TRAFFIC could be banned from busy Byres Road under plans to give the area a facelift.

The West End street is regarded as the most important shopping area outside Glasgow city centre.

But residents and local businesses have raised concerns about a range of issues which they say are affecting how it operates.

These include traffic volume, the number of empty shops, the large numbers of cafes and restaurants and the increasing number of chain shops and charity stores.

Locals have also complained about street furniture cluttering the area, poor street signs and the condition of the roads and pavements.

Glagsow City Council has been working on what needs to be done with the Byres Road Improvement Group, which is a partnership formed by the Friends of Glasgow West.

It brings together representatives from the West End Festival, Byres Road Traders Association, the council, Glasgow University and the Academy of Urbanism.

They have worked on a report, which is in the process of being finalised, which comes up with recommendations.

They include considering pedestrianising some or all of Byres Road, cleaning up the road, removing street clutter and bringing empty buildings back into use.

It is also suggested small public squares should be created and more outdoor markets and community events introduced.

Ann Laird, convener of Friends of Glasgow West, said of Byres Road: "There is no point letting a great asset deteriorate.

"We would love to get the funding to bring it up to the highest possible standard but we wouldn't want to overdo it.

"The West End is slightly Bohemian with a nice relaxed feel. I would like to retain the area's character but to enhance it."

Byres Road Improvement Group has now formed the Byres Road Trust in the hope of attracting funding for improvement work.

Asked about banning traffic she said: "There is no harm looking at what has been done in other places."

Ms Laird said people and businesses will be consulted widely as detailed plans to improve the area emerge.