Bears Way Cycle Route

Bears Way is a protected cycleway in Bearsden and Milngavie which everyone can use for everyday trips.

Bears Way Logo - bear on a cyclePhase 1 of the Bears Way - funded by delivery partners Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Sustrans - runs from Burnbrae roundabout to Hillfoot.

The Bears Way is a segregated cycleway - designed  by TP&E, a subsidiary of  Cycling Scotland - which, when complete, will provide a traffic-free route between Milngavie and Glasgow.

It is already proving popular with people of all ages who have been out and about on their bikes. However, it will not be fully functional until all phases are complete.

The focus is now on phase 2 - which is proposed to run from Hillfoot to Kessington.

One of the goals is to address issues which have been identified through engagement to date.

The first public forum was held on Thursday 1 September, with a second held on Wednesday 7 September.

Both were well-attended and featured a variety of questions and views.

In addition, three 'drop-in' information events were held in the Allander Leisure Centre.

Leaflets have been delivered to properties in Bearsden and Milngavie - giving people information on how they can get involved and help shape the future of the Bears Way.

Click here to to access a copy.

In addition a Business Forum and Design Forum have been held - involving representative stakeholder groups.

The Bears Way provides protected space for children and families to cycle. People who previously would never have dreamt of being able to cycle on the A81 are now doing so and that is great to hear.

Even though it is only partially complete we are seeing an average of over 1,000 cycle trips a week (November 2015 – June 2016) with 24-hour automatic counters installed to monitor usage.

Providing a connected, traffic-free route will give people the opportunity to cycle safely and comfortably to local destinations or into the city centre.

Phase 1 of the Bears Way was recently recognised for 'Achievements in Cycling' at the Scottish Transport Awards.

The Council’s Local Transport Strategy and Active Travel Strategy set out a range of actions aimed at encouraging cycling in East Dunbartonshire. Work supports the national vision of getting 10% of everyday journeys to be made by bike by 2020.


Route plan map

(View the map for project phasing detail)

When fully complete, Bears Way will allow anyone to cycle for local trips around Milngavie and Bearsden, or all the way to and from Glasgow ... traffic free!

Phase 2

Design Objectives

  • Create a safe and attractive cycle route suitable for everyone, from unaccompanied 12-year-olds to experienced adults, that will encourage more people to cycle

  • Improve and integrate transport options that will encourage more people to travel sustainably for their whole journey

  • Benefit local businesses by facilitating loading/parking and improving the local access environment for all potential customers

  • Ensure existing vehicular journey times are not critically affected.

Design Options

Three options have been shortlisted for Bears Way Phase 2 and will be consulted on

The other options that were considered, but are not being brought forward for consultation are outlined below.

- Potential for increased conflict points

- May not suit more experienced cyclists

- Users would have to cross the road to access phase 1

- Potential for increased conflict points

- Users would have to cross the road to access phase 1

- Potential for increased conflict points – businesses, driveways etc

- This would remove on-street parking for residents and businesses

- Users travelling north would have to cross the road to access phase 1

G​et Involved in Phase 2

For more information about the forums, select the images below.

Business forum  design forum Public forum
Ideas and feedback from these events will be reported and made available online.

Work to date

So far for Phase 2 we have completed the following work:

  • Design Forum consultation
  • Hillfoot Business Forum consultations
  • Public Forum consultation
  • Meetings with Community Councils and individuals
  • Topographical surveys
  • Traffic surveys
  • Business and customer surveys
  • Parking beat surveys in the Hillfoot area

The delivery timescale of future phases:

  • Phases 2 and 3 by 2018
  • Phase 4 alongside other work to improve the Canniesburn area
  • Quiet local road link is a minor upgrade to the paths in Cluny Park and signing on MacFarlane Road. This is not a part of the Bears Way.

Bears Way People

So what happens when people feel safe and comfortable on their bikes? Click on the picture below to see and hear from Bears Way People in their own words.

Silje and son Mark and family Greg Catriona Paul Harry Lillias Kevin