The Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, has launched initial works of the South City Way, Glasgow City Council’s winning bid to the 2016 Community Links PLUS competition run by Sustrans Scotland. Having impressed the judging panel with its bold design, the SCW will deliver a 3km segregated cycle and pedestrian route from Queen’s Park in Glasgow’s Southside to Stockwell Street in the heart of the Merchant City.
Local business owner, Shoaib Shafaatulla, Deputy Director of Sustrans Scotland, Daisy Narayanan, and Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, Anna Richardson, joined Mr Yousaf to celebrate ground breaking activity.
In addition to the creation of world class active travel infrastructure in a densely populated area of Glasgow, the SCW will deliver a host of community, health and business benefits through its place-making approach.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said: “I am delighted to join partners and local businesses in launching the SCW. Glasgow City Council has demonstrated real vision through its commitment to develop this major active travel route from the south side to the city centre.
“The expert panel who evaluated the 2016 bid was incredibly impressed with the high level of design and innovation shown by the SCW project. Whether you live, travel or work in Glasgow, this infrastructure will allow generations of people to better and easier enjoy the benefits of greener and healthier modes of transport.
“The Scottish Government’s Active Nation initiative is designed to encourage more of us to make everyday and leisure journeys sustainably – on foot and by bike. To achieve this vision, we are doubling our investment in active travel, from £40 to £80 million next year, demonstrating our commitment to make our towns and cities more walking and cycling friendly.”
Funded by the Scottish Government and run by Sustrans Scotland, the design competition delivers pioneering and game-changing projects which inspire public bodies in Scotland to design better places and spaces for people to live, walk and cycle in for everyday journeys.
Granted £3.25 million of funding from the Scottish Government with Glasgow City Council match funding the investment, the SCW is expected to be complete in late 2018. On completion, journey times between Queen’s Park and the city centre are estimated to take 30 minutes on foot and 12 minutes by bike.
The first phase of works on Albert Avenue and Albert Road in the city’s Southside will see the sections of these streets that adjoin to Victoria Road transformed into attractive and pedestrianised public areas with cycle racks and green space.
Sustrans Scotland, Deputy Director, Daisy Narayan said: “Glasgow City Council’s SCW shows real ambition and vision towards improving conditions for people who choose to walk or cycle along a major commuter route, while also connecting a densely populated area with the city centre.
“Once completed, the South City Way will improve travel choices and accessibility for residents and visitors. It will also reduce congestion, improve air quality, enable easier use of public transport, and create places where people want to socialise, shop and spend time in.
“Our hope is for the SCW to become a leading example of how places that integrate people moving by foot, bike or public transport lead to stronger local economies and healthier people than places designed around vehicles.
In addition to creating a segregated route between Queen’s Park and the city centre, central to the SCW’s vision is the redevelopment of Victoria Road as a place for sustainable walking, cycling, bus and rail travel.
Delivering such sustainable infrastructure will support smaller retailers in the area, create healthier communities and deliver safer, more attractive streets. Works on Victoria Road will commence in early 2018.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “Today marks the start of a fantastic and very exciting project that’s going to bring huge improvements to the area and the people who live here. There’s been extensive engagement with local communities, groups and businesses from day one and this will continue throughout the project.
“We want to see more people cycling and walking, and the right infrastructure is key in ensuring these options are safe, enjoyable and sustainable. Increasing the number of everyday journeys by bike brings benefits both to individuals and our city.”
Ground breaking activity comes after the recent announcement of the 2017 CLPLUS competition results that revealed all five finalist projects will be granted up to 50% of the project cost to deliver its proposed active travel design.
Glasgow City Council again was a deserved winner with its Woodside Mini Holland bid, alongside entries from Stirling Council, Highland Council and two projects from City of Edinburgh Council. These four councils will share over £22.5m in match funding.