Sauchiehall Street set for multi-million pound makeover

Work on Sauchiehall Street is set to begin later this year
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Sauchiehall Street is set to get a £5.6 million makeover with 40 new trees, lighting and the rebuilding of roads, and footpaths among other improvements.

The plans are set to move forward with the award of the multi-million contract for the city’s latest Avenues project. Rain gardens, 40 street trees, new kerbing and lighting and road, pavement and footway reconstruction are proposed for the Sauchiehall Precinct and Cambridge Street Avenue. Work is set to start in September and be completed by summer 2024, with money coming from the £115 million Avenues programme, funded by the Scottish and UK Governments.

It is the second and final Avenues project on Sauchiehall Street, after the pilot scheme focused on the area between Charing Cross and Rose Street. The new scheme will connect to the first Sauchiehall Avenue at Rose Street and stretch to West Nile Street. Work will also be carried out at Cambridge Street from Sauchiehall Street to Cowcaddens Road. Council officials have recommended a contract is awarded to MacLay Civil Engineering Ltd when councillors meet on Thursday.

Many cyclists find riding on segregated lanes preferable to sharing roads with other traffic, like this one on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. Picture: The ScotsmanMany cyclists find riding on segregated lanes preferable to sharing roads with other traffic, like this one on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. Picture: The Scotsman
Many cyclists find riding on segregated lanes preferable to sharing roads with other traffic, like this one on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. Picture: The Scotsman

Council leader Susan Aitken 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.”

A £6.65 million budget had been sent aside for the project, with a council report stating the “value is significantly less than the budget allocated for this project and has resulted in a cost avoidance saving” of over £1 million. The report added the reconstruction of footways and carriageways will create “high quality public realm” including “new kerbing, traffic signals, street trees, rain gardens and street lighting.” Avenues funding comes from the Glasgow City Region City Deal, with both governments providing £500 million for infrastructure projects.

The council has said the overall Avenues programme will deliver a network of “new, attractive, accessible, safe, sustainable and easily-maintained routes throughout the city.” They will be “people-focused, encourage active travel and more attractive to residents, workers, visitors and investors”. MacLay was chosen after a “mini-competition process” and the final business case will also go before the City Deal Chief Executive’s Group for approval on Thursday.