The Evening Times revealed last month that bosses from Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) want bus lanes to return to the pedestrian-ised part of Argyle Street, to cut journey times. They hope a bus service on the street between Queen Street and Glassford Street, which has been a pedestrian area since the late 1970s, would attract more shoppers.
But shoppers, politicians and business leaders today warned that the plans could put people off visiting retailers and other businesses and may drive custom to out-of-town malls.
There are also calls for improvements to be made to revive the area.
Councillor Shabbar Jaffri, SNP spokesman for jobs and the economy, said: "There is a real need to regenerate Argyle Street, to refresh the streetscape and encourage more people and businesses into the area.
"Driving a bus lane through a pedestrian precinct is no way to do this. I know, from discuss-ions with businesses, that this idea is deeply unpopular. It certainly won't improve the look of the shopping area."
Leanne Sinclair, 30, from Helensburgh, agreed that the bus lane would not help struggling retailers. She said: "A bus lane would cause disrupt-ion to businesses along this stretch of road."
Robert Tombe, 41, a postman, from Milton, said the return of buses would be an "absolute nightmare".
SPT officials say the proposals are not to turn the entire 200-metre pedestrianised section back into a road, but that a single-lane carriageway would be used by buses only.
Business leaders questioned if another bus lane in the city centre would send the message to drivers not to travel in.
Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick said: "We do not want to fall into a position where car owners feel as if they are being pushed from the centre.
"The retail sector's main competitors are out of town shopping malls which have an abundance of access for cars, putting pressure on businesses within the city centre.
"Associated with this is the issue of pedestrian-isation, a topic where many different approaches need to be considered, including the shared access proposals suggested by the SPT."
Mr Patrick said the Chamber of Commerce was working with the council through the City Centre Action Plan to discuss how to revive Argyle Street.
He said: "The debate is made more complex as its clear the bottom end of Argyle Street needs some focus to revive its retail offering to a level which is on par with the rest Style Mile."
Fraser Gordon, 25, a business consultant, Kilbarchan, said: "A bus lane would be a pest – a real pain – because I often drive into town."
However, some shoppers said the proposals were a good idea.
Yvonne Keogh, 42, a care worker, from Pollok-shields, said: "It might help reduce congestion.
"Argyle Street can be choc-a-block sometimes."
A £500,000 council plan to build a cafe and carry out improvements to the pedestrianised area of Arygle Street was scrapped in May 2011 because of concerns from retailers and property owners over the project.
The council said it was consulting on different ways to regenerate the area through the action plan.
SPT chairman George Redmond said: "SPT has laid out clear plans to improve the current dwindling bus market and are working with our partners to make that happen.
"A change in city centre traffic management, with bus lanes extending into town, rather than stopping on the outskirts, is one of many solutions being considered.
"It would enable fewer but faster bus services and in turn, encourage more shoppers to come into Glasgow and leave their cars behind."