Illustration courtesy at Glasgow lor People.
he Secretary of State for Scotland and Strathclyde Regional Council are being taken to court in early February by the voluntary environmental organisation Glasgow for People, over the approval of new motorway plans for the city. The group are challenging the Council’s updated Structure Plan and the Secretary of State’s rubber-stamping of it on procedural grounds, contesting that by law any new features should have been put forward for public consultation.
Central to the case are the proposed expressway bridges over the River Clyde, known as the Twin Bridges. Built beneath the Kingston Bridge, these would bring more than 50,000 vehicles per day into streets on the north side of the river. The group is also concerned that these low-level bridges would hinder navigation on the Clyde and that dredging of the river would be threatened, with flooding a potential hazard.
Glasgow for People was formed in 1988 in order to seek alternatives to the road-based strategies that have dominated Glasgow’s transport plans for decades. Because it is a voluntary organisation, the legal expenses of the court case and any liability, should the action be lost, will be borne solely by its members and public donations. But public support, in the shape of petitions and letters, has encouraged the organisation to proceed with its ‘David and
Glasgow’s proposed motorway network is poised to put its octopus-like tentacles around the city centre unless environmental campaigners win a historic legal battle. Alan Morrison examines the case put by Glasgow for People.
‘Strathclyde Regional Council’s Roads Authority is the largest in Britain,’ says Alice Mosley, secretary of Glasgow for People , ‘and we think that now is the time to challenge their position of power. Many other campaigners have fought against previous motorways, such as the Stepps by-pass, and in those cases an extremely cogent case was put forward as to why the roads would not work. According to all the evidence, the roads should not have been built.’
The organisation is concerned that the right of the public to be consulted over major transport plans has been flouted more and more in recent years. But the Glasgow plans in particular have wider social and environmental implications. The full proposals include a 7.5km extension to the M74 from Rutherglen to the Kingston Bridge, which would force businesses in a commercially successful area to relocate. The historic part of the city would not escape unscathed due to the so-called Townhead to London Road Link, a major road that would cut from the Townhead Interchange to Glasgow Green, passing close by the Cathedral, the Merchant City and the Barras. 52 Charlotte Street, the sole survivor of a street of merchant mansions built by Robert Adam in the 18th century and recently renovated by the National Trust for Scotland, would sit inches from the road.
‘The Structure Plan needs approval in principal and, because we are challenging that, the Council can’t proceed with their planning application. But right now they are in the process ofdemolishing buildings in the path of that motorway — they have recently knocked down a primary school and a Salvation Army hostel — although they have not yet got to the stage ofcompleting a planning application for it.’
At a time when Glasgow’s architecture is being recognised at an international level, and when other European cities are devising plans to reduce the levels of traffic in city centres, these urban motorway proposals appear short-sighted and outdated. The outcome of this court case may go some way to allowing the people a say in their city’s future.
Information about the court case and a public meeting on I 8 Jan (see Open Listings) is available from Glasgow for People, 3 Royal Exchange Court, 85 Queen Street, Glasgow G] 308 (041 248 2078).
I Local councillor and prospective Conservative candidate ior Edinburgh South, Struan Stevenson, is heading a plan to bring the Olympic Games to Edinburgh in 2000. An Olympic village would be built near the city's by-pass, while the new Olympic stadium could solve the problems at where to build Scotland’s new international lootball ground. Although Cllr Stevenson calls the city ‘an ideal location’, Edinburgh District Council dismissed the plan as a publicity stunt.
I Television viewers and newspaper readers in Britain will see censored reports at the Cult contllct, should war break out. Senior editors have agreed to a military veto on all media output in the name oi security and morale. All iilmed material would be pooled and the Ministry at Oeience would have the right to inspect each item belore it was sent to Britain. It is thought that the Iraqi government would allow reporting to continue lrom Baghdad. A less restricted source at iniormation is
likely to be the American-controlled Cable News Network.
I The pressures at a modern corporate identity have transiormed the Scottish Oilice into . . . The Scottish Oilice. Months ot consultation and just less than £100,000 have created the new(-ish) name and logo, which will head notepaper and department names. Bememberthat you read it in The List, and not the List.
‘British men’s idea of foreplay is taking their socks off. . .You’re safer with a non-Brit in a steamy sex scene.’
An alternative way to unite Europe by Margaret Pemberton, chairwoman of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
‘lfwe won the Scottish League, the Cup, the Skol Cup and Europe. even the 400m sprint in the Olympics just now, these people would complain that we didn’t win the breast stroke.‘ Terry Cassidy, Celtic ’5 new chief executive on unsympathetic football writers.
‘Only God could have got rid of Margaret Thatcher. . . lfHe can get rid of her, He can get rid of Haughey.’
Rev Ian Paisley hopingfor more moves in mysterious ways.
‘I find English swearing really vulgar, whereas when we Americans do it, it can be quite endearing. A good swear word, well placed. can work wonders.’
Bob Payton, owner ofthe Chicago Pizza Pie Factory, talking a lot of bloody rubbish.
‘You can experience weightlessness by jumping out ofa window. but not for long.‘
A rthur C. Clarke discovers the truths of science fact rather than science ﬁction.
‘I am, for my sins, the thinking man’s Buzby.‘
Maureen Lipman on her character in the BTcommercials.
4Thc List ll ~24January 1991