Glasgow councillors demand more information on car free zone plans

Glasgow councillors are demanding more information on proposals for a car free zone near George Square and how it affects the city’s ongoing Avenues Project.

Parts of Glasgow could soon be car free (Getty Images)Parts of Glasgow could soon be car free (Getty Images)
Parts of Glasgow could soon be car free (Getty Images)

The next phase of the Avenues development, which seeks to create an environmentally friendly city by creating more pedestrian and cycling routes, is scheduled to begin next summer.

A public consultation on Block C of the project, which includes George Square, will begin next year with a draft design developed following public engagement.

An update was brought before the neighbourhoods and sustainability committee on Tuesday, where councillor Cecilia O’Lone asked questions about the car free zone in George Square and how that would impact the avenues in George Square.

Officers tried to reassure her that another committee should be able to deal with that but councillor O’Lone insisted another paper be brought back to members of the neighbourhoods board.

She said: “I still have issues with the car free zone – particularly how it affects the Avenues Project around George Square.

“I know we have been told already that there will be different papers brought to different committees in January/February time but I would like to raise a motion that a paper is brought back to the next meeting of this committee.

“It should outline what the car free city zone is, a timeframe around the consultation with the Chamber of Commerce, businesses, taxi drivers and residents in the area and the impact on the Avenues Project and the city centre recovery group.

“This isn’t to say we aren’t supporting this but we need more information and I don’t think we need to wait until January or February for it. I would like to see a paper coming sooner rather than later.”

A council officer said that the car free zone wasn’t in the remit of the neighbourhood committee but councillor O’Lone stressed that it affected some of the issues dealt with by them, including the Avenues Project.

Officers then suggested that they look into bringing another paper back but before the sustainability committee. This was also challenged by councillor O’Lone.

She added: “ I literally don’t know anything about a development that is definitely happening. I have no information on it but I trying to make decisions on things I have no information about.

“I’m not saying I am objecting to this, I just know nothing about it so how can I sit here knowing there could be a potential impact on the Avenues Project.

“I don’t think a paper is that much to ask for. It just seems that every time something comes up about the car free zone we are asking the same questions about it.”

Chairman, councillor Ruairi Kelly agreed with what councillor O’Lone had said.

He said: “I don’t see an issue if we are just looking for a basic update. I am happy to ask officers to bring what they can to the relevant committee.”

Officers will now be asked to prepare a basic report on proposals for the car free zone at George Square and how it might affect other developments around the city.

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