DESIGNS for creating a pedestrian link between two Glasgow communities by opening up a railway arch have been submitted to planners for approval.
The route is proposed between Laurieston Road and Cleland Lane and would be 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.
Network Rail already have permission to develop seven arches at Cleland Lane for commercial use.
A design statement lodged with Glasgow City Council, as part of the planning application, states 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.
It continues: “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 document adds: “The overarching ambition for this project is to connect the neighbourhoods of Laurieston and Hutchesontown by re-imagining the railway viaduct as a ribbon of activity for community and commerce, rather than a barrier that divides.”
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.
The intention is to start the first phase of work early this year, subject to planning approval.