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City Centre cycle journeys more than double

glasgow-cycling

Cycle journeys to and from Glasgow city centre have more than doubled in less than ten years, according to new data collected by the council’s Sustainable Transport team.

Figures based on the annual count of people cycling past 35 locations around the city centre area show that travelling by bike has gone up by 111% between 2009 and 2018.

glasgow-cycling

According to the count, which took place over two days in September this year, there were 5,712 journeys by bike into the city centre on average each day with a total number of 11,000 journeys in and out of the city centre on a daily basis.

The 2018 count also indicated that almost 53,000 people walk into the city centre on average each day, with a total number of 102,972 journeys in and out of the city centre on a daily basis.  This is a near 19% increase on 2009 and also suggests that a substantial number of the city centre’s 150,000-plus strong workforce walk to work every day.

The substantial increase in cycling can be attributed to a greater awareness of the health and economic benefits from cycling as well as a range of improvements to the city’s cycling infrastructure.  These include enhanced routes, greater availability of cycle parking and the introduction of the cycle hire scheme as well as widespread support for the promotion of cycling as a viable active travel option.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the figures provided concrete evidence that cycling is growing in popularity in Glasgow.  With new cycling infrastructure such as the £6.5m South City Way due to be completed in the near future as part of the ambitious, overall City Way initiative, Councillor Richardson believes there is huge potential for the figures to grow even further.

She said: “These figures give us solid proof that cycling is on the rise in Glasgow.  Our investment in cycling infrastructure is clearly paying dividends, and the Avenues and City Ways projects will provide a significant increase in the number of safe, protected routes across the city.

“There is strong public support for more, safe cycling infrastructure in the city and also for more people to take up cycling. Our plans aim to tap into the potential for further growth in cycling in Glasgow.

“The recent Connectivity Commission reports also shows that it is vital that we have a substantial shift to more sustainable forms of transport to protect the health and vitality of the city. Cycling must have a key role in the city’s future transport network.”

The most popular locations for people travelling on bike to and from the city centre are:

  1. Broomielaw (at Washington Street) – 2,065 daily journeys on average.
  2. Saltmarket at Clyde Street – 1,231 journeys
  3. Tradeston Bridge – 1,088 journeys
  4. Victoria Bridge – 929 journeys
  5. Friarton Place East at Garscube Road – 539 journeys

The most popular locations for people travelling on foot to and from the city centre are:-

1. Trongate at Albion St – 10,335 daily journeys on average

2. Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross – 9,070 daily journeys on average

3. High Street at George St – 7,227 journeys

4. Tradeston Bridge – 6,170 journeys

5. Argyle Street at Anderston – 5,307 journeys.

A new suite of automatic cycle counters have now been introduced at 22 key locations around the city centre cordon.  This will now provide information on cycle journeys in an out of the city centre 24-hours a day on 365 days a year.  Further counters will be installed as the infrastructure projects in these areas are completed e.g Sauchiehall Street (Avenues Project).

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Council Awarded £3m from Sustrans Scotland Community Links Programme

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The council has successfully secured £3m from Sustrans Scotland Community Links, a programme which funds infrastructure projects that make it easier for people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.

sustrans_dundee-1_med

Funded by Transport Scotland, the Sustrans Scotland Community Links programme has funded hundreds of projects across Scotland since 2010.

 

The Community Links funding was awarded today for three council infrastructure plans which specifically focus on connectivity, city centre transformation and improving the attractiveness and accessibility of our neighbourhoods.

 

The three inter-related projects will significantly shape our future transport network, active travel choices, the liveability of our neighbourhoods, and the cultural vibrancy, sustainability and inclusive economic growth of our city centre.

 

Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said; “The Connectivity Commission has set out clear recommendations to improve transport in our city, and we agree that we must be bold in our ambitions.

 

“Without strategic thinking in our city centre we will not unlock the potential for inclusive economic growth and increased city centre living that Glasgow needs.

“We also acknowledge that we must look even further than the recommendations of the Commission, to tackle the transport needs of all our communities, and improve connectivity across every neighbourhood in Glasgow.

“That’s why I’m delighted to announce that with an investment of £3 million of Scottish Government funding in partnership with Sustrans, we’ll be able to start work on these three significant projects.

 

“We’ll develop an overarching transport strategy for Glasgow with sustainability at its heart, as well as setting out how we’ll transform movement around the city centre and address many of the challenges we’ve been set by the Connectivity Commission.

 

“We’ll also produce a Liveable Neighbourhoods Plan, a blueprint for improving every neighbourhood in the city through a range of interventions to make them more pleasant places for people to live, work and play.

“Over the next 18 months, through these projects, we’ll set out our 10 year vision for a transport system that will address inequality, connectivity and climate change.”

The development of these three plans will ensure a more sustainable, healthy, liveable, connected and inclusive thriving Glasgow for all.

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STRICTLY’S DR RANJ CHAMPIONS COURAGE OF SCOTS CHILDREN WITH CANCER

Cancer ResearchUK Star Awards 2018 poster which features Agatha King, aged seven, from Fife who has overcome leukaemia

AN AWARD scheme backed by Strictly Come Dancing star Dr Ranj Singh which recognises the courage of youngsters with cancer is being launched across Scotland.

Cancer ResearchUK Star Awards 2018 poster which features Agatha King, aged seven, from Fife who has overcome leukaemia

Around 130 children are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland every year.* Thanks to the support of people across the country, Cancer Research UK’s research has helped transform survival for children’s cancers, which overall has more than doubled in the last 40 years in the UK. In the early 1970s, four in 10 under 15s with cancer survived for at least five years. Today, it’s more than eight in 10.**

Now TV doctor Ranj Singh is backing the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, which celebrate the strength shown by youngsters who have been diagnosed with and treated for cancer. Nominations for this year’s awards are now open and people are being called on to nominate young cancer patients and survivors from across Scotland in the run up to Christmas. A party is also organised each summer for youngsters affected by the disease.

Dr Ranj Photo

Dr Ranj said: “I’ve been to the Star Awards Party before and met so many amazing children and young people who have been affected by cancer.

“Their strength and spirit is inspiring which is why I’m so proud to support the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards. I want to help raise awareness and money to help find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer.”

There is no judging panel for the awards because Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens believes every child diagnosed with cancer deserves special recognition.

All children nominated will receive a unique trophy, £50 TK Maxx gift card, t-shirt and a certificate signed by Dr Ranj and a host of famous faces, including Dame Emma Thompson, Una Healy and Aston Merrygold, as well as children’s favourite entertainer Mister Maker. Their siblings also receive a certificate.

Lisa Adams, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens in Scotland, said: “The Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards, in partnership with TK Maxx, recognise young cancer patients who have survived cancer or are currently being treated for the disease.

“Cancer can have a devastating impact on their lives and many of those who survive may live with serious long-term side effects from their treatment.

“Our mission is to fund research to find new, better and kinder treatments for young cancer patients. We want to bring forward the day when every child and young person survives cancer and does so with a good quality of life.

“We’re calling on people across Scotland to nominate inspirational youngsters for this year’s Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards so that we can recognise their incredible courage.”

Cancer Research UK has funded pioneering research in to understanding different types of childhood leukaemia which has improved the way children are treated today, meaning more survive. Our scientists showed that a drug called mitoxantrone can increase survival by more than 50 per cent in children whose acute lymphoblastic leukaemia has come back after treatment. Our doctors led an important clinical trial testing a treatment for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia that had come back. Thanks to this trial hundreds more children can now expect to survive this disease.

The Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards are run in partnership with TK Maxx, the biggest corporate supporter of the charity’s research into children’s cancers. Since 2004, TK Maxx has raised over £32 million for research across the UK to find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer.

The awards are open to all under-18s who currently have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

To nominate a child for an award, visit 
cruk.org/kidsandteens.

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Work begins on public realm project in Govan

clyde

Work has today (3 December) begun on a £750,000 public realm improvement project within Central Govan which will be funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal and Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative.

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Through the work, the public realm will be enhanced at and around the entrance to the Govan Old church and adjacent to the Pearce Institute and Govan War Memorial, as well as on Pearce Lane, Burleigh Street and Langlands Road connecting to Langlands Path.  Both Govan Old and the Pearce Institute are Category A listed buildings.

 

The improvements to the public realm will link to the forthcoming Govan – Partick bridge, and will be a key link in the proposed active travel network running between Byres Road and the University of Glasgow over to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

 

These links underline Govan’s place at the centre of the proposed Waterfront and West End Innovation District, and this work is the first City Deal funded project to be delivered in Govan.

 

The work will also play a key role in protecting and promoting the heritage of the area, marking the first stage of exciting development proposals that will safeguard the future of the Govan Old church, improving access, enhancing visitor numbers and attracting businesses.

 

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet, said: “Communities across Glasgow, not least Govan, stand on the cusp of significant transformation thanks to City Deal investment. This public realm investment does a number of things; it protects the heritage of a historic area, improves the very fabric of the heart of Govan and puts in place the building blocks so it is ready to thrive from plans to make Govan a more desirable location for innovate and creative businesses and workers, not least the new bridge to Partick. In short, it makes Govan a more attractive place for its residents and those doing business there.”

 

The work is due to finish in May 2019.

 

Detail on the Innovation District between Byres Road/University of Glasgow/Queen Elizabeth University Hospital can be found at: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=20034.

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Tis The Season To Stay Safe

Nitezones Ad 2018

Party goers in Glasgow are being urged to plan-ahead this festive season to make sure they have a perfect end to a perfect night.

Nitezones Ad 2018

As hundreds of thousands of people are drawn to the city’s top quality bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants to celebrate the festive period to the full, Community Safety Glasgow’s Party Safe, Home Safe initiative encourages people to think ahead and organise your journey home in advance.

Glasgow’s bustling nightlife will be busier than ever as will buses, trains and demand for taxis.

Bailie Glenn Elder, Chair of the Safe Glasgow Group, is urging people to enjoy themselves throughout the party season but to stay safe.

He said: “As one of the largest cities in the UK, it’s of utmost importance to us that people not only enjoy themselves on a night out in Glasgow but they do so safely.

“Planning your journey home is also just as important.  Demand for taxis and public transport is exceptionally high so it’s a good idea to know the time of your last bus or train.

“Alternatively, we have six Nitezones located around the city centre, where Home Safe Marshalls staff the taxi ranks and help keep the queues in order.

Bailie Elder added: “There are a number of Nitezones in the city centre and also in the West end and south side, operating extended hours during the festive period weekends.

“There will also be Volunteer Street Pastors, Police Officers and staff from Community Safety Glasgow out patrolling the city centre to offer help and assistance to anyone in need.

“We want everyone to enjoy themselves throughout the party season, but to stay safe. And in a city which boasts 98 award-winning Best Bar None venues where staff and stewards are trained in customer safety, you know you’re in good hands.”

The city’s six Nitezones can be found at:

Albion Street (outside Café Gandolfi)

Byres Road (next to Hillhead Subway)

George Street (outside Millennium Hotel)

Gordon Street (outside Central Station)

Sauchiehall Street (adjacent to The Garage Nightclub)

Shawlands (Pollokshaws Road adjacent to The Butterfly and the Pig)

Nitezones operate from 11pm to 5am during the festive period weekends with the exception of Shawlands and Byres Road which both operate 11pm – 4am and 11pm – 3am respectively.

Glasgow Street Pastors operate a Safe Zone in the former St George’s Tron Church on a Friday and Saturday night during the festive period, where free assistance will also be available for more info see https://gsp.scot/

Watch Festive Safety video at https://vimeo.com/300511750 and for more information visit www.bbnglasgow.com for details and links to Best Bar None Glasgow venues.

Glasgow Festive Safety campaign is a partnership involving Glasgow City Council’s Alcohol and Drug Partnership, Police Scotland, Community Safety Glasgow, Glasgow Street Pastors, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, Network Rail, British Transport Police and Glasgow Taxis.

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British Heart Foundation Scotland Shows Support for Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone

BHF visit 1

With only one month to go before Glasgow introduces Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone, Councillor Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction has visited the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence at the University of Edinburgh to hear how LEZs can help to tackle air pollution and bring about health benefits.

BHF visit 1

 

During her visit to the Centre, Councillor Richardson met BHF Professor David Newby and Dr Mark Miller to hear details about their research around air pollution.   Councillor Richardson was also given a tour of the Clinical Research Facility and the Mobile Ambient Particle Concentrator Exposure Laboratory (MAPCEL) Unit which has been used by the BHF team to establish a link between areas of high pollution and heart attacks, and cardiovascular disease.

Councillor Anna Richardson said; “I was delighted to visit the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence and it’s been fascinating to hear more about their research and speak with their pioneering scientists.

“Air pollution is detrimental to our health and we know it disproportionately affects the more vulnerable members of our society. Delivering cleaner air is therefore a priority for Glasgow and we’re forging towards that by introducing Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone by the end of the year.

“By only permitting access to vehicles that meet strict exhaust emission standards, Glasgow’s LEZ will help to reduce air pollution in our city centre, making it a healthier and more pleasant place to live, work and visit”.

Daniel Jones, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, BHF Scotland, said:  “BHF Scotland is delighted that Glasgow City Council will deliver a Low Emission Zone in Glasgow by the end of the year.

“Low Emission Zones have been shown to reduce particulate emissions, and international evidence has demonstrated that they have the potential to tackle poor air quality in a specific and set location.

“In view of this evidence, BHF Scotland has long supported the introduction of Low Emission Zones in Scotland, with the aim of tackling air pollution across the country, and it is great to see that Glasgow is leading the way as the first local authority in Scotland to bring in a Low Emission Zone.

“The introduction of Low Emission Zones across the worst polluted locations in Scotland has the potential to tackle the issue of air pollution to bring about real health benefits for local people, and we look forward to further Low Emission Zones being established over the next few years in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.”

Low Emission Zones will be introduced in Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020. Glasgow’s LEZ will be phased in from 31 December 2018 and will initially affect local service buses only.  By 31 December 2022 however, the strict vehicle emission standards required by the LEZ will apply to all vehicles wishing to enter the city centre zone.

Pictured outside the Mobile Ambient Particle Concentrator Exposure Laboratory (MAPCEL) Unit at the University of Edinburgh, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, are (L-R) Dr Anoop Shah, Professor David Newby and Dr Mark Miller (all of the BHF Centre of Research Excellence, University of Edinburgh), Councillor Anna Richardson (Glasgow City Council), David McColgan and Daniel Jones (both of BHF Scotland) and Daan Leseman (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands)

More information about Glasgow’s LEZ can be found at www.glasgow.gov.uk/LEZ

For the national picture, visit www.lowemissionzones.scot

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Council approves acceptance of Heritage Lottery Fund award for canal project

glasgow-canal

Glasgow City Council today approved the release of £35,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Great Place funding to Scottish Canals for partnership activity as part of the project.

glasgow-canal

This funding is for the development of a Cultural Heritage Arts Strategy for the canal area in Glasgow, as part of a wider HLF Great Places project with almost £520,000 funding from the HLF, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Canals, Test Unit and the Tourism Development Destination Fund.

 

The wider project will include:

 

  • Support for the growth of the Glasgow Canal Festival and fringe heritage events;
  • The production of a cultural heritage arts strategy;
  • Delivery of a volunteer and training programme to provide education and qualifications for local people;
  • A local communities ideas programme and a digital competition to engage communities with the local heritage of the canal;
  • A stalled space heritage programme along the banks of the canal; and
  • Providing a platform for professionals and universities to explore new ideas to stimulate inclusive economic growth on and close to the canal.

     

    The £35,000 funding will be allocated to Scottish Canals to support the delivery of the wider HLF Great Places project at the canal, which will see the heritage of the area embedded in local plans and decision-making.

     

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “While we have seen regeneration activity along the banks of the canal in recent years, investment such as this from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the other project partners can help us move on to the next stage of its development, bringing even more benefits to local communities.  Using the heritage of this historic part of Glasgow is a great way to engage with both local people and organisations and those from further afield in order to show them the fantastic attractions and potential of this emerging city quarter.”

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Glasgow to become Scotland’s first HIV Fast Track City

glasgowhiv

Glasgow is to be the first city in Scotland to become a HIV Fast Track city.

The council’s City Administration Committee (CAC) today (Thursday, 29 November) agreed to sign Glasgow up to the Fast Track Cities initiative – a global partnership which aims to help end the threat of AIDS by 2030.

glasgowhiv

Launched on Worlds Aid Day 2014, the Fast Track Cities initiative is a global alliance between a network of cities with high HIV rates and four core partners – International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC); the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and Paris.

It aims to build upon, strengthen and leverage existing HIV programs and resources to accelerate locally co-ordinated, city-wide responses to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Becoming a fast track city means Glasgow will strive to deliver the UN’s 90:90:90 HIV targets. These are to have 90% of people living with HIV know their status; to have 90% of people with HIV on treatment and to have 90% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads.

To achieve this, an implementation plan will be put in place, including the setting up of a Leadership group made up of key partners and organisations as well as representatives of the community living with or at risk of HIV.

Chaired by Councillor Mhairi Hunter, City Convener for Health and Social Care Integration, the group will run a city wide service gap analysis and then work on an implementation plan to fill any gaps and make use of the global resources that being a fast track city would open Glasgow up to.

Although an accurate figure for the number of people living in Glasgow with HIV is not available, it’s estimated that 83% of people living with HIV know their status and 94% of people diagnosed with HIV are on treatment, with 93% treatment with suppressed viral loads.

Cllr Hunter said: “Joining the Fast Track Cities initiative allows us the opportunity to not only prevent the increase in HIV drug users in Glasgow but to stop preventable deaths from HIV-related causes from occurring.

“While Glasgow’s figures are encouraging, we can’t be complacent. Supporting individuals with HIV and reaching those identified as being more at risk of contracting the disease in the first place is one of the many ways we aim to end new HIV infections by 2030.

“Along with NHSGGC, we offer a number of services for AIDS related victims including rehab, community-based social care workers and nurses, a street-based team and an outreach service. We also run a significant number of needle exchanges that look to mitigate the risk of the unsafe practice of using and reusing dirty needles.”

Nathan Sparling, Interim Chief Executive of HIV Scotland, said: “This shows that Glasgow City Council is committed to reducing HIV stigma, and completely eradicating HIV transmission in the city by 2030. This is an ambitious, but achievable target, that requires all partners to work together to implement the Fast-Track Cities initiative.

“People living with HIV who are on effective treatment can live a long and healthy life, and most importantly can’t pass HIV on to others. We need to ensure testing is easily accessible to all so that those who do not know they are HIV positive can access care and treatment.

“With a prevention toolkit of PrEP, treatment, condoms and testing, we can make real strides towards ending new infections. Ahead of World AIDS Day, that’s an important commitment to make, as we pause to reflect on 30 years of the epidemic, and now commit to redouble our efforts to end it.”

Link to committee paper:

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewDoc.asp?c=P62AFQDN2UUT2UDNZL

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Digital Glasgow Strategy to bring city social and economic benefits from digital revolution

glasgow-digital

The Digital Glasgow Strategy was today (29 November) approved by Glasgow City Council.

 

Some of the 74 actions to be delivered through the strategy include a proposed new partnership to deliver investment in digital infrastructure and 5G mobile technology; the roll-out of more than 50,000 iPads to the city’s schoolchildren; the introduction of more ‘Smart City’ infrastructure such as intelligent street lighting; a commitment to open data; and new work to identify digital technology skills gaps and the future digital skills needs of Glasgow’s economy.

glasgow-digital

This strategy has two main ambitions relating to how digital technology – itself the fastest-growing sector in Glasgow’s economy, and one which underpins many jobs in other sectors – can benefit the city’s residents, businesses and organisations:

 

  • Maximising the contribution that digital technology can make in achieving inclusive economic growth that benefits everyone in Glasgow and establishes the city’s tech sector as a top 20 global digital economy; and
  • Ensuring digital technology plays a transformative and innovative role in how future public services are delivered.

     

    Digital technology has already transformed key areas of everyday life and work, with the ‘Digital Revolution’ set to make a similar impact on other sectors, presenting both challenges and opportunities for our economy and society.

     

    These opportunities offer the chance to deliver economic growth, improve the quality of life and the environment for the people of Glasgow, and transform public services by making it easier for citizens to interact with them and redesigning these services around the citizen.

     

    At the same time, the city recognises the need to meet the challenges posed by the impact of digital technology, including disruption to traditional business models and the problem of digital exclusion. In an increasingly online world, we must ensure people have the access and skills to use digital technology as it becomes more important for financial, employment, healthcare and learning opportunities.

     

    A number of key actions from the Digital Glasgow Strategy – which has been developed collaboratively with a wide range of partner organisations from the public, private, third and academic sectors – will be delivered with the aim of making Glasgow a leader in both the digital economy and digital public services.

     

    The strategy identifies a number of new actions to be taken forward by the Council and its partners, including a proposed new partnership to deliver investment in digital infrastructure and 5G mobile technology; collaboration across the public, private and third sector to improve digital inclusion and participation; new work to identify digital technology skills gaps and the future digital skills needs of Glasgow’s economy; better promotion of digital careers and the development of digital clubs for young adults; a commitment to open data; and the development of a ‘Smart City Challenge’ to stimulate collaboration and innovation with businesses.

     

    Also among the strategy’s 74 actions are those reflecting existing activity in the city, including the roll-out of more than 50,000 iPads to the city’s schoolchildren and upgrades to school Wi-Fi; the introduction of more ‘Smart City’ infrastructure such as intelligent street lighting; a programme of work to make more council services accessible online; investment in digital inclusion to support people through the roll-out of Universal Credit; and the development of a 3D strategy to develop 3D building models to support planning and regeneration in Glasgow.

     

    Councillor Angus Millar, Depute City Convener for Economic Growth at Glasgow City Council, said: “We are living in a time of huge and accelerating technological change, and we need to ensure that Glasgow is ready to embrace the opportunities and meet the challenges that the Digital Revolution will bring for our economy and the future of our public services. While Glasgow is already recognised as an innovative smart city with a strong and diverse digital tech sector, the Digital Glasgow Strategy and the partnership working across the city that it underpins will help us take the next steps in becoming a digital global leader – and it will guide the city in taking advantage of the opportunities digital technology offers to improve our public services and create inclusive economic growth that people across Glasgow can benefit from.”

     

    Glasgow’s digital tech sector is the largest in Scotland, and the city has achieved global recognition as a leading smart city with notable innovations in data analytics and big data.  In 2013, Glasgow won a £24million award – beating 30 other UK cities – to develop Future City Demonstrator programmes in areas such as smart infrastructure and smart energy that have acted as a catalyst for the digital transformation of public services and in turn attracting further investment in smart city innovation.

     

    Glasgow is also home to two Innovation Districts – one in the city centre and one in the West End – and the Centre for Civic Innovation, based at the Tontine.

     

    To find out more about the Digital Glasgow Strategy, please visit: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/viewSelectedDocument.asp?c=P62AFQDN2UUTDNUT81.

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RADICAL TRANSPORT BLUEPRINT AIMS TO RECONNECT AND REJUVENATE GLASGOW

spt-tube

A PLAN to reconnect Glasgow’s left behind communities and rejuvenate the city centre has been launched by the independent Glasgow Connectivity Commission.

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In a wide-ranging set of recommendations, the Commission, chaired by transport expert Professor David Begg, called for radical action to bridge the connectivity gap separating areas of the city which were thriving from those which suffered from transport isolation and lack of opportunity.

It included proposals which would pave the way for the biggest reconstitution of the city centre streetscape in nearly half a century, giving greater priority to pedestrians and allowing for the creation of public spaces “worthy of a great European city”.

Its key recommendations include:

  • A strategic repurposing of the city centre road network to prioritise pedestrians and people-friendly public spaces and better separate different modes of transport by replacing the existing inefficient grid system with a “smart grid”
  • The acceleration of the Avenues project and its extension into other parts of the city centre such as George Square, Argyle Street, Cathedral Street and the High Street
  • Greater use of car parks and bus terminals in order to reduce the number of vehicles in the city centre
  • Bus priority measures and service improvements to reverse the decline in patronage and drive 25% passenger growth over five years
  • Glasgow City Council should use powers in the Scottish Transport Bill to regulate bus services if a partnership approach doesn’t deliver this level of growth
  • Local authorities in Scotland should be given the powers in the Scottish Transport Bill to introduce non-residential parking charges, covering both workplace and retail parking
  • Glasgow City Council should propose the transport projects that could be funded from this revenue stream and assess the economic, social and environmental case for using these powers
  • A particular emphasis should be placed on supporting city centre retail at a time when it is under increasing pressure
  • Better monitoring of city traffic volumes and speeds in order to better assess the merits of introducing a congestion charge
  • Glasgow City Council should lead by example and review whether council workers should be given free or subsidised car parking

The Glasgow Connectivity Commission was established last November by Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken and asked to provide independent recommendations on improving Glasgow’s connectivity.

In June, it published interim findings showing that Glasgow, in comparison to similar successful European cities, had a far higher proportion of its city centre used by roads, low urban population density, a dramatic decline in bus use and gaps in its fixed rail network.

The report published today is the first of two containing recommendations aimed at addressing these issues and will cover areas under the control of the council including bus use, roads, planning and active travel measures.

A second report will be published early next year which will address issues outwith the control of the council including development of the rail network, strategic road network and governance of transport planning.

Speaking at the launch of the phase one report today, Professor Begg invited Glasgow City Council to identify within six months how it planned to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.

He said: “I’d like to thank Susan Aitken for establishing this Commission and asking us to provide robust and independent advice on the connectivity issues Glasgow faces.

“Glasgow is a great European city and the economic powerhouse of Scotland. But not all of its citizens are connected to the opportunities the city provides – which is placing a barrier on its growth potential.

“And its streets, particularly in the city centre, do not offer an experience worthy of a great European city, the consequence of decades of planning decisions which have prioritised car use of pedestrians and denuded its public spaces.

“The recommendations included in this report offer an opportunity to radically transform Glasgow’s city centre – ensuring it becomes an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest – while better connecting all its citizens so as to deliver inclusive growth.

“We have built on the very positive work already being undertaken by Glasgow City Council such as the Avenues project, Low Emission Zone, cycling schemes and recently formed bus partnership. But an incremental approach to these is not enough. Now is the time for radical action.”