Author: Heather Alexander (Page 1 of 7)

Of bridges and Network Rail… an update

The Society has had the following communication from Network Rail:

Following successful demolition of the Nithsdale Road bridge deck, I wanted to update you on some aspects of the project taking place within the Strathbungo area.


During one of our previous discussions with the Strathbungo Society, the four columns under the road bridge were discussed, and how these could possibly be saved and re-utilised. We weren’t able to confirm the condition of the columns until the bridge deck demolition was carried out. Now that has been done, I can confirm that we were able to retain the columns in good condition.

We’ve had some interest from Caledonian Railway, but we are keen to establish if there is an appetite within the Strathbungo community to re-use these locally. If you have any ideas for local re-use, could you please let me know by the end of next week?

Note: please contact Jane Carolan (chair) at if you have suggestions (or comment on this post).


As you will be aware, last spring we carried out a public vote for the design of the new footbridge between Moray Place and Darnley Road. Three artist impressions of bridge designs were given to the community, based on construction drawings of the bridge built at Aristotle Lane in Oxford. The vast majority of residents voted for Bridge A.

shows new bridge

The chosen bridge was taken forward through a detailed design process. We also took on board feedback around concerns raised about certain specific aspects of the bridge.  As part of the detailed design phase, the designs were adjusted accordingly to address these comments and concerns.


I’ve included detailed visuals of the bridge below, which include a few enhancements to the original images:

    • Height of top chord (curve) – the 3D visual showed parapets at a significant height (+2.3m).  This did not meet the aspirations of a simple, modest structure and the designers were asked to reduce the height to 1.8m (the parapet height standard over electrified lines).
    • Colour – the structure is black and white to reflect the colours used in the current footbridge.  It was previously shown as all grey.
    • Stair units – only the lower part of the stair unit is to be clad in stone.  The balustrades are now open steelwork and will match the railings found at Moray Place in profile and colour (black).
    • The entrance to either end of the bridge has been fanned out to address concerns of some residents for a more open approach to improve visibility for users.

The designs will now be submitted to the council planning team for Prior Approval.  At the same time, we are submitting a listed building application for the removal of the existing C-listed footbridge.

Network Rail’s latest bridge design proposal. Apologies for the low resolution, but that’s what they supplied. Click to enlarge.

Network Rail suggest a design based on Aristotle Lane, Oxford. There is some video of that bridge here. Note however they are proposing glass sides for the Strathbungo bridge.


150 years is worth celebrating!

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be at New Victoria Gardens’ Open Day on Saturday 20 August at 2.45pm to launch NVG’s 150th Anniversary Book. The book, edited by Strathbungo historian Andrew Greg,  is a compendium of history, photographs, stories, drawings, poetry and even recipes from NV Gardeners, past and present.

This is (no coincidence) the 150th year since the first New Victoria Gardens Flower Show was held at the allotments over in Pollokshields.  If you’ve never been before, it’s always a good day out and it will be extra special this year because of the anniversary. It’s even more special because, for the first time since WWII, we had to cancel it the last two years – so do come and help us celebrate!

Queen’s Park North Play Area – petition

We’ve been asked to publicise this by a Bungo resident, who says:

There is a campaign to improve Queen’s Park north play area. It’s in a terrible state and not fit for purpose.

The park serves as an important asset to children living in flats with limited garden space. There’s currently poor separation of play equipment by age group and no inclusive play equipment.

I’ve organised a petition calling on the council to ensure the Scottish Government’s “parks and open spaces funding” is allocated to improving the play area in their capital investment programme 2022-23.

You can find out more and view photos of the play equipment here:

You can view (and sign!) the petition here:

Glasgow Times article here:

Your support would be greatly appreciated!

Splitting Strathbungo?

The Boundary Commission for Scotland began its 2023 Review of UK Parliament constituencies in Scotland in January 2021 and published its initial proposals in October 2021. These were open for comment for two months. One proposal directly affects Strathbungo, proposing to redraw the boundary through the middle of the Squares. In their map below, the red lines show their proposed boundary, while the blue represents the existing boundary.

You can find the details at – just put in your postcode to go to the relevant part of the map. You will need to use “Boundaries” tab to select the layers you want to see, e.g. old boundaries and constituency names.

The Commission is now inviting further comments  (you can comment on the previous comments, for example) and is holding public meetings in its second consultation, which runs to 23rd March 2022.

You can see the previous comments made here (use the search term “strathbungo” to find the 9 comments made) and add to them. You can attend a public meeting and ask to speak. The Glasgow meeting is at Doubletree by Hilton, 36 Cambridge Street, Glasgow G2 3HN on 23rd February 2022.  Their press release says:

“Each hearing will begin at 10am and include three sessions depending on demand. These sessions will run from 10am – 12pm, 2pm – 4pm and 6pm – 8pm.
The public are asked to email to book a speaking slot. Please note that the Commission cannot guarantee you a speaking slot at your preferred time and you may be asked to choose a different slot or submit your representation in writing.”

If you would like to add your voice to views on the splitting of the ‘Bungo, do please contribute comments or book a slot at one of the hearings.




Looking after private lanes

The Strathbungo Society is delighted to learn that that the City Council has made funding available for improvements to privately-owned lanes such as those here in Strathbungo. The Private Lanes Fund will have a total of £700,000 over 4 funding rounds, starting this year.

Over several years, the state of the local lanes has been a cause for concern. During the recent pandemic, they have seen an increase in footfall as pedestrians have used them in preference to our streets, where the constant traffic can make foot travel dangerous. They are also the primary route for the rubbish collection. However, there are problems with them. Many have problems with drainage, with large pools of water making them all but impassable after a few days’ rain (and this is Scotland where a few days’ rain is normal!). Along others, the surface can be very irregular and walking requires a high degree of vigilance.

Previous attempts at repairs have floundered over the level of costs involved. But a dedicated fund could provide us with possible investment in one of our community resources. The Toolkit (available on the Council website) places emphasis not just on surfaces but on protecting biodiversity and encouraging active travel, walking, jogging and cycling. How could our lanes be made safer in those circumstances for such travellers?

We are advised that detailed guidelines on the fund will be available shortly but being prepared to take early advantage of the fund could stand us in good stead. We’d like to start planning now.

The Council has suggested to us that the best approach may be to have application on a lane-by-lane basis rather that making one application covering all lanes. So we are looking to form groups around each lane to take forward making grant applications. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact


Strathbungo Celebrates!

A report on our recent celebration of 50 years by our Chair, Jane Carolan:

Tuesday 16th November saw a crowded Queens Park Hall celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Strathbungo Society in style .

The meeting began with the AGM, where the reports and the accounts of the Society were approved and the current office-bearers: Chair Jane Carolan, Vice Chair Paola Rezzilli and Treasurer Steven Good were re-elected. The formal proceedings were completed by the election of a new committee, blending a mixture of old members returning with several new volunteers from the meeting. However a number of people approached me as chair afterwards and suggested that they were considering joining the committee. There are always spaces for new volunteers and anyone wishing to participate should email me at

One office-bearer stood down: our secretary, Sharon. A stalwart of the Strathbungo Society for over twenty five years, Sharon spent many years as the editor, contributor and general whipper-in of our newsletter, keeping it afloat. She also played a major part in the development of Bungo in the Back Lanes from its very early days. Her back garden has provided food and hospitality during our halcyon warm June Bungo days and a refuge from the rain when the weather looked not so kindly on us. Her “retirement” was marked by a presentation from the Society, but is not expected to lessen her contribution to our events .

Sharon’s departure leaves a gap on the committee for the position of secretary and, as in the appeal for committee members, anyone thinking that they could make a contribution can contact the same email address given above.

The event moved on to a cheese and wine celebration, where the new Strathbungo Handbook was launched, with an introduction from the formidable Andrew Greig, whose knowledge of the local architecture and history proved fascinating. Thanks are due to Sharon and to Paola who, with their associates, put together the new handbook.

Watch this space for how to obtain your copy of this publication, telling you everything you ever wanted to know about your local area, or email for details.

Moray Place greenery

A plea has been received by the Society for householders along Moray Place to manage and maintain the foliage and growth on the roadside of the black fence at the railway.

You may recall that Moray Place owners also own up to 1 metre of the ground at the railway side of the road. While this helped us argue for a set-back fence (and a good outcome on the long railings debate with Network Rail), it also means that the Moray Place owners are responsible for maintaining the shrubbery, plants and trees at the roadside, rather than the Council.

As a somewhat frustrated resident told us:

I am out every week cutting back large overhanging branches as well as sweeping and maintaining, not only my area but our whole block.

Many of the residents have said that they had no idea they had to maintain/sweep the areas in front of their own house. The Council no longer sweep Moray Place.

There has been an abundance of damaged cars recently due to vans and other traffic avoiding the railway side and veering towards the residents’ cars.

It would be helpful to all if Moray Place owners would take action to ensure the far side of the road does not restrict drivers and other users of Moray Place.

A new bridge is coming – but where?

Network Rail (NR) have announced that the public consultation on a new footbridge for Strathbungo has decided in favour of design A, which nods to the design of the current bridge and allows Strathbungo residents to maintain the fine old tradition of waving at the trains.

shows new bridge

However,  we still don’t know where the bridge is to be situated. The local consensus appears to be that the bridge be re-sited at the end of Marywood Square, where one existed until the end of the 1990s.

The Society met with Network Rail in early August to discuss this and associated issues of the road bridge on Nithsdale Road, where Susie’s still stands, though not for much longer (demolition is scheduled for early 2022). Network Rail have a deadline of 2023 to get electric trains on the tracks.  This means all timescales are tight but it seems much has still to be determined.

Moving the footbridge was raised and their engineering spokesperson said that he had done a location visit at Queens Square but had not investigated  the original site of the Marywood Square bridge, which seems odd! There seemed little resistance in principle to the idea of re-locating the new footbridge but the feasibility is in question. Where the engineer investigated at Queens Square, they felt there was no safe pedestrian access to it, as it is sited on a semi-chicane T-junction with narrow pavements on the Moray Place side at the Queens Square junction. NR believed that the same would apply at the top of Marywood Square. However this is not the case. Where the previous  bridge landed at Marywood, the infrastructure is intact with a pavement as wide as at  the existing bridge, but considerably longer and with the advantage of overhead lighting. It also provides safer access to Pollokshields, in that this site is nearer the pedestrian crossing across Darnley Road.

Questions were also asked about the road bridge at Nithsdale Road. Given the state of the bridge, it is not surprising that it is to be replaced but the new  road bridge will replace the deck only – not the superstructure at either end that holds it up – and  will remove the ‘temporary’ props under the bridge. The  new deck will be thinner from top to bottom than the present to raise the clearance. There was also discussion about the replacement parapets, ensuring that they are suitable in a conservation area .

For the Society, there are major concerns about how the new road bridge will be configured . Currently it is a  two-lane road,  one in either direction, due to weight restrictions. However, with new commitments by the Council to active travel, we are keen to enter into discussions with them about the road design. It will also be important to have a footbridge before the road works start, or crossing the railway will have to be done via Titwood Road or Albert Drive. As things stand, we are seeking the urgent engagement of council officials in the Planning and Roads departments to seek solutions that suit the Strathbungo area .

Brighter Bungo no more??

As many of you will know, Brighter Bungo is our quarterly clean-up by residents of the lanes in the Bungo. It has taken place for many years, organised by the Society in cooperation with Cleansing officers from Glasgow City Council. Our aim is to keep the environment in Strathbungo cleaner, brighter and enjoyable for all.

One crucial element has been that volunteers are covered by the Council’s Public Liability Insurance (PLI). Public liability insurance protects the Society against compensation claims and legal costs if volunteers are injured or property is damaged. In all our efforts over the years, we have never needed to use it, thankfully. But like all insurance, it needs to be there.

Now we have been informed that the Council will not provide this back up. We think their position is contradictory. They want volunteers to play their part to “Make Glasgow Greener”. But as an organisation that has played this role for years, our hands are now tied by the Council withdrawing the insurance that makes it possible. We are not alone, as community groups all over the city are finding that they are in the same position.

The irony is that, as community groups now needing to take out PLI policies, we would do so by applying to the Council for grants to pay the premiums! Will we all be financed to make the payments? And will that be more that the Council would pay for an overall policy?

We are in correspondence with the Council about this.

« Older posts