Summer start for Sauchiehall Street makeover

Sauchiehall StreetA date has been set for the start of work to turn Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street into a tree-lined avenue during a “radical” transformation.

Work to add trees, seats and cycling facilities to the main city centre artery will begin in the summer, marking the start of a £115 million investment by Glasgow City Council to create a network of continuous pedestrian and cycle priority routes in the city centre.

Council bosses say the aim is to make the city centre more attractive, people friendly and economically competitive.

Improvements to the non-pedestrianised stretch of Sauchiehall Street between Charing Cross and Rose Street will take around 18 months to complete.

They will transform the traffic-dominated street to an area with trees, seats and cycling facilities.

A report to councillors says: “Experience has proven these kinds of improvements lead directly to safer and more vibrant places with an increasingly mixed leisure and retail offer with greater economic stability.”

The plan involves widening the Sauchiehall Street pavements, planting trees and creating a two way cycle lane.

Footways will be cleared of clutter and repaved in Caithness stone, creating more space for tables and chairs at licensed premises.

There will also be new street lights and seats and bike stands will be placed between the trees at the edge of the pavement.

The existing three bus stops and two taxi ranks, along with kerbside loading, will be provided in the new layout close to their existing locations.

Details of the plan were drawn up after wide consultation with businesses and people living on the affected section of Sauchiehall Street.

City council leader Frank McAveety said: “This radical plan outlines an exciting new vision for the Sauchiehall Street and Garnethill district and a taste of what the city centre could look like in the future, setting the benchmark for modern, vibrant cities across Europe.

“These proposals will lead to improved public spaces and a better connected centre of Glasgow, fully able to capitalise on its unique assets and diversity.”

In 2013, businesses on the non-pedestrianised section of Sauchiehall Street voted overwhelmingly to create a business improvement district.

That requires them to contribute the equivalent of 1% of their rateable values into a fund to improve the area.

The aim is to substantially increase the number of overseas and domestic visitors through high-profile marketing, a programme of events and by ensuring the street is cleaner, safer and more inviting.

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