THE pilot development in Glasgow’s ‘Avenues Project’ has been completed on Sauchiehall Street.
The £115 million project, funded by the Glasgow City Region Deal, will see 17 streets identified as being key to the city centre enhanced – as Glasgow seeks to make its city centre more attractive to retailers and businesses.
Key features of Sauchiehall Avenue include enhanced and widened pavements that free up space for pedestrians and licensed tables and chairs; new (two-way) cycle paths; junction upgrades; 27 new trees; new bus shelters, cycle stands, and seating; intelligent street lighting and ‘smart’ surface water management infrastructure.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of the Glasgow City region cabinet, commented, “The completion of Sauchiehall Avenue is a milestone in the rebirth of this famous Glasgow thoroughfare and the first stage in the biggest re-imaging and re-modelling of our city centre streets since the pedestrianisation of Buchanan Street 40 years ago. We’ve created a physical environment which will be the catalyst for social and economic benefits, improving Sauchiehall Street’s overall look and feel and helping it adapt to the changes affecting high streets everywhere. It’s now a street where pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable road users are prioritised over the car, a safer, cleaner, more vibrant space which is attractive to both visitors and investors. The wider Avenues project – the biggest such scheme in the UK – will help us to both make the most of the fantastic economic potential of so many districts in the city centre and meet the challenges facing it.”
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, added, “I’m delighted to see that the results of our £500 million investment into the Glasgow City Region Deal’s Infrastructure Investment Fund are beginning to be seen. We are committed to developing an Active Nation, where more people have opportunities to walk and cycle than ever before. This is an example of additional investment in high quality active travel infrastructure over and above the £80 million we spend every year. The rate of cycling into Glasgow City Centre has more than doubled since 2009 and the Avenues project will build on this demand and accelerate this positive rate of change. I look forward to seeing the city continue to transform as both residents and businesses take advantage of the opportunities it will create.”
UK Government Minister, Colin Clark, said, “I’m delighted that the regeneration works for Sauchiehall Avenue on one of Scotland’s most famous streets are now complete and that businesses, shoppers and residents can enjoy the improvements. Glasgow is a world-class city and quality enhancements such as these reflect its global status. This is just the beginning of a £115 million programme to transform public spaces across the city that the UK Government is jointly funding. I look forward to seeing this – and the fruits of our wider £500 million Glasgow City Region City Deal investment – boost the area. To date, the UK Government has committed £1.4 billion investment for city and region growth deals across Scotland delivering jobs, opportunities and sustainable growth.”