A ‘People First Zone’ is to be created in Glasgow city centre, giving pedestrians priority over vehicles to encourage active travel and lower emissions.
Infrastructure will be built for people walking, wheeling and cycling and to provide better access for disabled drivers, pick up and drop off points at transport hubs and business deliveries.
Crossing points would be installed to ensure pedestrian safety and street space would be rebalanced to include civic spaces, pocket parks, parklets and street cafes.
The People First Zone is part of an overall City Centre Transformation Plan (CCTP), with plans to redevelop several areas including the Citizens Theatre, Govanhill Baths and Briggait Clydeside Market Halls.
Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Susan Aitken, said: ‘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.’
The proposed zone would cover an area bounded by Hope Street, Cowcaddens Road, North Hanover Street, Glassford Street and Howard Street and would provide access to multi-storey car parks circling the city centre.
A six-week public consultation has now been launched on the overall CCTP, which focuses on creating a people-friendly public transport network, reaching net-zero and enhancing the economy.
Glasgow City Council is aiming for 80% of peak-time travel into the city centre to be made by active travel or public transport by 2030 and a 30% reduction in peak-hour private car traffic.
It’s also hoping to improve accessibility for the mobility-impaired, improve services, like waste collection and deliveries, and double the city’s population by 2035.
The People First Zone has gained support from Karen McGregor, Portfolio Director of active travel charity Sustrans: ‘The CCTP will be an absolute game-changer for walking, wheeling, and cycling in Glasgow, making our streets safer, cleaner and more enjoyable for everyone.
‘The plan also neatly links in with a number of other high-profile projects we’re delivering in partnership with Glasgow City Council, including improved active travel routes from Govanhill in the south and from Woodside in the north, creating a truly active and accessible network across the city.’
Photo by George Kourounis