By Connor McCann and Vivienne Nicoll

FAILING to implement bold plans to transform Sauchiehall Street would be “detrimental” to Glasgow’s economy, a City Deal report has said.
A £6.5million proposal for funding has been motioned for what would be the first phase of work on constructing Sauchiehall Avenue.
Members of the city region cabinet have been recommended to approve the plans brought forward by the City Deal team which would see more cycle paths, pedestrian walkways, less traffic and more opportunities offered to businesses in the area.
In what would be the first of several stages to the massive project it would see work start on the section of road between Charing Cross to Rose Street.
In a report, which states failing to go forward with the idea would  damage Glasgow’s economy, the first two phases consists of tree design and sourcing and extensive groundworks.
All in the whole project is projected to cost just over £7.2million.
The report said the development of a key city centre street places the people “firmly at the heart” of the project.
“The project will deliver immediate improvements to the general physical environment, introduce pedestrian and cycle infrastructure, green infrastructure, extended pedestrian space, reduced motor vehicle space, and responds directly to a wide range of strategic objectives,” the report said.
“A failure to respond to these issues will leave Glasgow city centre at an increasing competitive disadvantage in a period of already substantial and wide-ranging external pressures affecting city centres in general.
Brian Fulton, of the Sauchiehall Street Business Improvement District (BID) said: “The right decision needs to be made here as I think everybody would say that Sauchiehall Street needs a face lift.”
The businessman went on to say he hopes the plans are approved as it would kickstart a project that was not just exclusive to people on the street with commercial interests.
He said: “Businesses in the area started a BID up to work with the council and improve the public realm.
“One of the bid objectives was to improve public realm. So we are really happy the work is going ahead.
“The consultation process involved, business owners, staff and local businesses, area residents and school children.
“The proposed scheme has aspects that all of these groups will like.
“The area already has a wonderful and varied entertainment offering, and the public realm upgrade will really help all these businesses to better show off their fantastic businesses.
“We understand that there will be a lot of disruption during the works.
“But we are hoping to work with the contractor to minimise any inconvenience to the local community.”
The contract for tree design and sourcing would be awarded to Land Engineering for £1.1million and the £3.2million contract for groundworks.
The potential £6.5million request for funding would help cover, construction, utility works, installing street furniture, CCTV and trees, project management and design and contingency works.
The report also said: “Sauchiehall Street Avenue will improve the physical environment significantly thereby creating a clear gateway to the city centre at Charing Cross, and improving connectivity and access between commercial sites and local services and transport hubs, and unlocking sites for employment space.
“It will also enable the uptake of under-utilised and vacant space in existing sites.” 
The project is hoped to tackle the diminishing trend of high street shopping.
The £1.13billion City Deal, which covers Glasgow and surrounding councils, will fund major infrastructure projects.
It  will create 15,000 construction jobs, 28,000 permanent additional posts and unlock £3.3b of private sector cash. 
Work on Sauchiehall Street will result in new public realm, improvements to the road and pavements, a new cycle track, five junction upgrades and 27 trees being planted creating 92 construction jobs.