Car free zone plan announced for Glasgow as council aims for net-zero

Council leader Susan Aitken made the announcement at the launch of Glasgow’s Thriving Cities Initiative.

Car free zone plan announced for Glasgow  as council aims for net-zero iStock

A new car free zone in Glasgow city centre will be created as part of a long-term strategy to improve public health and wellbeing.

At the launch of Glasgow’s Thriving Cities Initiative, council leader Susan Aitken made the announcement that a car free area will be created over the next five years from George Square to Hope Street, across Argyle Street and up to Cathedral Street. 

Councillor Aitken said £30bn would be spent over the next ten years to achieve the “net-zero target” by 2030 by giving public spaces back to the people.

She also told how plans were in place to reduce health inequality, poverty and how the council was going to get people back into “sustainable” jobs. 

Aitken said: “Over the coming days we are going to announce that we have designated a core of our historic city centre from George Square, over to Hope Street where Central Station is, from Cathedral Street to the north to Argyle Street to the south and work towards that being a space entirely free of private cars over the next five years – obviously with caveats for disabled access.”

During the conference, Aitken said that the initiative would help the council map out and identify areas of public life that could be improved. 

Local communities will also help the council make informed decisions on what is needed to improve their livelihoods.

Councillor Aitken added: “What I would want to see is that we move towards improving health and equalities as this is one of our biggest and long-standing social justice challenges in Glasgow.

“This is always difficult because population health improves at the same rate. The poorest people may be getting healthcare but so are the richest but the gap doesn’t close.

“The health, wellbeing, mental wellbeing, physical health and healthy lifespan metric is going to be incredibly important.”

Glasgow City Council will also work to help its people gain valid skills and qualifications to help people get out of poverty.

Aitken added: “Any job isn’t just going to suit everyone. The view in the past was just to get somebody into employment and that is reinforcing in-work poverty and that adds to inequality.

“We need to make sure we are growing and developing skills. Those are our longest standing challenges in Glasgow. They are going to be crucial measures for us.”

By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter