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European Mobility Week: How does the GCPH team get to work?

15 Sep 2015 | Sheena Fletcher

European Mobility Week starts today so earlier this week I asked around the office to find out how the team here at the Centre get to our office in Bridgeton. Starting with me, this is how some of the team travel to work:

Sheena Fletcher 

I usually use three modes of travel to get to the office from my flat in Garnethill; the Glasgow Subway, a short walk and the train. I live near the subway station so I hop on for a couple of stops from Cowcaddens to St Enoch and then enjoy a pleasant saunter along Argyle Street to the station there, where I get the train along to Bridgeton. Sheena enjoying the sunshine on the Green

My commute takes around 25 minutes and is a welcome space in my day to read the paper and daydream! On sunny days I also have the option to walk part or all of the journey; one of the routes I can take is across Glasgow Green. The Green is one of my favourite parks in the city and walking its paths back into town is a lovely way to relax after work. 

Fiona Crawford Fiona and her Brompton bicycle This picture shows me and my Brompton on the Olympia balcony on a lovely sunny day in Bridgeton. During my working day we travel around the city together through the south side parks and Glasgow Green, under the M8 and M74, up to the leafy Gartnavel Hospital site and along the Clyde to Bridgeton.  I’m a bit of a cheat as I take my 2 wheeled friend on the train pretty regularly. The Brompton is a great little bike – it folds up and can be stashed in any corner out of the way.  It’s almost the same age as GCPH and still going strong! 

Jill Muirie 

My commute varies according to my daily work commitments and those of my partner. Most days, however, I walk my children (and my bike) to their school (my kids would love to cycle there with me but there is not a safe route) and once I've waved them off, I jump on my bike and head through the traffic to the cycle path adjacent to the Clydeside expressway. The view from Jill's Clydeside commute

I continue on to the cycle path along the river Clyde, past the SECC and the squinty bridge to Glasgow Green. It is then just a short cycle past the People's Palace and along the cycle path to Bridgeton Cross. Most days it is a pleasant 30 minutes each way which is about the same as if I took the train. I suspect it would take me much longer by car...

Joe Crossland 

This morning, and every morning, I take a short 15 minute walk from Dennistoun to the GCPH’s office in Bridgeton. 

On the way I pass a bike hire terminal, which I sometimes use to get into town, and Bellgrove train station – a handy station for getting into the city centre (4 minutes to Queen Street) or over to the west end (12 minutes to Partick). But today I’m walking on by, into the heart of Bridgeton, where the local landmark, the Bridgeton Umbrella brightens up even the gloomiest of days – and where a fruit and veg market is held every Tuesday. 

Joe sometimes uses hire bikes to get around

After work I might jump on the train at Bridgeton station and head into town to meet friends (5 minutes to Central station), or hire a bike from Bridgeton Cross and cycle through Glasgow Green. I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to use the car to commute – I can get where I want to go in my own time, without having to worry about congestion, timetables or other road users. As an added bonus I also get some exercise, have time to think about my day, never worry about parking, and reduce my impact on air quality in the city. I’d say that was a winning formula. 

Jennifer McLean 

After an early start and dropping the kids off I drive 20 minutes to Greenock Central station and take a 45 minute train journey to Glasgow Central – this allows me a quick read of the Metro and a nap! I then run (I only have 3 minutes to make my connection if everything is on time) down to platform 16 of the low level trains bound for sunny Bridgeton, and 5 minutes later arrive at the office and our new home.

Lorna Kelly - a multi-modal week 

I use lots of different modes to get to and from work each week, depending on where I need to be and what else I’ve got on.  On most days I have to drop my children at school or breakfast club on the way, and I’m often picking someone up on the way home, so my travel plans have to work for that as well as getting to and from work.   These are the ways I travel: 

  • By bike, or bike and walking. I walk with the children to school then jump on my bike. It takes around 40 minutes door to door, 30 minutes to get home when I’m just going directly.
  • Car and train. On some days I drive the children to school, leave the car near the station and get the train into work. It’s about 40 minutes door to door, though can be longer if I just miss a train.
  • Walking and train. Walk to the station and get the train.    
  • Car only. Very occasionally, and only if I need the car during the day for work. Getting to work takes about 30 minutes including dropping off the children, but it is unpredictable. Getting home again is anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes in normal traffic. 

Lorna's morning view of the Clyde

A few reflections: 

  • Going by bike is the most reliable way of travelling in terms of time – I don’t have to time my journey for a particular bus or train, and it always takes the same time. It’s mostly off-road on cycle paths, so there’s not too much stopping and starting. 
  • The most stressful way of travelling is going by car, mainly because the traffic is so unpredictable. On one occasion I was heading across town to pick up my daughter and got caught in traffic jam after traffic jam – a slow journey, and worrying about being late.
  • Going by car can be the quickest, but not by much, and only if there are no unexpected delays.     
  • The train is pretty reliable,and I can check emails or read the paper on the 15 minute journey.   
  • Walking and cycling also leaves me more alert for the rest of the day after having some fresh air – and I don’t have to think about finding time for other exercise. 

Rachel Harris 

As we moved recently, my journey to work has changed quite a bit. I have the option of taking the train, but I usually try to cycle. It really is a lovely route to Bridgeton, cycling beside the River Clyde past many of Glasgow's well known museums and architectural features. Cycling to work is also something of a social experience. I quite often meet colleagues on the way, but yesterday it was great to catch up with a friend who I hadn't seen in a while, and who, it turns out, takes the same route along the Clyde. 

Lisa Garnham 

Every morning, on the very last part of my journey, I take the stairs up to our office on the third floor.  Okay, some mornings it feels like harder work than it really should be, but it definitely wakes me up!  And, of course, I get a beautiful view from the top of our spiral staircase. Lisa looks down the stairwell at her morning climb

How do you get to work?

We'd love to hear about other people's commutes and if there is anything that could be done to encourage you and your colleagues to use active travel methods to get to and from your workplace.

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