PLANS to introduce traffic restrictions on two streets in Glasgow city centre have opened for consultation.
Introduction of the ‘bus gates’ — one at Union Street for southbound traffic and the other at Oswald Street for vehicles heading north — will mean only buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and cycles will be allowed between 7am and 7pm each day, although there will be access for goods and service vehicles.
The restrictions would apply on Oswald Street between Midland Street and Argyle Street and on Union Street between Gordon Street and Argyle Street.
Union Street, between Argyle Street and Gordon Street
The number of disabled parking bays on West Nile Street would be increased to make up for the loss of access to Union Street. Alternative routes using Wellington Street and Robertson Street for southbound vehicles and York Street and West Campbell Street for northbound vehicles are being proposed.
The proposals are intended to improve journey times and reliability on key bus routes close to Central Station, which can carry up to 360 buses every hour at peak times.
Oswald Street, from Midland Street to Argyle Street
The measures will cut the number of vehicles and delays which in turn will reduce emissions in one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the city centre.
A reduction in emissions is a key policy objective for Glasgow City Council as around 300 people die every year in the city as a consequence of poor air quality. Less traffic will also reduce the accident risk for pedestrians while still giving scope for deliveries to city centre businesses to be maintained.
Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, welcomed the publication of the proposals for the bus gates as a key part of the council’s efforts to support the city’s bus operators and promote the use of public transport.
Councillor Richardson said: “The bus is still easily the most popular form of public transport in Glasgow, but passenger numbers are falling at a very steady rate and the bus industry is under real pressure.
“As a council, we have to do everything that we can to sustain public transport in a city where almost half of our population have no access to a car. Not supporting the bus sector will have long-term, negative consequences for a huge swathe of Glasgow’s population and the city’s economy as a whole.
“One of the main issues for the bus operators and their passengers is the reliability of the service. By providing clear channels for buses to use, we can reduce delays and get closer to the target of ‘on time, every time’. The bus routes either side of Central Station are two of the busiest in the city and the introduction of bus gates will see significant improvements to the service on these streets.
“This proposal will lead to multiple benefits, encourage sustainable transport and protect our more vulnerable road users.”
The consultation will run for six weeks and responses can be submitted via the council website.