Commuters from Renfrewshire are being urged to plan ahead when travelling to Glasgow in the run up to and during COP26, with severe transport congestion expected in and around the city.
With an estimated 21, 528 commuters from Renfrewshire making their way to Glasgow each day, a public awareness campaign has launched to help people get ready for the climate change conference.
Championed by Glasgow’s Duke of Wellington statue, the campaign provides details of where to get the most up-to-date travel information and advice so that people can prepare and plan ahead for any journeys.
Up to 140 world leaders and 25,000 conference delegates are expected to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 conference at Glasgow’s SEC. The event takes place from October 31 to November 12, however, road closures will start to take effect from Saturday, October 23.
Planned and unplanned protests are also inevitable.
Nicola Blaney, head of events resilience at Transport Scotland, said: “The scale of COP26 is unprecedented in terms of the impact it will have on our transport networks. We know that Halloween weekend, Monday 1st November, Tuesday 2nd November and Saturday 6th November, will all be particularly busy and commuters should expect severe delays.
“This is due to a combination of road closures around the SEC, including the Clydeside Expressway which will be closed from Saturday, 23rd October to Sunday, 14th November, and the additional demand on the network from those attending the conference.
“We’d urge everyone to stay informed and plan ahead to make the right journeys at the right times so we can keep Glasgow and the Central Belt moving as the region takes to the world stage for this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
Transport minister, Graeme Dey, added: “The most up-to-date information including a detailed travel plan, maps, road closures and dates for community and business engagement sessions is readily available.
“I would again urge commuters, businesses and the public to take some time to familiarise themselves with the plans so that we can all work together to help deliver a successful event. I am especially grateful to businesses and the public for engaging with this campaign and playing their part in such a momentous event.”
Get Ready Glasgow is the go-to website for more detailed information and will be updated on an ongoing basis. The website provides details on alternative routes, local road closure dates and where local access will be maintained. It also includes maps highlighting where and when impacts are most likely to help give the public, businesses, delegates and visitors a clearer idea of what to expect on certain days.
Travel planning and preparations are now entering an advanced and crucial phase.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is assisting with the transport organisation across Glasgow.
SPT chair of operations committee councillor, David Wilson, said: “SPT is, once again, proud to play its part while the city hosts yet another major international event. While some disruption to travel is inevitable with an event of this scale, planning ahead is essential.
“We are working to ensure both local people and our international visitors can move around the city. Working with First Bus Scotland to deliver the official COP26 Zero Emission shuttle service on behalf of the UK and Scottish Governments ensures delegates will get to the event by sustainable public transport and we hope deliver a Glasgow climate agreement we can all be proud of.”
Get Ready Glasgow is being managed by Glasgow City Council on behalf of COP26 event delivery partners. Used successfully during the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships, the campaign aims to inform and update businesses, residents, commuters and visitors about the impact of the event on the city and the work being done to keep the Glasgow moving and open for business in the lead up to and during the conference.
Denise Hamilton, head of the council’s COP26 Team said: “Glasgow has a long track record of successfully hosting major, international events. This success is based on extensive forward planning. We’ve spent the last 18 months working to ensure that this hugely complex event goes safely and smoothly while we also keep Glasgow moving and open for business.
“This is going to be the largest gathering of world leaders that the UK has ever seen. Making sure it is a safe and successful event for residents and visitors alike has meant working closely with the conference organisers and Police Scotland to agree security road closures and alternative routes. But now we are ready. All the necessary plans are in place.
“This event is so important that as well as world leaders many activists and protest groups are coming to Glasgow to express their concerns about climate change. Their actions will have an additional impact and potentially unpredictable effects on traffic flows within the city.
“That’s why we’re urging everyone to be flexible and plan ahead. There will be congestion and disruption and some days will be far busier than others. We’ve put all the information we have on the Get Ready Glasgow website. It is a comprehensive source of information that is regularly updated.”
As well as providing information on how to plan ahead for COP26, details of a range of engagement sessions being held over the coming weeks will be advertised for businesses and communities to attend.
For the most up to date travel information and for details on how businesses can prepare themselves for COP26 please visit: Get Ready Glasgow at www.getreadyglasgow.com/cop26.