Plans have been outlined to introduce ‘bus gates’ on two busy roads within Glasgow city centre – aimed at cutting congestion around the city’s Central Station.
The two gates – one at Union Street for southbound traffic and the other at Oswald Street for vehicles heading north – will both give access to buses, taxis, private hire vehicles and cycles. They will also allow access for goods and service vehicles.
According to the city council, the bus gates will cut the number of vehicles and delays on these roads between 7am and 7pm each day, which in turn will reduce emissions in one of the busiest pedestrian areas in the city centre.
The introduction of the bus gates would support the Glasgow City Centre Low Emission Zone, Glasgow’s City Centre Strategy and City Centre Transport Strategy.
Councillor Richardson said: â€?The bus is still easily the most popular form of public transport in Glasgow, but passenger numbers are falling at a very steady rate and the bus industry is under real pressure.
“As a council, we have to do everything that we can to sustain public transport in a city where almost half of our population have no access to a car. Not supporting the bus sector will have long term, negative consequences for a huge swathe of Glasgow’s population and the city’s economy as a whole.
“One of the main issues for the bus operators and their passengers is the reliability of the service. By providing clear channels for buses to use, we can reduce delays and get closer to the target of ‘on time every time’. The bus routes either side of Central Station are two of the busiest in the city and the introduction of bus gates will see significant improvements to the service on these streets.
“This proposal will lead to multiple benefits, encourage sustainable transport and protect our more vulnerable road users.â€?
Plans for the city’s Low Emission Zone – set to be the first in operation in Scotland – will have an initial focus on improving the emissions from buses operating in the city centre.
Starting from one minute to midnight on 31 December 2018, Glasgow council is aiming to improve emissions from buses operating in the zone with a phased implementation over four years. Stricter requirements will apply to 20% of buses from the launch date, increasing to 100% by December 2022.
As part of this, all bus services operating within the low emission zone will be required to meet at least the Euro VI emission standard.