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Glasgow consults on George Square pedestrianisation

August 14 2018

Glasgow consults on George Square pedestrianisation

Glasgow City Council is considering taking the dramatic step of permanently banning all traffic from George Square following a series of temporary road closures around the central civic space to accommodate the European Championships.

Those with an interest in the square are being invited to complete a short survey in which respondents can have their say on whether they agree or disagree with a permanent remodeling.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: "I think most Glaswegians would like a George Square that is focused more on people, rather than cars - but, with the experience of the European Championships fresh in people's minds, we're keen to hear what the city feels would work.

"We're already making some other significant changes to how the city works and moves; including establishing Scotland's first Low Emissions Zone and dedicating more space to walking and cycling through our £115m Avenues project."


#1 Posted by Alf on 14 Aug 2018 at 12:50 PM
Not sure how this would work without banning vehicles from the city center altogether.
Renfield Street, Cathedral Street, Union Street, Argyle Street, etc. are already quite congested, so the assumption would be that they would be even more so if traffic was prevented from moving around G Square.
Walt Disney
#2 Posted by Walt Disney on 14 Aug 2018 at 13:09 PM
I don't think that removing all cars is the answer. Closing off 1 or 2 sides migh make more sense. George Square is a fulcrum for the city centre and removal of traffic would have big consequences for shops and businesses.

Lets be realistic also. Glasgow has a really poor record on creating and maintaining pedestrianised areas. Dontcha just love a walk along Argyle Street or Sauchiehall Street? All of that lovely tarmac patched monobloc, tatty street furniture and unkempt landscaping. Even Buchanan Street is falling prey to the unregulated utility men and miniscule maintenance budgets.
#3 Posted by Jon on 14 Aug 2018 at 13:12 PM
I have an idea! Why dont we hold a competition and get, say, six architects to draw up ideas on how George Square could be redeveloped, but ask them to do it for free as its a "competition". Lets then ask a panel of experts to choose one of those ideas, then let a totally corrupt politician with no background in urban planning totally over rule them, and leave George Square exactly as it is and claim its the will of the people. Then restart the whole process again.
#4 Posted by lm on 14 Aug 2018 at 13:26 PM
I think the remodelling is very much needed, George Square is so boring because it's so disconnected from it's frontage buildings and this is because of the heavy traffic. I think with the new train station coming soon and good strategy for the city the square could be a very attractive place in Glasgow
#5 Posted by Yaldy on 14 Aug 2018 at 13:42 PM
This is unbelievable. Mostly because of what #3 points out. Number 2 hits the nail on the head as well. There are 6 well used junctions on George Square. Do these all just become dead ends?
Cars Make Glasgow
#6 Posted by Cars Make Glasgow on 14 Aug 2018 at 13:49 PM
People Make Cities
#7 Posted by Pablo on 14 Aug 2018 at 14:18 PM
Yes please! Many European cities are starting to understand that structuring around people and pedestrians rather than cars makes for a better, more successful city.
#8 Posted by Hernandez on 14 Aug 2018 at 14:51 PM
Would a potential solution be to pedestrianize the north and west sides of the square, linking it with Queen St Station, but leave the south and east sides open to traffic? This would probably mean closing West George St as well, from Nelson Mandela Place.
Neil C
#9 Posted by Neil C on 14 Aug 2018 at 15:20 PM
If Glasgow City Council hadn't spent the last thirty years installing bus gates, one-way systems, sporadic pedestrianisation and bizarre detours (Rose Street, anyone?), this plan might work. The city desperately needs a handful of clear east-west traffic arteries, not the closure of half the routes still in operation.

And before the ban-all-cars brigade descend on this thread like tramps on discarded chip cartons, not everyone drives into central Glasgow for sheer devilment. Trying to get any vehicle from Ingram Street to Union Street, or from Queen Street to Buchanan Street, would become incredibly inefficient if George Square was closed.
Bann-all-cars Brigade Member Nr.24601
#10 Posted by Bann-all-cars Brigade Member Nr.24601 on 14 Aug 2018 at 16:20 PM
Excellent idea, it's about time George Square was closed to traffic. It's been a glorified traffic island for too long.

Also, #9:
"The city desperately needs a handful of clear east-west traffic arteries"

You have the M8.

"And before the ban-all-cars brigade descend on this thread like tramps on discarded chip cartons, not everyone drives into central Glasgow for sheer devilment."

Wow, classy simile there. The majority of motor vehicle trips into Glasgow city centre could be made via alternative modes of transport. GCC should be moving towards improving these healthier, greener alternatives through reforming our current public transport system (e.g. the bus system needs a total overhaul and rationalisation) and building better cycle infrastructure. Pedestrianising George Square is a good step in the right direction.
Bann-all-cars Brigade Member Nr. 24666
#11 Posted by Bann-all-cars Brigade Member Nr. 24666 on 14 Aug 2018 at 18:01 PM
Yes pedestrianised! Statutes moved to Glasgow green and put into a 'route of heros' or suchlike.
Plant trees and more grass in George square.
Buses can run from Buchanan street to motorway or high street, etc instead of turning the city centre into a bus park.
Congestion charge for city centre and let's get people living back in the city instead of painting up shops hoardings - the high street is dead and not coming back!
Realistic local resident
#12 Posted by Realistic local resident on 14 Aug 2018 at 22:28 PM
As a local resident to George Square who has also spent time living in cities where large areas are pedestrianized, their idea is nice in theory but would not work in Glasgow under its current state. The road network surrounding the area would need to be changed considerably to allow the remaining traffic to get through the city. While in theory this could be done, Glasgow City Council have a horrible track record for delivering on large scale projects of this manner.
Also another component for this to work would be an efficient and reliable public transport system. You may argue again that this is possible, however the voices generally come from those who don't use the shocking First Bus service or the even more embarrassing excuse for 'service' that Scotrail provide. I currently commute out of Glasgow everyday for work, as does my partner. On Wednesday last week when GCC in their wisdom shut off Ingram Street, among many others, thinking that nobody uses the streets anyway, I had to use Scotrail to get to my work rather than driving, as the GCC's advise of 'take the day off' or 'work from home' doesn't cut it with all employers nor already arranged client meetings. As you will be aware, Scotrail was a shambles. Trains cancelled left right and centre. Hardly an advert for everyone to agree to ditching the cars in the city and using public transport!
A nice idea, but in reality involves a lot more input and improvements than simply throwing a few potted plants at the end of the streets!
#13 Posted by Billy on 15 Aug 2018 at 06:57 AM
Maybe just block off the west and east parts of the square as a beginning and get rid of the small pedestrianised area in Argyle st. And how about getting rid of the one way system all together. It is a pain if you miss a turning or there is a diversion in place. One way systems make you consume more petrol travelling further to get your destination having to double back sometimes to get there. Worth a try. Think we are too blinkered about the one way system. The streets might be less congested if everyone was not navigating a one way system using 3 or 4 streets more to get to there destination. And can we get rid of the horrible tarmac in the square ? A water feature and more trees would be nice.
a wholly unrealistic global resident
#14 Posted by a wholly unrealistic global resident on 15 Aug 2018 at 08:00 AM
Whoa! Hold on a minute there pardner! You cant just go about castigating all those souls that work on ScotRail and First to bring you and your dearest home every night to your campfire in our wondrous republic of Glasgow. We think you need to up your game considerably there Bald Eagle. You have a nice day now!
#15 Posted by Dutch on 15 Aug 2018 at 20:17 PM
#13 let me get this right. You want to turn narrow streets that are one way with delivery vehicles already blocking lanes back into two way? Away an play with crayons.
#16 Posted by Billy on 16 Aug 2018 at 00:43 AM
Dont think the streets were always one way. Or maybe I am mistaken. We just don’t take the car into the city anymore and shop closer to home. I am sure we are not alone. This must be impacting on city businesses as more people opt not to bother negotiating the one way system and hefty car parking charges. At the moment some streets are grid locked and others near empty of traffic. We appear to be channeling all the traffic into a few well used streets. Now where is my colouring book.
#17 Posted by Dutch on 16 Aug 2018 at 19:53 PM
Yes they were two way before traffic congestion rose to such levels that something had to be done and a raft of traffic measures were introduced.
Don't think people will ever take the car into cities again as the American lard-ass lifestyle means they can drive to the mall or here the out-of-town development. Anyone recall when these were only meant for white goods , etc?? Were the retailers lawyers better than the local authorities ones???
Campbell McLaren
#18 Posted by Campbell McLaren on 17 Aug 2018 at 10:12 AM
Plan a way to rid vehicles from
George square It works extremely well
in the new Buchanan street .
Link this all with a re freshed Argyll street
and St Enoch square .Down to the new
huge office devolopement just announced.
on the banks of the river Clyde.
then tie in St James centre better.
It could become number amalgam of
old and new design and architecture
and the pride of the UK.
Develop the underground park and
ride system and similar parking
facilities eg decent patrolled and cheap
organised car parking as it is just now.
Access buses or consider a specific
tramway system to feed the city centre from the north,south East west,
with a new tramway plan .
Get George square back to
becoming the traditional ‘Glasgow
city centre . ‘
#19 Posted by George on 20 Aug 2018 at 16:14 PM
Can they not just close off the west and east sides of the square and this would give a frontage from the city chambers etc but to shut all 4 streets would be crazy. We can't kid on that no-one takes their vehicles into town anymore and to make the city centre even more gridlocked certainly doesn't improve pollution aside from reinforcing everyones thoughts that Silverburn or The Fort is a better option.

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