City gates and extended bridges mark M8 urbanisation drive
October 27 2020
Proposals to urbanise the M8 motorway through Glasgow have won approval from councillors who have embraced measures to 'untangle the spaghetti' by reducing the frequency of junctions in the Blythswood District Regeneration Framework (DRF).
Part of a radical rethink of transport priorities the plans seek to reduce excessive car infrastructure by re-routing external journeys and HGV's away from the city centre to free up additional space for walking and cycling.
An initial priority will be the M80/M77 interchange which will be repositioned as a 'City Gate' employing smart signage to redirect non-essential traffic south via the M74.
Options under consideration include replacement of flyovers at Waterloo Street and Bothwell Street with grade-level T-junctions and a slip road. This would help expand the frequency of pedestrian crossing points to Anderston. Other possibilities include reconnecting William Street and Bothwell Street by establishing a raised green bridge and the installation of sound barriers to mitigate noise nuisance.
The Blythswood DRF document notes: "There is scope to reduce the frequency of motorway junctions thereby reducing spatial impact and improving the efficiency of the motorway. Potential remedial action could take place over and/or along the sunken stretch of M8, albeit the greatest impact would be from a significant reduction of traffic and ultimately the removal of the city centre motorway altogether."
Prior proposals to deck over a central span of the motorway cutting have been ditched in favour of widening existing bridges to accommodate greenery, play spaces and even pavilions; spreading the potential benefits over a greater area and minimising costs.
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