Glasgow eyes moving away from ‘car-dominated’ city centre

Hope Street
(James McDowall, Shutterstock)

PEDESTRIANS having priorities over vehicles has been placed at the heart of plans to transform Glasgow city centre.

Glasgow City Council’s proposal for a people first zone would create an area of ‘high quality’ public realm in the city centre that encourages walking, wheeling, and cycling.

The plans show that access would still be provided for disabled drivers and business deliveries, as well as pick up and drop off points at ‘key’ transport hubs and access to multi-storey car parks which ‘circle the city centre’.

It would cover an area bounded by Hope Street, Cowcaddens Road, North Hanover Street, Glassford Street, and Howard Street. The local authority said the zone would also tie in with proposed masterplans for Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre.

Within the zone, crossing points would ensure pedestrians have less distance and more time to cross the road in an environment that is quieter and cleaner. The council added that rebalancing how street space is used in the city centre would also allow for a growth in civic spaces, pocket parks, parklets, and street cafes.

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said, “We want our city centre to reach its true potential as a place where people want to live, work, and visit. Cities all around the world are still coming to terms with the effects of online shopping and the shock of Covid. But cities everywhere are successfully transforming their centres to become more attractive, liveable spaces and Glasgow should be no different.

“We can move away from an area which is car-dominated to one that is healthier for all who use it and which will contribute to our active travel and net zero targets. Much less traffic, but better connectivity, would deliver real benefits for city businesses, as well as residents and visitors.

“This is a chance for Glaswegians to imagine a centre that is focused on the needs of people and is environmentally-friendly. The city centre would become an urban heart people want to spend time in, rather than just pass through. I urge people to share their views through this consultation as that will help shape our plans for the future of our city centre.”

The consultation on proposals can be accessed by clicking here.