CYCLING groups say a Glasgow landmark named the second-best bike route in the world is “falling to bits” and not fit for purpose.

The distinctive red tunnel that links Finnieston with the SEC and Hydro – dubbed the “Smartie Tube” – was praised in an international study for “managing the balance between the pedestrian crossing and the bicycle crossing in an important way”.

However, cycling groups say the tunnel, which was built more than 30 years ago, is too narrow for bikes and pedestrians at peak times, while others questioned the study’s assertion that it had been recently renovated, saying it is “falling to bits”.

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A £5 million plan to carry out improvements to the distinctive red walkway was unveiled in 2017 but no work has been carried out. It was last renovated in 2007.

Although the walkway is said to be structurally sound, it is in need of a new canopy and other aesthetic improvements.

A council source said funding is available but it is likely the project will be delayed due to the current pandemic and use of the SEC as an emergency hospital.

The walkway was intended for pedestrians but was separated out with two lanes after attempts to stop cyclists using it failed.

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Calum Cook, GoBike committee member, said: “Sadly Glasgow’s best-known active travel bridge leaves a lot to be desired.

“Regular users will be all too familiar with the blind corners that make it hard to see who’s coming.

“It’s far too narrow for the number of people using it, and the attempt to separate people walking and cycling with a line of paint on the floor feels like an afterthought.

“It contrasts sharply with the luxury dual carriageway it crosses – a demonstration of the city’s values that I doubt will be lost on delegates to next year’s international climate change conference.”

The study was carried out by the Sustainable Mobility Research Group at the University of Columbia. The Glasgow Times contacted the SEC for comment.