SECURITY gates and cameras are being fitted in a bid to rid the Clyde Tunnel's pedestrian route of gangs.

The walkways and cycleways, which run below the main road in the Glasgow tunnel, have for years been plagued by thugs.

Now Glasgow City Council wants to clean up the pedestrian tunnels, make them more attractive, and encourage people to use them.

It has commissioned a leading security firm to design dual security gates at all entrances with a buzzer system to strictly control entry.

The work, costing £200,000, is being carried out by Airdrie-based firm Scotshield.

Technical director Graham Thomson said: "Gangs from either side of the Clyde come through the walkway wanting to have a wee rumble' every now and then.

"That means that pedestrians are wary of using the route and the council is duty bound to try to make the area safe and encourage usage."

He said the security company had come up with a double gate system of gates with an audio-entry system backed up by a bank of CCTV cameras.

Pedestrians will buzz to get in the first gate, wait until it is closed, then the second gate will be unlocked.

The dual-security door system could effectively trap' troublemakers.

Mr Thomson added: "A system was installed by the council about four to five years ago but it did not stand up to the vandalism.

"Part of our remit is to make the gates super-tough. That's why we are getting specialist gates manufactured."

Scotshield hopes to be on site within a few weeks and to have completed the project by the beginning of next year.

A city council spokesman said no figures on pedestrian and cyclist usage were available".

Executive member for land and environmental services, Councillor Ruth Simpson, said the area was a no-go route for many and added: "By investing in a controlled access system, the council hopes to be able to improve security and allow further work to refurbish the lighting and the appearance of the walkway."

John Lauder, director of sustainable transport charity Sustrans in Scotland, said: "Any measures that encourage more people to walk or cycle can only be a good thing."

The Clyde Tunnel was opened by The Queen in 1963 and cost £10million. Around 65,000 vehicles a day use the two road carriageways.