Newsletter - Links - Advertise - Contact Us - Privacy

Traffic relegation paves the way for Glasgow Avenues extension

November 26 2019

Traffic relegation paves the way for Glasgow Avenues extension

Glasgow City Council has launched proposals for a further extension of the city Avenues project as part of a decade-long overhaul of the city centre.

The draft Central District Regeneration Framework sets out a vision to pedestrianise Bothwell Street and West George Street by 2030 as part of efforts to reduce the volume of cars and increase greenery.

These goals could be met through a radical reappraisal of feeder road networks centred on the demotion of the M8 to an inner-city relief road, closing off the city centre to through traffic. Instead, motorists would be funnelled into multi-storey car parks at the end of Sauchiehall Street and at a redeveloped Blythswood Court, with only pedestrians, public transport and cyclists permitted within the urban core.

Outlining how this might work the report states: “The upgraded M74-M73 is the ideal loop around the city centre to replace the M8 as a national thoroughfare. The M8 can be downgraded to become part of a local city centre ring that accommodates displaced through-traffic from the city centre.”

Removal of passenger vehicles would allow footpaths to be widened, enable new tree planting and permit all-weather canopies to be erected.

A 10-week consultation on the proposals, drawn up by lead designer MVRDV alongside local consultant Austin-Smith:Lord. is set to get underway from 6 December.

Bothwell Street as it could appear by 2030
Bothwell Street as it could appear by 2030
New paving and planting would invigorate West George Street
New paving and planting would invigorate West George Street


#1 Posted by EM0 on 26 Nov 2019 at 15:31 PM
Funny I don’t see “in the meantime we will knock down every historic building we can” written anywhere in the plan .....!
#2 Posted by Alf on 26 Nov 2019 at 16:02 PM
Interesting concept, but I cant see how this can be realised given how expensive and disruptive it will be.
For instance, I'm keen to see/read how the full plan proposes to deal with traffic trying to get from the West (via the expressway) through to the East, where there is normally a gridlock at the Expressway/M8 on ramp junction at peak times. Will this impact on the Clyde Tunnel, and will the tunnel be (somehow) improved to deal with the greater traffic flow? What about the Kingston Bridge, does this get 'downgraded' too to be an elaborate on-ramp southbound, where you can't even (in its current format) directly get on to the M74 from it? Seems like (with most city centre-centric ideas) all that will happen is the heavy traffic gets pushed out to the surrounding areas. Trying not to be UR-standard negative, just curious.
#3 Posted by Darren on 26 Nov 2019 at 19:55 PM
This all sound like a wonderful idea, and I'm sure some of what is proposed for the inner city centre may be possible. But what is proposed for the M8 is utter pie in the sky. Have these people seen the roads now, and not even at peak times anymore. The M8 corridor through Charing Cross out to the M77 merge is bursting at the seams. This is only going to get worse. How do they seriously propose to reduce car usage to implement what they suggest. I wish they would get real. Without serious multi million pound investment in public transport projects none of this will be possible, and even then people will always need personal transport, for work or personal use. We need to radically rethink personal transport. For example why not introduce some kind of rolling roads, like a travelator for cars, they could run through city centres so engines could be turn off and cut emissions. Just one example...
Glasgow Bob
#4 Posted by Glasgow Bob on 26 Nov 2019 at 20:48 PM
#2 I'm not sure why you worship at the feet of the car god, but times they are a changing. Every small step is a way to gradually reduce car use and should be applauded. It's is a generational thing as the yoof shin car ownership and use for other solutions. Only the gammons will struggle to kick their car addiction....
#1 drivel.
#5 Posted by Ian on 26 Nov 2019 at 21:23 PM
Oh, yes! More of this type of thinking please. Anything which shifts the balance away from cars is welcome news.
#6 Posted by engineerjim on 27 Nov 2019 at 08:43 AM
complete the inner ring road, move the st Enoch carpark and build others next to the motorway. if the fee of completion is over £1billion then the cost is riddled with corruption and unnecessary expense.
#7 Posted by Alf on 27 Nov 2019 at 09:42 AM
~4 Glasgow Bob, well, I don't worship at the feet of the car god as you put it. Unfortunately, I am one of those "gammons" who actually has to use a car to get to and from work (not to mention dropping kids off at nursery, etc, etc). Its called reality. And yes, you are right that every small step is a way to reduce car use, but the proposals being suggested are not a small step, they have larger knock-on consequences. The focus initially should be in improving public services, like trains, buses, underground, but this has all been discussed at length on these pages. Once this is done, then you can omit cars from the city centre more readily.
Neil C
#8 Posted by Neil C on 27 Nov 2019 at 12:05 PM
UR - is there a way to remove snide comments from stories? Some of the comments above are pretty unnecessary.

Back on topic, there are numerous reasons why these proposals are unrealistic. To save time, I've only listed four:

(a) many people need cars for work or health reasons (our son is disabled and public transport simply isn't practical for him)
(b) cars are increasingly becoming hybrids or electric/hydrogen-powered, which will eventually negate any reason to ban them on environmental grounds
(c) these proposals would stop people who want/need/rely on cars from living in the city centre, at a time when GCC wants to double the urban core's population
(d) buses can never and will never be practical replacements for the car. Any student of post-war Glasgow and its housing/transport policies can tell you that. And having had to work from home for three days in a row because of cancelled trains, I don't think trains are the answer either.
#9 Posted by UR on 27 Nov 2019 at 13:11 PM
Yes. Can we stick to the matter in hand please.
#bancars (:
#10 Posted by #bancars (: on 27 Nov 2019 at 13:31 PM
I like this. If you need a car for work and every day life then your city, your town, your council are failing you in not providing suitable alternatives (public transport and cycle/walking infrastructure). This is a step in the right direction.
G Man
#11 Posted by G Man on 28 Nov 2019 at 10:48 AM
I'm probably a bit late in the day with this but this is the way forward. Too much of the city was closed or blocked off for years due to the post-war planning disaster that became reality and what we had to live with, in turn dissuading people from living here. I know I touched on this a couple of weeks ago on an earlier post but it was all deliberate to discourage growth and put people off living here. Should stop building on that green belt as well or there'll be nothing left. PS I drew up a mock idea about 10 years ago downgrading the M8 at Townhead and re-aligning the roads for residential development, thought it was a daft idea at the time as the powers as they were would have found it laughable, then up pops this plan.

Post your comments


All comments are pre-moderated and
must obey our house rules.


Back to November 2019

Search News
Subscribe to Urban Realm Magazine
Features & Reports
For more information from the industry visit our Features & Reports section.