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Report proposes major reshaping of Glasgow city centre

Words: Roger Milne
Glasgow / iStock-830486350

Glasgow’s Connectivity Commission has recommended the biggest ‘reconstitution of the city centre streetscape in half a century’.

In a report just published, the commission, led by transport guru professor David Begg, calls for greater priority for pedestrians and the creation of public spaces “worthy of a great European city”.

The repurposing of Glasgow’s road grid to prioritise pedestrians, active travel and public transport should be aligned with and support the council’s policy to repopulate the city centre, it explains.

It advocates the completion of a network of safe, high-quality, segregated cycling arterial routes connecting the city centre to suburbs and peripheral neighbourhoods,

This would also involve the creation of safe, high-quality, segregated cycling corridors through the city centre that connect to these arterial routes, undertaken as part of the repurposing of Glasgow’s road grid.

Other proposals include greater use of car parks and bus terminals to reduce the number of vehicles in the city centre and speeding up and expanding the Avenues project to improve streetscapes.

The commission urges Glasgow City Council to press ahead with plans to build a roof over the M8 at Charing Cross, creating a new pedestrian space outside the Mitchell Library. It also calls for a new partnership between the city council and bus operators to accelerate journey times, partly through the rapid roll-out of bus priority measures and better enforcement of existing bus lanes to deliver faster, more reliable journeys.

Local authorities in Scotland should be given the powers in the Scottish Transport Bill to introduce non-residential parking charges and the city council should fund transport projects from this revenue, contends the commission.

It also highlights the need to support city centre retail and leisure activities at a time of intense pressure from online platforms and out-of-town alternatives.

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