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Low-Traffic ‘People First Zone’ key to Glasgow’s city centre and transport plans

Glaswegians will be consulted on plans for a low-traffic ‘People First Zone’ at the heart of the city centre.

Councillors this week considered a draft City Centre Transformation Plan for 2022-31 and also progress on the new Glasgow Transport Strategy.

Key to both is the proposal to create a ‘People First Zone’ – between Hope Street, Cowcaddens Road, North Hanover Street / Glassford Street and Howard Street – where people are able to easily and safely walk and wheel around, and feel that they – and not vehicles – have priority.

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “It’s not good enough that people in our cities, including here in Glasgow, suffer major respiratory illness due to traffic fumes and dirty air.  And it’s not good enough that people living, working and visiting in the city centre come second to crosstown traffic.

“A People First Zone in the heart of the city centre offers the chance to create an attractive place which is truly people-focused, with cleaner and greener streets that are easy to get around. We can move away from an area which is car-dominated to one that is healthier for all who use it and which will contribute to our active travel and net-zero targets.”

The proposed zone would feature much wider crossing points, with pedestrians having have less distance and more time to cross the road in a more pleasant environment with less noise and cleaner air.

While vehicle access would still be available for pick-up and drop-off at key transport hubs like railway stations, and disabled access would be maintained.  The creation of this zone would enable road space to be re-purposed for active travel, civic spaces, pocket parks or parklets and street cafes.

If approved, it would be delivered on a phased basis and completed by 2027.  The zone would also tie-in with proposed Masterplans for the Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch Centre.

Councillor Aitken said: “Cities around the world are successfully creating those liveable spaces in their centres – and Glasgow should be no different.  We will work with all our partners in the city centre to ensure that this proposal – if approved – will benefit businesses, residents, and visitors when delivered.”

A six-week consultation on the City Centre Transformation Plan will begin in May.

Meanwhile, a new policy framework supporting Glasgow’s Transport Strategy was approved at City Administration Committee today.

The strategy aims to help people move about the city in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable way – improving public transport to ensure people from all communities can access social and economic opportunities, decarbonizing transport and increasing opportunities for active travel.

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