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Byres Road improvements get under way in January  Picture: Glasgow City Council
Byres Road improvements get under way in JanuaryGlasgow City Council

Byres Road improvements get the green light

Delayed scheme funded by the Scottish and UK governments

The Scottish and UK governments have welcomed improvements to Byres Road which get under way in the New Year.

Scottish business minister Ivan McKee said the upgrade would encourage cycling and walking in the West End of Glasgow.

And UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said the upgrade will “enhance the city’s already vibrant West End”.

They commented as the scheme was approved for go-head by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet.

Money is coming from the Scottish and UK governments under the City Deal infrastructure fund.

Works have been welcomed by ministers
Works have been welcomed by ministers

The work should have been started five years ago, but the scheme has been delayed by technical challenges and the pandemic.

Improvements will be carried out in two phases, the first starting in January and covering the southern section of Byres Road from the top of Church Street to Partick Cross.

The second phase from the top of Church Street to Great Western Road will happen once phase one has been completed.

Around £5.8m has been allocated for the first phase of the work, with an additional, as yet unpublished, sum needed for the larger second phase.

Cost

The overall cost will be in excess of the original £9m estimate for the entire scheme when it was first proposed in 2016.

The first phase will see public realm enhanced, pavements widened and the road carriageway made narrower, and a 20mph speed limit for cars introduced.

A gyratory one-way system will be brought in at the southern section and a number of on-street car parking bays removed to create additional pedestrian and cycling space.

Other measures in the first phase include:

  • Introduction of step-free crossings at side streets;
  • enhancing ‘key corners’ to create distinct and attractive spaces along the street where people can sit and rest;
  • the introduction of protected cycle infrastructure including a contraflow cycle lane to allow cyclists a continuous route between Great Western Road and Partick Cross;
  • Cycleways will be at the same level as footways with separation provided through a cycle demarcation kerb;

Wider pavements and less room for vehicles
Wider pavements and less room for vehicles

Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “Residents, businesses and everyone who comes to Byres Road will enjoy the benefit of this work, which will significantly improve the public realm there, raising the quality of pavements and public spaces, and making it easier for people using different modes of travel to get around this great Glasgow street.”

John Turner, Chair of the Byres Road & Lanes Business Information District (BID) said: "We are very pleased that, after the considerable delays caused by the pandemic, the planned improvements to Byres Road will finally be getting underway early in 2023.

“We are eagerly awaiting the completion of the works and trust that they will enhance Byres Road in its position as a top visitor destination.

“The Byres Road & Lanes BID is looking forward to working closely with the council and their contractors to ensure that the work, while necessary, will be done in such a way that will cause the minimum of disruption to the existing businesses and residents of the area.

We are very pleased that, after the considerable delays caused by the pandemic, the planned improvements to Byres Road will finally be getting underway early in 2023.

John Turner

“The message to everyone is: Byres Road is Open for Business!"

Mr McKee said: “This project will encourage cycling and walking in the West End of Glasgow, creating more liveable and sustainable communities, and is to be welcomed.

“The Scottish Government is funding the Glasgow City Region City deal in line with our National Strategy for Economic Transformation plans to promote greener local living and stronger regions.”

Mr Offord said: "It's fantastic to see the improvements to Byres Road begin enhancing the city's already vibrant West End.

“The new pedestrian and cycle routes alongside the creation of eco-friendly spaces will make space for both residents and visitors to enjoy.

“The UK Government is investing £49m in improvements to Glasgow's Waterfront and West End Innovation Quarter as part of our £523m support for the Glasgow City Region Deal."

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