THE Riverside museum opens its doors later this month — and this week, Extra readers can enjoy a sneak preview of the attraction.
The custom-made building, designed by Zaha Hadid, will be officially unveiled by Glasgow city council leader Gordon Matheson on June 21.
The project is more than 10 years in the making and houses more than 3,000 transport exhibits as well as providing a new berth for the tall ship Glenlee.
Speaking at a preview event yesterday, councillor Matheson said: “Surrounded by the Clyde, the river Kelvin and Govan, it doesn’t get better than this.
“This museum is about the people who travelled or worked in these trams and ships. It is about those who walked the old streets of Glasgow.
“It’s about the millions of people in the years ahead who will visit the museum and claim it as their own.
“They will make this building and collection great. They will bring their stories, and pass them on to their children whose imaginations will be stretched.
“I am bursting with pride and gratitude”.
The project cost has come in on target at £74 million, with an additional £4.5m of the £5m fundraising appeal met.
Nonetheless, concerns have been raised about travel options to the new Riverside attraction.
There are parking facilities for those using the direct route from the Clydeside expressway — although spaces may be limited on busy days such as the opening event.
Southsiders wishing to visit the attraction can also hitch a ride on the specially-introduced ferry running from Govan Cross.
However, chair of the Clyde Maritime Trust, Dr Christopher Mason, was met with stony silence at yesterday’s preview with a joke that it was better to put in place a ferry to Govan than it was to build a bridge because the boat “can be stopped”.
The museum is also accessible via a city centre bus, and on foot from Partick or Kelvinhall for subway users — although concerns have been raised about the safety of the busy road without barriers, particularly for young museum-goers.
The GCC leader responded: “There is always room for improvement and the city council is making plans to ensure that the already wonderful experience will be improved in time”.
Entrance to Riverside will be free — although visitors will still have to pay to visit the Glenlee, which is owned by the Clyde Maritime Trust.