Hughie has prophesied that the new Govan Road layout is an accident waiting to happen. “Never any problem in the past 47 year Ah’ve been here,” says he, “n noo ye’re gaunie see the results a bad plannin’.”
Here’s my eye witness account of the prophecy coming to pass on this May Day holiday.
Govan's holy terrors congregate outside Coffee Joe’s. In their late 40s, they’ve earned a status by keeping vows of violence. Snarling and laughing raucously between themselves, they present a blank countenance to the world. Unexpressive, unapproachable. You wouldn’t dare.
They’re chatting back and forth with a pal in a black hatchback, parked in the new bays at the roadside. Suddenly, he pulls a U turn into the oncoming traffic and honestly, just misses by half an inch, a professional cycling man, with all the gear. I draw in breath in short, sharp stages, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, and hold it there as the bike goes skidding sideways towards the tarmac island that’s risen up out of Govan Road. The car speeds off towards Govan Cross. Five men and twa dugs stop at the corner of Stag Street to watch. The cyclist skilfully stops himself crashing completely to the ground. It takes a moment, with a line of cars behind him, but he manages to get the bike upright and then turns his gnarled face to glare at the men on the kerb. Is he going to roar in a rage? Is he going to charge over, in his cycling shorts and shiny helmet?
Two of the men are unconcerned with him, sorting each other out with a light. The third, with massive dome, slits for eyes, and downturned mouth, stands solid and staring till the cyclist, with a curse, pushes down on his bike pedal and flees Govan.