M8 'garden cap' among seven Glasgow projects prepped for UK funding
June 22 2022
An M8 Garden Cap and the People's Palace are among seven Glasgow projects in the running to receive funding from the UK Government's £800m Levelling Up Fund for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The two city centre bids join regeneration projects in Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Maryhill and Possilpark in pursuit of the cash, as well as the Clyde Connectivity initiative in Govan which would see highway infrastructure removed in favour of green and active travel routes linking the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital to the SEC campus.
The most eye-catching project calls for the complete reconfiguration of Charing Cross by placing a 'garden cap' over the M8 between Sauchiehall Street and Bath Street, establishing a verdant oasis in an area currently dominated by the rumble and fumes of passing vehicles.
Four town centre regeneration bids are also in the works for Drumchapel, Easterhouse, Maryhill and Possilpark, each of which could benefit from improved public realm and active travel routes. Another potential candidate is the People's Palace and associated Winter Garden, the latter element remains closed after all plants died or were transferred elsewhere during the lockdown.
The projects have been assembled to fulfil award criteria mandating that each initiative either improve local transport, regenerate an existing urban centre or support a cultural asset. Each application carries a maximum value of £20m with provision for one large-scale transportation bid of up to £50m.
Formal bids are to be submitted next month for a decision in the autumn, with each project potentially deliverable before the end of 2025 if successful.
Large areas of the open chasm north and south of Sauchiehall Street would be decked over and landscaped
This will only be worthwhile if they cap it all the way down to St Vincent Street.
This idea of a ziggurat in front of the Mitchell would be an utter waste of money...
Free Unicorn for every weegie if the M8 gets a lid.
if we cannot fund a simple rail link to Glasgow Airport or invest in Springburn ( like GCC did years ago West, South and East of city) why pay tree huggers to dream up new fantasies.
It should be a small green park though, not roughly 50% concrete :(
It’s an infinitely better solution, but the political and monetary capital isn’t there, at least not yet.
So how do you get from the M74 to the M8 then? Presently you come off the M74 on North St. and enter the M8 at the on ramp at Woodlands.
What has been shown looks like pie in the sky, wish fulfilment nonsense. It will reduce two / three lanes of traffic going North to a single lane that needs to cross onto Newton St. Mental!
The only other option would be to open the Kingston Bridge fully to North bound traffic, and this will lead to carnage too. Rush hour is already brain draining when coming from the South to the North of the river. Opening it up to M74 traffic as well as that of the M77 at Kinning Park, would just be crazy.
It's like people who design cycle paths and infrastructure, you must ask if they have ever used them???
I am all for better public spaces, but this proposal will only lead to more congestion, in an area that is already struggling. It won't improve the city.
The real issue is why? What is the purpose of a 'verdant oasis' here. There are two very nice green spaces very close by but, unfortunately, both are private spaces not available to the general public. If it's just to make a shortcut between Bath Street and Sauchiehall Street then it's a monumental waste of cash.
Given the choice of walking a couple of minutes more and sitting Kilvingrove Park or enduring a space above a motorway and between busy roads i know where i'd be going.
Local government financing has been destroyed over the past 12 years by central government because it is an easy target that takes the cuts one level away from the real perpetrators.
Westminster / Holyrood -- different cheeks of the same erse.
A bit awkward but worth the effort.
Plenty of money however for middle class welfare with endless studies / frameworks / concepts.
This is such a small scale project with obvious immediate benefits that in my home country would have been done 20 years ago already.
Do the people of Glasgow not think they deserve such basic things as trees and safer roads?
The issue is there is a limited pot of cash and this project offers nothing in return for a what it would spend. Fundamentally having a motorway bisect the centre of the city is the problem. This can be resolved with political will and a significant chunk of cash. Anything that fiddles around the edges, literally in this case, is a waste of money and takes cash away from a more immediate cause. I went through the area yesterday and GCC have almost already made a verdant oasis..the place is literally covered in weeds from almost every crack in the pavement.
GCC need to get on with their day job and actually manage and maintain the existing infrastructure (in the widest sense physical and social) before getting onto frivolities like this.
All these projects do is shift the focus away from the appalling physical state and mismanagement of the city by those sat in city chambers and their recalcitrant officials.
It's true that there's a limited pot of cash, but the limited pot of cash in this case is from Westminster. If this project doesn't win an award, then a project from another city will win it instead.
Glaswegians should be fighting for every scrap of westminster's money they can get instead of saying "well another city could probably use the money better"
I take a slightly different view. Wasted money, is wasted money no matter where it is wasted. This project just doesn't, in my view, deliver any tangible benefits.
The money from Westminster, or Holyrood, or any other government quango still comes from the pockets of workers and business's (or it's borrowed and those same people will need to pay it back). Given that responsibility it's important, in my opinion at least, that it's spent sensibly and in such a way that actually creates some benefit.
Maybe i'm just old fashioned but wasting money just to beat someone else from wasting it seems like a monumentally stupid thing to do.
That is not politics or economics it is political sadism.
The whole idea of competing for funds is just a spectator sport for rich people far away -- "They Shoot horses / cities don't they".
#28 I don't think any local authority anywhere in the UK was given a choice about it. You either compete for the money or you don't. It is no different to any other bid for funding, and I don't think Glasgow or any local authority should sit on their hands.
Local government has been starved of funds for 12 ears and now they have to dance for crumbs -- no thanks.
Therefore, you can only do so many projects like that at once.
And constantly choosing the projects in London (even if they show the best cost/benefit analysis) helps to overheat London in comparison to the rest of the UK. It drives the brain and financial drain and we are left with pathetic infrastructure in places like Glasgow where the M* cuts the city in two. Or where we built the third subway network ever and and yet are the only people who never extended their network. Or the rail network is split in two and it would cost a few hundred mil to reconnect it, but there is no money and there never is money from Westminster, Holyrood doesn't have the borrowing powers and the City council is skint.
Public sector waste on a huge scale -- where all the economic benefit lowed to China rather than local industry.
At least CrossRail built its tunnel segments in the UK.
Also steel might have came from China but we closed all the steelmills before I was born, I genuinely don't know where it is still manufactured in the UK at scale, so that seems like a problem that bigger than one bridge building project. It still will have hired local labour and provide economic benefits over its life-span.
But when was the previous project of that scale in Scotland? And when is the next? And not just Scotland but Wales or England outside of London?
Most of the Glasgow infrastructure I mentioned was supposed to be upgraded as part of the Commonwealth Games bid, but once we won the bid it was all abandoned.
The same storey everywhere else too, ever tried to get a train East/West across Northern England? They use train discarded by the London Underground.
Every region will have similar projects that they can't get off the ground, I just don't live there so don't know them.
Focusing all the big infrastructure projects in London, like Crossrail, induces as much demand as it satisfies.
It was not only the steel that came from China -- they were allowed to process into deck sections as well.
Steel was / is available for the UK and the EU but Wee Eck went to China -- he had form s he was currently renting two pandas and must have got a discount.
Train story -- that dog don't hunt.
No ex London Underground trains running in the north of England.
Glasgow could have its own CrossRail project if it wanted -- unfortunately TS for some reason does not want to take it forward.
So bang goes the potential of Ayrshire / Inverclyde / Paisley with the east -- starting with the east of Glasgow before moving on to Stirling / Falkirk / Edinburgh.
Ask the questions closer to home -- maybe you will get a better understanding of the challenges we face locally.
It is not a transport project it was a Auld Reekie ego trip and tourist attraction in equal measure.
The towers were taller than they needed to be for
bragging rights and guess what the extra height encourages the development of ice in the winter and then they have to shut it.
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Use raised gardens to circumvent the tunnel height issue.