Drivers are being reminded that the A814 Clydeside Expressway in Glasgow will be closed from the Partick Interchange to J19 at Anderston, from 9pm (not 9am as previously stated) on Saturday 23 October 2021 until 6am on Monday 15 November 2021.
This closure has been granted to help prepare for the imminent arrival of COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference at the SEC, that starts 31 October and will run until 12 November 2021.
Glasgow City Council has been asked to close key route by event organisers as part of the security measures surrounding the conference. Some 140 world leaders are expected to attend COP26 for what have been described as ‘last chance’ talks aimed at agreeing action to slow down the devastating impact of climate change.
Alternative routes have been put in place and will be sign posted on the ground, but drivers are urged to plan their journeys in advance. They are being asked look at travelling outside peak times, consider if the journey is necessary at that time or at all and leaving the car, opting to travel in a different way, if possible.
On Monday 1 November there will be additional road closures around Argyle Street which is one of the main diversion routes, because of a COP26 event. This will increase congestion and put additional strain on the road network.
Friday 5 November and Saturday 6 November are also expected to be exceptionally busy, due to planned climate change related marches going from Kelvingrove Park into the city centre and Glasgow Green.
Information needed to plan ahead for these events is on the www.getreadyglasgow.com website including: full details of all the roads, footpaths and cycle ways that are going to be closed. The site also has details of all the alternative routes and day-by-day ‘heat’ maps which show where we expect there to be congestion because of specific COP26 events.
Denise Hamilton, head of the council’s COP26 Team, said, “Glasgow is a past master at hosting major events. We have spent the past 18 months putting plans in place to support this hugely complex event and keep Glasgow moving and open for business.
“We’ve worked with partners to co-ordinate and agree road closures and security measures that are essential to make COP26 a successful event and safe for everyone, visitors and residents, alike. The city is ready for what is going to be the largest gathering of world leaders that the UK has ever seen.
“But as well as world leaders, protestors and activists are also coming to Glasgow and their actions may have an additional impact and unpredictable effects on traffic in and around the city.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to be flexible and plan ahead. We’ve put all the information we have on the Get Ready Glasgow website. It is comprehensive and regularly updated.
“There are maps which show all the closures and alternative routes for roads, footpaths and cycle ways.
“There will be congestion and disruption and some days will be far busier than others. But we’re using our hard-won experience and expertise to make sure that it’s as close to business-as-usual for as many people as possible.”
Nicola Blaney, head of events resilience at Transport Scotland, said, “Latest data shows the transport network in Glasgow and the Central Belt will be extremely busy during COP26. Severe congestion on certain days is expected due to a combination of road closures, security measures, an influx of delegates, poor weather, and likely protests.
“It’s this unique mix of factors – some of which are unknown in terms of impact and timing – that makes this conference so challenging to plan for. However, we would urge people to plan ahead and check before they travel, as a minimum. By checking the Traffic Scotland and Get Ready Glasgow Twitter feeds, websites and listening to radio travel bulletins, the public can play their part in keeping disruption to a minimum during COP26.”
In addition to the Get Ready Glasgow website, Glasgow City Council has been communicating directly with the businesses and residents who live closest to the COP26 venues and are likely to suffer the most disruption. Some 9,000 letters have been sent to homes in the Anderston, Finnieston and Yorkhill areas with full details and maps of the road closures and parking restrictions.
Face-to-face drop-in sessions in Govan, west end and city centre have been held as well. Webinars and newsletters have also been part of the communications mix along with a huge travel public information campaign taking in social media, TV, radio, online advertising and newspapers.
The council has also taken the decision to close five schools and nurseries in the area closest to COP26 venues on 1 and 2 November. The establishments that have been granted an exceptional closure by the Scottish Government and their families have been sent communications to give them plenty of notice of the alternative learning for the two days due to road closures and security restrictions that will impact travel around their school or nursery. The decision reflects the feeling that children and young people’s learning will be better spent at home on these days instead of potentially being stuck on long journeys to and from school.