Glasgow City Council approves plans for pedestrian railway arch
Glasgow City Council has approved plans to create a pedestrian arch path linking the Laurieston and Gorbals communities.
The designs will see a railway arch opened up between Laurieston Road and Cleland Lane as part of a phased project aimed at improving pedestrian connections and public realm in the area, including turning adjacent greenspace into a park and reducing the width of four-lane Laurieston Road.
The project is one of three community projects in the city to receive almost £2.75m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).
Network Rail has already obtained permission to develop seven arches at Cleland Lane for commercial use. The Network Rail project had proposed arch eight for a pedestrian link but the new plan is for arch 12 as it sits in line with the civic area at the Gorbals health centre and housing association offices, ReGlasgow reports.
A design statement submitted to Glasgow City Council revealed that New Gorbals Housing Association and other interested organisations have identified the railway viaduct and the greenspace in front of it, reaching to Gorbals Street, as “an area of opportunity for redevelopment” into a civic space with a link created to connect the otherwise severed communities of Laurieston and Gorbals.”
In January, New Gorbals Housing Association teamed up with Page\Park Architects to submit designs to create the pedestrian link.
Linda Malone, chairperson of New Gorbals Housing Association, told Scottish Housing News: “We are excited for work to begin on this project, as redeveloping these railway arches will have such a positive impact for local residents and for Gorbals Street. The overall intention of this project is to connect the neighbourhoods of Laurieston and Hutchesontown.
“We plan to do this by transforming the railway viaduct, currently a barrier, into a focal point of activity for these communities. This first phase includes the creation of a new connection between these neighbourhoods by opening up one of the arches to provide a striking new walkway that will create a direct pedestrian route to the amenities and public spaces on each side of the viaduct.”
The design statement submitted to Glasgow City Council reads: “A longer term ambition beyond this planning application is also being explored; to improve the landscape setting on Gorbals Street, consider the relationship with the Citizens Theatre to the north, and with input from traffic engineering consultants, introduce a new pedestrian crossing, as well as make improvements to the existing pedestrian crossings at Laurieston Road with a view to re-establishing transport routes in a more progressive, people-first manner.
“While the project ambition extends beyond the opening of the railway arch, it is seen as a critical first step in the transformation of the people movement network and establishment of a thriving community setting.”
The statement added that the ambition for the project was to connect the two neighbourhoods by re-imagining the viaduct as ‘a ribbon of activity’ for community and commerce, rather than acting as a barrier that divides.