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Glasgow turns social distancing-friendly

The City Council will be banning vehicle traffic on a number of its streets in order to make more room for walking and cycling

  • May 07, 2020 19:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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With the United Kingdom gearing up for a significant period under lockdown and quarantine, many cities across the country are tinkering with ways that would allow their citizens to lead as normal a life as possible.

In Glasgow, the local government has been doing precisely that – and it believes that it has reached a good solution that will work towards achieving a number of its goals – namely the suspension of car traffic on some of its streets and roads, which would grant more space for walking and cycling.

Health, the economy and the environment

By banning car traffic, the Glasgow City Council believes it will be able to make some progress in three key areas – namely the protection of the environment, the safeguarding of citizen health and the rebooting of the local economy.

In terms of the environment, as has already been noted all around the world, the reduced car traffic thanks to the lockdown and quarantine measures have led to the substantial improvement of air quality. Thus, Glasgow’s local government hopes that further restrictions would make an even better outcome.

The health protection benefits are also self-evident. The main goal of the new line of policy is to allow for more space for walking and cycling – thus making it easier for citizens to respect social distancing measures and to keep 2-metres apart from each other.

Finally, when it comes to the economy, the new measures are seen as on the key components to its revival. Many shops will be allowed to operate more freely once citizens have somewhere safe to wait – wider paths and pavements, created by the bans on car traffic, will provide precisely that.

Councillor Aitken, the leader of the Glasgow City Council stated that "When lockdown begins to ease, it is vital that we do everything we can as a city to keep the coronavirus at bay. We want to ensure that people are confident that they can move safely around the city, and access workplaces, shops, pubs, restaurants and other business when they begin to reopen.  This is crucial not only for the health of our citizens but also for the health of our economy."

"Rethinking road space to allow for wider footways will be essential for people accessing businesses, public transport and other facilities, and these types of measures will be an important tool in getting the city up and running again," he continued. 

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