Waterfront bridge is finally a contender

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A bridge linking Govan with Partick could finally become a reality, with hopes that a land ownership logjam will soon be cleared.

For years ambitious plans to develop Glasgow’s Clyde waterfront have been stymied by an arcane tangle of ownership rights along the banks, but the city council is optimistic that could be about to end.

At the same time it points to what are seen as successes that have been achieved despite the difficulties - for example the Riverside Museum.

Glasgow Harbour was originally advertised as an aspirational development that would see residents scudding between waterside bistros and high end shopping precincts on taxi launches, but that glossy prospectus has never been realised.

However Glasgow City Council has now given approval to the finalising of legal agreements with significant stakeholder Peel Holdings Limited which could put regeneration projects back on track.

One of the issues that could be resolved is the proposed Govan - Partick bridge, which would link the south side with the Glasgow Harbour flats.

That particular scheme depends on a feasability study, but meanwhile Peel Holdings Limited would also aim to build a new bridge across the Kelvin.

At the same time Glasgow University is set to transform the former Western Infirmary site into a major new mixed-use campus, in a move that even without the other proposed new developments will certainly revolutionise a currently largely moribund area of the West End,

The city council says that over the past two decades the Clyde Waterfront has attracted a number of projects that have brought significant activity, such as the creation of the International Financial Services District, the development of the Scottish Exhibition Centre Campus, the Riverside Museum, Glasgow Harbour and the relocation of BBC and STV to Pacific Quay.

But the City Region Deal will now provide investment to further unlock what’s said to be the great potential of the waterfront through new infrastructure projects.

Glasgow City Council leader Councillor Susan Aitken said: “There will be some fantastic projects transforming the waterfront over the next few years, bringing jobs and investment to the area to fulfil its enormous potential, and reconnecting communities with all the social and economic benefits that will bring.”

The various schemes which could now soon go live will hugely improve communication links between the river’s north and southsides, but will also inevitably bring major new seams of traffic to areas like Partick.

How the area copes with the stress of extra traffic volume - and the demand for new parking spaces - is likely to be a key element of future planning debates.