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First firms get behind radical plan to revamp Sauchiehall StFirst firms get behind radical plan to revamp Sauchiehall Street (© Evening Times)
Bosses at three pubs have thrown their weight behind a move to pedestrianise
Sauchiehall Street or close it to traffic at weekends.
The non-pedestrianised section would be transformed by the move. Earlier
this month, the Evening Times revealed entertainment premises are to be balloted
about improvement plans and a group of businesses in the street have been
working with the Chamber of Commerce on the proposal.
It is aimed at supporting and championing the large number of entertainment
outlets operating in the area including bars and restaurants, nightclubs, casinos,
takeaway restaurants, cafes, licensed exhibitions and venues. Next month they
will be balloted on whether or not to back the Business Improvement District (BID)
scheme which would result in them paying the equivalent of 1% of their rateable
value into a special fund.
But David Gormley, co-owner of the Variety Bar, Gavin McGreish, operations director
of Campus and Nicola Walker, manager of Driftwood have already said they are in
favour of the scheme. THE BID steering group chairman Brian Fulton, a director of
CPL entertainment which owns The Garage on Sauchiehall Street, also backs the
move. Mr Gormley said: "For the past few years Sauchiehall Street has needed a
boost and a facelift. What is needed is for the bars and venues to work together to
create an entertainment area."
One suggestion from a number of pub bosses is pedestrianising the road allowing
outside seating. In the short-term they suggest closing Sauchiehall Street at weekends
to create a European-type vibe with outdoor seating. Mr Gormley said: "There was
a fire at a takeaway in the street last year which resulted in it being blocked off which
did not disrupt city that much. Sauchiehall Street is one of the most famous streets
in Glasgow but in recent years we have seen people moving out of the area."
Venue bosses believe one way of revitalising the street would be for it to get the
same level of investment as Buchanan Street and the Merchant City. Mr Gormley said:
"Tourists and people living in Glasgow should be made aware of the cultural scene in
and around Sauchiehall Street. The drinking culture, managed properly, is not a bad
thing for a city. Sauchiehall Street needs more little pubs and entertainment places,
otherwise we will only be left with the big chains."
Ms Walker, who has worked at the Driftwood for 11 years, insists creating a BID would
benefit all the businesses in the area. She said: "Our owner would like to see the area
pedestrianised which is something we could move towards in the future. The BID
would give the venues an opportunity to work together to make sure the problems in
the area are sorted out. Working together would also allow us to promote the area
together and get more footfall in. We are a small independent business but working
with other organisations in the area would give us all a lot more influence. It can do
nothing but good. I have read up on the bid scheme and it has worked incredibly well.
A lot of the council's work has been driven towards Buchanan Street, the Merchant City
and the West End and we believe it is now time to focus on Sauchiehall Street."
Gavin McGreish, of Campus, also feels the area is losing out to other parts of the
city centre. He said: "Sauchiehall Street does not get the attention it deserves. The
public realm is tired and dirty and could do with being improved."
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick is pleased to see the momentum
being built by the 'yes' campaign. "A successful BID would see the non-pedestrianised part
of Sauchiehall Street transformed from an unloved area with distinct problems and
given a definite identity."
Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "It is encouraging to see businesses in the city
centre working together and supporting each other. I'm confident their efforts will benefit
not only them and their staff, but also local residents and the thousands of people who
visit the area."
I am all in favour of pedestrianisation, although I imagine that driving in the City Centre will become a nightmare (says I, the public transport user)!
To be fair this is probably a great Idea as long as they keep it like the Cowgate in Edinburgh. Only closed after 7 on a Friday and Saturday night.
I hate going into the western side of the city on those nights via Sauchiehall Street due to the amount of revellers who just fall out in front of you... or the drunks boxing with each other over god knows what. Another idea possibly to reduce this happening would be to suspend parking in that entire street at those times where at least we could get a decent view and hopefully avert an catastrophe before it happens.
I hate the idea of a council suppressing any parking anywhere at anytime except for the obvious danger areas but It just makes sense where alcohol is involved.
I knew there was plans afoot a couple of weeks ago through the hotel association and I totally agree that something needs done with that part of town. Just walk up it at 7 on a weekend morning and it's a mindfield of puke and rotten kebabs.
But will they keep it clean when its done?
Re: First firms get behind radical plan to revamp SauchiehalBus gate plan to block major routes in city (© Evening Times)
Cars could be banned from some of Glasgow's busiest streets under controversial plans revealed today.
Two new no-go zones for private vehicles could be created in the city centre with the introduction of more
bus gates. Council bosses, who want to reduce congestion in the city and improve air quality, have identified
Renfield Street and Oswald Street for potential new bus gates.
But the proposals have already sparked fury from some drivers, with hundreds of on-street parking spaces
also due to be removed. It is also feared journey times would significantly increase if all the measures are
implemented. The city council is expected to approve the plans today, with the bus gates scheduled to be in
place by 2017.
As previously reported by the Evening Times, a bus gate at Nelson Mandela Place, introduced in June, caught
a daily average of 694 car drivers in its first week. Operating from 7am until 7pm every day, it has been linked
with a fall in congestion and in harmful traffic emissions in the city.
In just two months it generated £1.5 million in fines, sparking concerns from city business leaders. The major
new report into the city centre's transport and traffic states: "The main bus corridor proposals have been tested
using transport modelling. The avenues and cycle routes were generally found to increase journey times and
decrease average speeds for motorised traffic on affected corridors with some re-routing as well.
"The introduction of bus gates/traffic management measures on Renfield Street and Oswald Street provided
benefits to buses on these corridors but led to re-routing and longer journey times for general traffic. Traffic
travelling through the city centre is anticipated to fall by up to nine per cent as a result of the measures contained
in the report."
Council bosses want to limit traffic heading north to south in the city centre by installing a bus gate on Renfield
Street, one of the most polluted street in the country. Another, limiting vehicles arriving from the South Side,
is planned for Oswald Street.
Glasgow Council are just wanting to generate more money. Big businesses are already up in arms because important paperwork they took for granted in West George Street can no longer be delivered out with normal delivery times. To the point where Vehicles are fined (Let's call it a toll as thats basically what it is) then they are fined again for stopping to make the delivery. so any large mail drops in the city within the bus gate now attracts a levy of £75 daily. Restaurants and boozers are hit with this same (Toll) on a daily basis. Welcome to the Congestion Charge (TOLL) where if you take a wrong turn in the town it could cost you £500 just to get back out if all their bus gate plans are approved as someone has done a wee bit of joined up thinking at the council on this Cash Cow.
Just a money making racket. Nothing to do with congestion or enviornment.
to end congestion in City Centre I agree with last contributor, just another money-grabbing scheme to fleece us......
I also listened angrily to an 'expert' spouting this rubbish about catering for more cycling, and again quoting Holland as an example where bikes are accepted......
PLEASE READ THE FACTS....
In Holland most cities are forced to open-up cycling lanes...BECAUSE BIKES HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT OF WAY, and that makes a BIG difference.
Also our crude patchwork quilted streets are at the mercy of just about everyone who wants to dig a hole, and they are 95% always next to the pavement, where incidently, these new cycle lanes are proposed.
Take it from an old motorbike owner, British car drivers always force 2 wheels into the inside lanes and suffer the damage....that's why I sold my motorbike.
Also remember, Glasgow has for years, misspent its budgets for roads by bean-counters balancing claims against budgets, and re-directing funds to other favoured projects...
If such schemes were implimented, the costs of actually making the road and pavement surfaces REALLY level and safe.....would be horrendous
£115 million transformation of Sauchiehall Street to begin (© Evening Times)
Work will start this summer on a major transformation of Sauchiehall Street creating a tree-lined avenue.
The scheme is the start of a £115million investment by the city council to create a network of continuous pedestrian and cycle
priority routes in the city centre. Council bosses say the aim is to make the city centre more attractive, people friendly and
economically competitive. Improvements to the non-pedestrianised stretch of Sauchiehall Street between Charing Cross and
Rose Street will take around 18 months to complete.
They will transform the traffic dominated street to an area with trees, seats and cycling facilities. A report to councillors says:
"Experience has proven these kinds of improvements lead directly to safer and more vibrant places with an increasingly mixed
leisure and retail offer with greater economic stability."
The plan involves widening the Sauchiehall Street pavements, planting trees and creating a two way cycle lane. Footways will be
cleared of clutter repaved in Caithness stone creating more space for tables and chairs at licensed premises. There will also be
new street lights and seats and bike stands will be placed between the trees at the edge of the pavement.
The existing three bus stops and two taxi ranks along with kerbside loading will be provided in the new layout close to their
existing locations. Details of the plan were drawn up after wide consultation with businesses and people living on the affected
section of Sauchiehall Street.
City council leader Frank McAveety said: "This radical plan outlines an exciting new vision for the Sauchiehall Street and
Garnethill district and a taste of what the city centre could look like in the future, setting the benchmark for modern, vibrant cities
across Europe. These proposals will lead to improved public spaces and a better connected centre of Glasgow, fully able to
capitalise on its unique assets and diversity."
In 2013, businesses on the non-pedestrianised section of Sauchiehall Street voted overwhelmingly to create a business
improvement district. That requires them to contribute the equivalent of 1% of their rateable values into a fund to improve the
area. The aim is to subtantially increase the number of overseas and domestic visitors through high-profile marketing, a
programme of events and by ensuring the street is cleaner, safer and more inviting.
The move comes after a number of high profile retailers have opted to pull out of Sauchiehall Street, once seen as a vital part of
the city's Golden Z and a destination for visitors and locals alike. In March 2014, Italian restaurant Dino's closed its doors after
serving diners in the city for more than 50 years. It was followed by a number of other prominent retailers including BHS, Clarks
shoe shop, Ann Summers and Greaves Sport. Family firm Crocket the Ironmonger also shut up shop after 50 years in the city
BHS occupied its prominent site for almost half a century and Ann Summer's first Scottish store has operated on Sauchiehall
Street for more than 20 years. But just this week the lingerie store announced it will close permanently in a few days. The
announcement came just weeks after high street mainstay Greaves revealed it would be closing it store just yards from Ann
Summers. The combination of shopping malls and the demise of Sauchiehall Street has been blamed for a decline in business.
Plans have been submitted for a £75million redevelopment of the prominent BHS site replacing the store with a 12 storey
scheme with boutique offices and retail. But elsewhere on the road, residents and visitors pass dozens of empty shops, boarded
up windows, cracked pavements and at risk buildings.
According to Alan Wilson, marketing professor at Strathclyde University, the main shopping street in the city now runs from
Buchanan Galleries to the St Enoch's Centre. And he suggested there may need to be a rethink about how Sauchiehall Street
Mr Wilson said: "You might get more potential for more hospitality - restaurants etc. might be a way of reinvigorating Sauchiehall
Street but I think it will be very difficult to get a lot of new shops in there."