The plans were put to a public consultation in May this year
A recently published report from Glasgow City Council’s Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm Committee has outlined the public opinion of the proposed redevelopment of Byres Road.
Under the Glasgow City Deal £1.3 billion of investment has been brought to the Greater Glasgow region under control of the Glasgow City Deal Cabinet, composed of the leaders of the local authorities of the Greater Glasgow & Clyde region’s local authorities. Glasgow City Council has earmarked their share of funding for the Public Realm initiative, in which major streets in Glasgow are developed towards a people-focused public realm with greater space for social interaction and dwell-time, such as the widening of pavements, more crossing points and the installation of cycle lanes in order to segregate traffic.
The consultation received 550 responses with the majority being residents of the area with strong support towards the plan. 60% of respondents felt the plan would improve accessibility for the elderly, people with visual or physical impairments and those pushing prams. Over half of respondents felt the plans would add to the civic space of the area, with more space for public events and socialising.
However, one of the core aspirations of the project, to increase the uptake of active travel such as walking or cycling, received a blow with only 46% of respondents feeling the project would encourage active travel. 43.6% of respondents felt the proposed cycle infrastructure plans were inadequate, given the amount of parked bays on Byres Road. In response to Green Party Councillor Christy Mearns’ amendment, the Committee instructed council officers to ensure there would be a segregated cycle lane for the entire length of Byres Road in any future plans.
One major point of contention between respondents was whether the proposed development would increase shoppers and trade to the area: 44% of respondents felt it would but 32% of respondents disagreed. Greater analysis found that 48.2% of respondents who identified as pedestrians travelling to Byres Road felt the project would be beneficial for increased trade, opposed to only 32.5% of drivers feeling the current plan would be beneficial. Eight business respondents felt the plan would increase their trade but another six respondents felt it would harm the local economy due to the plans to restrict parking on Byres Road.
Council officers have indicated that construction is likely to begin in Autumn 2019. Adding to the construction works with the University of Glasgow’s Campus Development now underway, Byres Road looks set to undergo significant change over the next few years and may undergo works similar to the Sauchiehall Street Avenue Project in order to deliver on the segregated cycle lane and widened pavement features.