CITY centre residents are calling for a crackdown on e-bikes in pedestrianised areas.

Residents gathered at Garnethill Multicultural Centre on Monday, August 7 to take part in a meeting organised by Bill Beckett, chair of Garnethill Neighbourhood Watch, to discuss the "threat to the safety and emotional wellbeing of city centre pedestrians" caused by "speeding cyclists".

Bill says he is not against cycling in the area but believes more needs to be done to ensure pedestrians can walk safely in the city centre.

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Glasgow Times: William Beckett pictured in Glasgow. William worked as a security guard at capital radio studios in London in the 80s. He introduced jimmy Savile to a young homeless woman who he thought needed help and Savile said he would help her. .He has never been ab

He explained: "The number one problem is [bikes] speeding in a pedestrian area and on the paths.

"They’re also cutting through red lights which could cause a serious crash."

Sauchiehall Street was highlighted as being one of the main locations for issues though the problem is prevalent across the city centre.

The majority of residents who attended the meeting spoke of experiencing near misses with bikes, particularly in areas where pedestrians have to cross cycle lanes.

A video played at the meeting showed the issue at the road crossing outside Charing Cross Mansions where several cyclists did not stop for people.

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Some residents said that there are many people living locally who now avoid Sauchiehall Street in particular as they don’t feel safe walking in the area, with one woman telling the meeting her 90-year-old sister had been knocked down by a bike.

At the meeting those attending heard about efforts that have been made by local police officers to educate cyclists on travelling safely through pedestrianised areas.

Following discussions, residents are calling for e-bikes to be classified as motorised vehicles, for the bikes to have a registration plate, and for cyclists to be better educated.

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Currently e-bikes, which are often used by delivery cyclists, can be ridden anywhere a person is permitted to ride a regular bike, including roads, cycle lanes and bridle paths, and they can be ridden on pavements that are designated for mixed cycle and pedestrian use.

Bill said: "We’re looking for the governments to actually try and find a way to have these bikes classed as a motorbike and also to have registration or identification plates, and also we’d like to see every individual who is using these e-bikes go through a test on the bikes, like a driving test, prior to its use and be licensed.

"These bikes are actually motorised and they can go at a fair pace, up to about 30 miles per hour, and due to the fact the size of the wheels are really thick they can cause some serious damage if they hit somebody."

The meeting was also attended by Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss, MSP for Glasgow (Region) Pauline McNeill, and councillors Philip Braat, Eva Bolander and Angus Millar.

Speaking after the meeting MSP McNeill said: "I was quite shocked at the extent of the problems reported by residents regarding the behaviour of some cyclists. 

"I have written to the transport minister to establish the law on the use of e-bikes on pavements and if we need a change in the law. 

"Furthermore, I believe delivery cyclists should be identifiable as I have seen myself the problems that can be caused by a small few. 

"Buffer zones near pedestrian crossings should be the norm in this area to protect pedestrians from fast cycling.

"The people we heard from have lived all their lives in Garnethill they deserve to have this resolved immediately.

"I spoke to a woman whose 90-year-old sister was knocked over by a cyclist. 

"We need to ensure that everyone can safely enjoy the path spaces."

Cllr Braat said: "It was important to meet with residents from various parts of the city centre communities to hear their concerns about the rise of e-bikes on our streets and, sadly, on our pavements too.

"It is clear that the speed of e-bikes and reckless cycling by some are causing significant distress to many pedestrians.

"It is of particular concern to the vulnerable, the elderly and the blind or partially sighted.

"Collectively, with colleagues from Police Scotland, we need to ensure there is greater education and enforcement against unacceptable behaviour by all road users.

"Everyone is supposed to be aware of the Highway Code to ensure respect and the safety of themselves as well as of other road and pavement users.

"This cannot be achieved in isolation, however, and requires cooperation with Parliamentary colleagues to strengthen the legislation to provide local authorities and Police Scotland greater powers of enforcement where there are gaps in the legislation; but it also needs delivery companies and cyclists themselves to take greater responsibility.

"I will work closely with residents, Police Scotland, the Council, Parliamentarians, and other stakeholders to ensure that all road users adhere to the rules of the Highway Code so that the most vulnerable, particularly pedestrians, feel safe enough to use their pavements unencumbered."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Part of policing a busy city centre includes educating cyclists who use the roads and cycle path network for work, travel and leisure.

"Regular days of action have taken place in and around the city centre in order to provide education and enforcement for cyclists, making the roads safer for all.

"In addition to days of action, officers taking part in bike marking events take the time to educate cyclists and advise them of their responsibilities and legal requirements."