Glasgow City Centre has long been associated with poor air quality. However, steps are being taken to enhance air quality into the city centre. There is already evidence of what can be achieved by limiting car and bus usage in the city centre. For instance, the first two weeks of lockdown in March 2020 led to an estimated 50% drop in levels of nitrogen oxides on Hope Street, which is known as Scotland’s most polluted street.

One key element to lowering air pollution levels is to encourage the switch from car travel to active travel through the provision of attractive public realm and safe cycle infrastructure within the city. Glasgow is working on improving its cycle lane network and works have begun on the biggest cycle infrastructure of this nature in the whole of the UK.

£115M of City Deal funding will support the delivery of 18 new connections between the key entry points to Glasgow City Centre; the new avenues will feature enlarged pavements, new public realm such as benches and feature lighting, segregated cycle lanes, trees and rain gardens, making walking, cycling oo wheeling a safe and attractive choice for all the citizens of Glasgow.
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Sauchiehall Street was the first pilot avenue to be completed in 2018, delivering approximately 600 meters of bi-directional segregated cycle infrastructure, and the results have been impressive. According to data collected by Glasgow City Council, there has been an 80% increase in the number of cyclists using the new cycling infrastructure n Sauchiehall Street to enter the city centre. Since its installation, figures for those individuals using the cycle lane to enter the city have increased from 310 in 2018 to 651 in 2020. The figures for those using the cycle network to exit the city is even more staggering – the number of cyclists using the route to leave the city has gone from 56 to 396, which is a rise of 606%.
Figures aside, seeing many families with young children cycling along Sauchiehall Street has really demonstrated the power of delivering safe infrastructure and the impact on behavioural change.