Sauchiehall Street awarded £5.6 million contract for transformation
The famous Glasgow street is set to be revamped
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An ambitious plan to redesign Sauchiehall Street will not overlook the experience of the visually impaired, after bosses said “lessons have been learnt” from previous projects.
Proposals to award a £5.6 million contract for the Sauchiehall Precinct and Cambridge Street Avenue to MacLay (Civil Engineering Limited), were granted by Glasgow City Council’s contracts and property committee on Thursday. This Avenue will be part of a wider network of new, attractive, accessible, safe, sustainable and easily-maintained routes throughout the city centre which are people-focused, encourage active travel and are more attractive to residents, workers, visitors and investors.
The Sauchiehall Precinct will connect to the Sauchiehall Avenue at Rose Street and stretch to West Nile Street, with the connecting Cambridge Street Avenue stretching to Cowcaddens Road. It will deliver a significant improvement in the public realm on these two streets, with reconstruction of roads, pavements and footways, with new kerbing, traffic signals, 40 new street trees, rain gardens and street lighting.
During the meeting questions were raised about how the design would impact those with visual impairments after initial Avenues projects received criticism for not being inclusive for those with sight loss. Councillor Stephen Curran said: “There has been significant concern about the design of the public realm improvements in that particular location in recent years particularly for people with visual impairments. It would be good if we could get a bit more information on if that has been able to influence the proposals significantly this time.”
A council officer confirmed that there has been extensive consultation with various groups throughout the design process and that lessons have been learnt from first Sauchiehall Street Avenues project. They said: “The Sauchiehall precinct doesn’t have any cycle infrastructure on it itself – in terms of segregation there is not a major issue there and any trip hazards are minimal.” Work on the Sauchiehall Precinct & Cambridge Street Avenue is expected to begin in September 2023, with completion in the summer of 2024.
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “The Avenues programme – the biggest project of its kind in the UK – will not only bring a more attractive environment for everyone in the city centre, but improve connections around the area and encourage more walking, cycling and wheeling. This latest Avenue, on Cambridge Street and a stretch of Sauchiehall Street, is a key part of the network, and will bring particular benefit to a part of the city that will undergo tremendous change in the coming years.”