A blueprint for the regeneration of the centre of Glasgow will soon go out to public consultation.
A ten-year revamp plan has been drawn up which includes removing cars from the city centre, the redesign of George Square and refurbishing the Hielanman’s Umbrella.
It could also see more trees, a ‘green’ pedestrian loop linking George Square and Blythswood Square with the planned riverside park and work to preserve historic buildings.
Ideas include new canopies on city centre streets to keep people out of the rain, more art in public spaces and improving the nightlife and cultural offering, with suggestions such as a night cinema and opening up a rooftop for parties.
The images show how two Glasgow streets – West George Street and Bothwell Street – could be be transformed by 2030.
The future of the ‘heart of the city’, which includes the two major rail stations, Buchanan Street, George Square and parts of Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street, has been laid out in the draft Central District Regeneration Framework.
It is one of nine frameworks being produced for city centre districts. Councillors are expected to back the launch of a 10-week consultation, starting on December 6, at a meeting on Thursday.
Delivering the framework will require a “truly collaborative partnership between all stakeholders”, the council said.
The plan outlines how the number of cars in the city centre will be reduced. The M8 could become an inner city ring relief road, with no through-traffic in the city centre.
‘Edge of city centre’ parking would be introduced, with ideas including park and rides, park and walks and bike and rides to link with public transport.
The report said: “The upgraded M74-M73 is the ideal loop around the city centre to replace the M8 as a national thoroughfare. The M8 can be downgraded to become part of a local city centre ring that accommodates displaced through-traffic from the city centre.”
Streets would prioritise either pedestrians, bikes or buses, with all regional buses “concentrated in dedicated bus corridors”. The draft strategy states there is scope for multi-storey car parking at the end of Sauchiehall Street and at a redeveloped Blythswood Court.
There is also a need to improve the pedestrian link between Central and Queen Street station, according to the strategy. The route should “drive footfall and promote retail and food and drink outlets” but a tunnel between the two has been ruled out.
Improvements could be made at Buchanan Bus Station, including an upgrade to the public square at the main entrance. Ideas to boost Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street include an improved maintenance regime and restricting deliveries to outside shop opening times.
More streets, squares and lanes would be covered, with canopies protecting people from the rain “so Glaswegians can enjoy being outside more often”.
Hielanman’s Umbrella could become a “light and attractive” station lobby, with plans to widen footpaths and engage with shop owners between Hope Street and Union Street to upgrade properties.
Bothwell Street is “currently benefiting from significant private developer investment increasing footfall” and should be improved through the introduction of trees and more lighting, the report states.
Historic buildings require “extra attention”, with the framework area including a number of buildings at risk, such as the Egyptian Halls on Union Street, Lion Chambers, Hope Street, Castle Chambers, West Regent Street, and the former Odeon Cinema, Renfield Street.
A new Central Community Council could also be formed.
Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands