed doors!

  4. Russell Pepper

    Understand what you are saying but it’s not like we’re concentrating on one thing over another (and if we had to choose, a safe cycling network is absolutely the priority!), it’s just this month was very slow and had a lot of drive-throughs to deal with (which honestly don’t take much time anyway).

    We need to do things on all fronts to ensure Dundee is as safe, inviting and as accessible as possible for cyclists.

  5. Valentine Scarlett

    I get your point Russell. I really dislike Drive-Thru’s at the best of times. I have visions of Dundee being a hilly Amsterdam or Aarhuus (lovely wee city in Denmark). It has all the potential to be a great cycling city. With the Cycling Hub opening on the Waterfront there is no doubt things are looking up and from the centre back out to Camperdown and beyond needs to be thought about with equal care by planners. It all seems a bit lopsided at the moment but maybe that’s because I am new on the scene…

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