ENVIRONMENTAL groups and politicians have backed moves to add two new bus gates to the city centre.

Proposals have been made by Glasgow City Council which could see two routes - Union Street southbound and Oswald Street northbound - closed to cars.

Motorists' groups spoke out about the plans on Thursday but campaigners have said the bus gates would be a welcome addition to the city centre.

Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “We fully support the proposed bus gates in the city centre.

"Buses are an vital part of how people get about in Glasgow and these bus gates will help them get more smoothly through areas currently clogged up with car traffic.

"People choosing the bus instead of the car are reducing congestion, air pollution and climate change emissions so it is only right that buses should get priority in key areas."

A public consultation was launched earlier this week regarding the moves, which have also been backed by Green politicians.

However, city MSP Patrick Harvie said the two gates are the "very least" that needs to be done and that more must be done.

He added: "Glasgow City Centre has a big problem with illegal air pollution, which contributes to hundreds of premature deaths every year.

"We’ve criticised the council for its ‘go slow’ approach to cleaning up the city’s air, so it’s welcome they are finally pressing ahead with these obvious bus-friendly measures which were first proposed back in 2014."

Despite this, Glasgow's Chamber of Commerce echoed concerns from the AA about a repeat of drivers facing heavy fines after driving past signage.

Chief executive of the group Stuart Patrick said: "While we welcome broad moves that result in cleaner air in our city centre and ease traffic flow, we would encourage consideration of unintended consequences of any policy development.

"We will also be asking how this proposal improves the pedestrian experience of Glasgow City Centre which desperately needs tackled.”