George Square's 24 hour car ban plan scrapped

Controversial plans for a 24-hour ban on private cars in George Square have been ditched.

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The major shake-up of traffic rules in the centre of Glasgow had prompted fears of an impact on trade.

Council chiefs will slash the hours the proposed bus gate will be in operation to 12 hours, but they still plan to ban private vehicles from the historic square during peak hours.

Roads bosses will install a bus gate to bar private cars from Nelson Mandela Place and West Nile Street, between 7am and 7pm.

In future, only buses, taxis, private hire cabs and cycles will be able to use the route.

Council officials also confirmed a bus gate camera will be put in place.

It comes after we revealed Glasgow City Council raked in nearly £2.5million in bus lane fines last year.

The cash came from fixed penalty tickets issued to drivers wrongly using the camera-enforced lanes.

As reported by the Evening Times, Glasgow business owners previously slammed the plans for a complete ban on private cars.

City business leaders

today said they were "strong supporters" of the city-centre strategy, but that

they remained "sceptical" about it.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: "One aspect of the strategy which still remains to be confirmed is the plan for managing transport all across the city centre.

"We know this is being reviewed but remain sceptical of actions being taken on transport.

"Without that strategy being in place, it's not clear to see what the overall consequences might be."

During a 10-week consultation, more than 45 people lodged responses to the new traffic restrictions.

Alex Winter, who has owned Madison's takeaway in George Street for seven years, said: "Changing the restrictions is not going to make it any better.

"The same problem applies - where is all the traffic going to go?

"It's going to create congestion elsewhere in the city. It just shouldn't be happening.

"This plan is a piece of nonsense and the road should be left alone.

"They tried it two years ago and it failed."

Roads bosses believe the changes will result in a cut in harmful traffic emissions and improve the environment for pedestrians.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said a "statutory public consultation" took place between July 8 and September 13.

He told the Evening Times: "We carried out a consul-tation. We listened to the public's views. This has led to the reduction of operating hours for the bus gate."

Plans to reverse the direction of service vehicles in Buchanan Street, between St Vincent Street and Nelson Mandela Place, have also been scrapped.

Roads bosses also plan to ban all vehicles, except cycles, from the section of George Square in front of the City Chambers.

Motorists are likely to be diverted up Hope Street, along Cowcaddens Road and down North Hanover Street.

The new rules, which come into force on Sunday, May 25, aim to cut the number of vehicles using the historic square by up to 70%.

rebecca.gray@eveningtimes.co.uk

Automotive

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