Cycling in the Pedestrian Precincts of Glasgow

Website by Andy Preece

Is cycling allowed here?There appears to be some confusion as to whether cycling is permitted in pedestrian precincts in Glasgow. And with good reason. It would be nice if things were simple, but they are not. There are different laws, and some laws override others.

Usually restrictions on the use of roads are set out in Traffic Regulation Orders. These legal instruments are promoted by local or national roads authorities through a system of public consultation. If the order passes the consultation stage, then the restrictions contained in it come into force, and anyone flouting the rules leaves themselves liable for penalties. Restrictions in Traffic Regulation Orders apply to all vehicles, motorised or not, unless the restrictions are themselves restricted to certain classes of vehicles. It is possible local by-laws may also contain restrictions, particularly for paths.

However, under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, every local authority in Scotland has been required 'to draw up a plan for a system of paths ('core paths') sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area'. These Core Paths help people to move around the path network on foot, by bike, by horse or any other non-motorised means. Importantly, if a road has been designated as a Core Path, cycling is allowed, even if there is a Traffic Regulation Order banning it! This also applies in both directions. It would be useful to remind people that all access rights provided under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, including those associated with the use of core paths, are subject to their being exercised responsibly. So it's incumbent upon all users to proceed with care in pedestrianised streets.

In Glasgow, some of the pedestrian precincts have been designated as part of the Core Path Network. Some have been left out. Most pedestrian precincts in Glasgow have 'No Vehicles' signs, while others have 'No Motor Vehicles' signs and some 'No Entry' signs. And what of the roads that end onto pedestrian precincts, where a short length of road is pedestrianised on the approach to the junction? There is also the large pedestrian space in the centre of George Square, which is governed by the same rules that apply to the city's parks. Below I have attempted to make some sense of all this.

Street Signs Core Path Result Is Cycling Allowed?
Sauchiehall Street No Vehicles & One Way
No Vehicles One Way
C55 Core Path trumps Traffic Regulation Order Yes, both ways
Cycling allowed both ways
West Campbell Street

Cambridge Street

Wellington Street

(approaching Sauchiehall Street)
No Vehicles
No Vehicles
No Traffic Regulation Order applies No Cycling
Cycling not allowed either way
Buchanan Street No Vehicles, One Way & No Entry
No Vehicles One Way No Entry
C55 Core Path trumps Traffic Regulation Order Yes, both ways
Cycling allowed both ways
Gordon Street No Vehicles & One Way
No Vehicles One Way
C55A Core Path trumps Traffic Regulation Order Yes, both ways
Cycling allowed both ways
Royal Exchange Square No Vehicles
No Vehicles
No Traffic Regulation Order applies No Cycling
Cycling not allowed either way
St Enoch Square No Motor Vehicles
No Motor Vehicles
C55 No prohibition Yes, both ways
Cycling allowed both ways
Argyle Street No Vehicles & No Entry
No Vehicles No Entry
C56 Core Path trumps Traffic Regulation Order Yes, both ways
Cycling allowed both ways
Miller Street

Dunlop Street

Virginia Street

(approaching Argyle Street)
No Entry
No Entry
No Traffic Regulation Order applies No Cycling
Cycling not allowed either way
John Street No Motor Vehicles & No Entry
No Motor Vehicles No Entry
No Traffic Regulation Order applies Yes, southbound only
Cycling allowed one way
Blackfriars Street No Vehicles & No Entry
No Vehicles No Entry
No Traffic Regulation Order applies No Cycling
Cycling not allowed either way
George Square

(in the centre part of the square)
None No Parks & Open Spaces rules apply Yes, all ways
Cycling allowed all ways
Website by Andy Preece