Byres Road: Scaled-back safety scheme to be installed on Friday at four short points

By Ian Marland at

Four short stretches of Byres Road are to be temporarily widened on Friday.

A handful of parking spaces will be removed for a period of time to make space for people passing at a safe distance.

Red and white barriers will be placed along 124 metres of pavement on the West End’s main shopping road – in four short sections.

Byres Road

Byres Road: temporary measure will now see the loss of only a handful of parking bays.

 

The locations are points on the street where businesses are either using the pavement to seat customers or where stores have people waiting outside.

They are at: Old Salty’s; Tesco; Little Italy and Spuntini; and further south outside The University Cafe.

Parking bays will be removed at locations where they exist and water-filled barriers put into the road to give more space.

The scheme is much scaled-back from what was proposed back in July.

Then, barriers were proposed for pretty much the entire length of the road which is approximately 1km in length with pavements affected on both sides.

Dozens of parking bays would have been removed under that scheme.

On June 30, the council said it hoped measures would be in place “as soon as possible”.

Outbreaks

The works will finally begin tomorrow Friday October 2 and will be completed within a day.

It comes three weeks after the start of Freshers’ Week and the return of thousands of students to Glasgow.

Hundreds of students have since had to isolate after outbreaks of the virus in halls of residence.

Businesses were resisting plans to reduce the number of parking bays on Byres Road way before Covid-19.

A delayed City Deal-funded scheme announced nearly four years ago envisaged greater cycle use and space for pedestrians.

Traders have argued cars are essential for businesses, while the active travel lobby and city council say cyclists and pedestrians will bring in more cash.

Byres Road

Red lines: How a proposed safety scheme looked back in July.

Byres Road

Not so red: As the plan looks now with four short sections of road affected.

A council notice about the social-distancing scheme reads: “Work starts on Byres Road tomorrow to temporarily widen some sections of the footway, as part of our Spaces for People programme which is providing extra space for physical distancing to protect public health and help suppress the spread of COVID-19.

“On-street parking will be suspended in the affected areas, with extra space for people made available by repurposing the immediate road space usually occupied by parked vehicles.

“Supported by funding from the Scottish Government and administered by Sustrans Scotland, Spaces for People is introducing temporary infrastructure measures across Glasgow to provide extra space for people to walk, wheel or cycle during COVID-19.

“Short-term measures across our city centres and neighbourhoods are seeing footways widened at pinch points to ease pedestrian movement and make it easier to access businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs.

“Consideration is also being given to the positioning of temporary strategic cycling routes to highlight cycling as an attractive, viable and long term commuting choice.”

St Vincent Place, Glasgow

Social distancing measures in St Vincent Place, Glasgow. Photo: Anna Richardson

Commenting on the reduced scope of the scheme, a council spokeswoman said: “Initial plans for Spaces for People measures were drawn up at the very beginning of lockdown and when we were not in a position to undertake on-site observations, as shops and businesses had not opened up to any significant degree.

“These revised plans are based on on-site observations which identified where pinch-points were developing and will be kept under review.

“As these are temporary measures and as such agile in nature, plans can be adjusted as required in the future if observations indicate a need to change.”

* An overview of all the measures implemented to date is available here.