Commuters and businesses up in arms over Queen Street plans

COMMUTERS and business owners have slammed plans to close one of Glasgow's main travel hubs.

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Love Music boss Sandy McLean
Love Music boss Sandy McLean

The Evening Times revealed earlier this week that seven of the platforms at Queen Street Station could close for up to four months for repair work on the main tunnel.

Now independent businesses in the area have hit back, saying the lack of commuters and traffic to the area could put a major dent in their profits.

Sandy McLean, owner of Love Music in Dundas Street, a main thoroughfare for commuters travelling to the station, said: "We have just been shafted by Glasgow City Council and the train station since we opened.

"For the first two years of our existence we had Buchanan Galleries being built so this street was like a bombsite and then last year, for pretty much the whole year we had these four Portakabins blocking the whole street off and nobody could park.

"Commuters are a big chunk of our business so it would take out a big part of that. Times are hard enough as it is without this.

"Passengers often come in here when they have 20 or 30 minutes to spare before catching their train.

"We are still paying the same rates but it just seems to be one thing after the other.

"I already consider this the worst part of Glasgow, and this is not helping.

"I can't argue against progress, the station is operating at a decent capacity at the moment, but I don't think we ever get a good clear run at trading because there's always a spoke in the wheels."

Finnian McGeever, assistant manager at Dow's bar, located opposite the station entrance, felt that local businesses hadn't been included in the plans at all.

He said that nobody from the bar had been consulted and he had found out about it by reading the Evening Times' story on Wednesday.

HE said: "About 80% of our customers are linked to Queen Street, either people who are just off the train or are waiting for a train.

"If it shuts for four months, it will have a big impact on our trade.

"Even our regular customers will often stop in for a few hours before they go for their train home and one of our big selling points is that we are so close to the station.

"If changes need to be made then they have to be made, but I don't think closing it is the way to go about it. They should do it in parts.

"We might not be part of the actual train station but our business relies on passing trade a lot, so we would like a bit more feedback and a bit more involvement about it."

Qahil Reka, owner of the L'Aquila cafe in Dundas Street agreed that works needed to be carried out, and said: "It will affect traffic coming down the street, but I get a lot of business from construction workers who could be working in the station.

"I think it might affect some of the other businesses in the area though, definitely."

Commuters who use the services at Queen Street are also unhappy with the plans to halt them for up to four months.

Stefano Baio, a 36-year-old chef, from Anniesland, uses Queen Street to travel into the city centre.

He said: "I use the station sometimes when I'm in the centre of Glasgow because it's handy and it's in a good location.

"If it is closed I will have to walk up to Charing Cross. It will be inconvenient, especially for other people who work around here too.

Alex Woodward, 32, an assistant manager of a record shop said: "I use Queen Street to get to work, and it would be really inconvenient if it closes for four months.

"I would be hoping they would divert trains to Central which is close enough but anywhere beyond that would make it pointless for me.

"I didn't know they would be closing the station and to close it for four months is excessive. It will have a massive impact on businesses all around."

Christine Aitken, 49, a public sector worker from Livingston, travels from Edinburgh to Glasgow to attend night classes called the plans a "complete nightmare."

Christine said: "I need the train to get me straight from work quickly so it means I don't need to use my car.

"Parking is a nightmare so I wouldn't want to do that. It would have a big impact because it's about the times of the trains and the location of the station for me."

Jackie Russell, 51, a store manager from Garrowhill who uses Queen Street daily, said: "I don't see why they would have to shut up the station.

"It looks as though it will be really tight down there, and it would probably be better if I went to Central.

"I don't think they should need to close the station to do these works, and four months seems quite long."

hannah.rodger@eveningtimes.co.uk

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