Traffic to be banned from George Square from next month

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Traffic is set to be permanently banned from the major part of Glasgow’s George Square from next month as Spaces for People changes stay in place.

The east and west side of George Square and Hanover Street are to be closed to traffic – apart from bicycles.

And on the south side of the square only buses, private hire vehicles and taxis are allowed to enter between 7am to 7pm. Parking is also to be removed from the inner area of George Square.

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The measures are contained in a traffic management order due to come into force on June 19. It follows on from temporary restrictions rolled out during the pandemic to boost social distancing.

SNP councillor for Anderston/City/Yorkhill, Angus Millar, said: “George Square is too important for Glasgow for it just to be a city centre roundabout, and the Square today is a more inviting and welcoming place for people to spend time thanks to the changes made during the pandemic as part of the Spaces for People programme.

“Those changes have had a really positive impact on the space, with the closures of the east and west sides of the Square to traffic helping it feel more open, and the planters and trees adding greenery.

He added: “There’s lots of work still to do to improve George Square, and the Council has been consulting with the public ahead of a wider planned refurbishment in the coming years. In the meantime, the Spaces for People changes have been a great interim improvement, and it’s great to see plans progressing for these to be made permanent.”

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According to a report on the traffic management order, it will also see 24 hour taxi ranks provided on West George Street, George Square North (Millennium Hotel) and Ingram Street.

There is to be evening taxi ranks at Queen Street and St Vincent Place with daytime loading.

There would be a relocation of disabled parking on Cochrane Street with disabled parking put in place on George Street to replace current disabled parking on the north side of George Square.

Disabled parking is to be moved from Ingram Street to South Fredrick Street for improved access said the report.

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There is also a plan to relocate motorcycle parking on Cochrane Street and George Street. Parking and loading is to be amended to “ensure local businesses can receive vital deliveries while restricting non-essential car trips.”

Public engagement has been taking place on the future design of George Square and the surrounding Avenues.

A council spokesperson said: “The Traffic Regulation Order for George Square confirms making permanent the measures introduced through the Spaces for People programme subject to some minor adjustments following feedback from local businesses. The measures introduced in George Square increase its amenity by greening the space with additional plants and trees, installing new seating as well as restricting vehicle movement.

“Initially temporary to ease physical distancing during the pandemic, the majority of Spaces for People schemes are now in the process of being made permanent following an independent review which highlighted that the changes could offer long-term active travel and sustainability benefits.”

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