Glasgow City Council have published notice that Phase 1 of the city centre Spaces for People plan is underway with the pedestrianisation of George Square starting tomorrow and major streets such as St Vincent St, Argyle St, Queen St, Hope St, Renfield St and Bath St covered by a new traffic regulation order.
Work starts tomorrow to install temporary travel infrastructure on key streets around George Square. These short-term measures will include closing some roads to traffic, and the widening of pavements.
The following roads will be closed to all traffic, except bicycles:
- George Square (East)
- George Square (West)
- Hanover Street (local access via Ingram St)
- North Hanover Street (northbound bus gate) – this is to assist with pedestrian movement around Queen Street Station. The southbound lane will remain open.
On-street parking will be suspended in the affected areas, with extra space for people made available by repurposing the immediate road space usually occupied by parked vehicles.
Other measures being introduced include:
- No waiting at anytime, no loading or unloading at anytime on the northside of Argyle Street from Hope Street to Union Street; northside of Bath Street from Wellington Street to Hope Street; northside of Cochrane Street for its entire length; westside of Renfield Street from Bath Street to Gordon Street; northside of St Vincent Place for its entire length; eastside of Union Street for its entire length.
- No waiting at any time, no unloading or loading at any time on Nelson Mandela Place and part of West George Street.
The Spaces for People plan provides additional space for physical distancing and will mean a suspension of one-third of the city centre’s 2,000 on-street parking spaces.
The council say the 12,000 spaces in city centre car parks and multi-storeys are “rarely more than 50% full” so they expect there should be sufficient space to park for those wishing to use the car to get into town.
Plans are also being drawn up to create park and stride and park and cycle facilities at satellite car parks in different parts of the city. The plans will see no reduction in the number of disabled parking bays in the city centre.
As well as the city centre, Spaces for People will include the introduction of temporary travel infrastructure in city neighbourhoods and on active travel routes. Footways will be widened at pinch points and also to create easier access to community facilities and public transport hubs.
Temporary strategic cycling routes are also being considered.
Spaces for People
Supported by £3.5m funding from Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans Scotland, the council’s Spaces for People programme will see city centre footways widened to ease movement while the COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
These temporary measures are intended to support economic recovery by creating safe public spaces for businesses and their customers but also to promote active travel in the longer term.
Streets covered by new measures
Argyle Street (west of Hope St)
Bath Street (west of Hope Street)
Bath Street (up to Wellington Street)
George Square (E)
George Square (N)
George Square (S)
George Square (W)
High Street / Castle Street
Montrose Street (George Street to Ingram St)
North Portland Street
North Hanover Street
Queen Street (Ingram Street to George Square)
St Vincent Place
St Vincent Street (up to Wellington Street)
St Vincent Street (west of Wellington Street)
South Frederick Street
West George Street (up to Wellington Street)
West Nile Street
Susan Aitken, Council Leader and City Convener for Inclusive Economic Growth said “The easing of the pandemic lockdown means that repurposing our streets is not just an ambition but a matter of urgency. People need the safe space and confidence to observe physical distancing, get on with their lives and accelerate our recovery.
“We must respond to that need now. We have recently been awarded £3.5m from Sustrans to help support this. From reconfiguring our roads and footways to provide extra space for pedestrians, mobility and wheelchair users, to the creation of temporary cycle lanes; different combinations will be considered to fit the needs and characters of different neighbourhoods, as well as our city centre.
“This funding pot has recently been increased and so we’ll bid for further funding in the near future. The need for space is widespread and immediate. Safer streets are about restoring confidence, vibrancy, prosperity. They’re also about saving lives.”
Other measures for the city centre include increasing the time the green man is displayed at junctions or reducing the traffic light cycle times to aid pedestrians.
A possible trial of a dispensation for e-scooters in the city centre is also being explored while additional on street cycle parking will be installed where space is available.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “The plans for the city centre are a key part of the Spaces for People measures. Spaces for People is about making it safe for people to get about, both in terms of public health and road safety. Lockdown has clearly had impact on people’s choices with more people walking and cycling than before.
“Spaces for People gives us a chance to nurture those choices, encouraging people to keep with active travel and helping to maintain physical distancing as a way to guard against a resurgence of the virus.”