51 days to go until COP26 arrives in Glasgow

COP 26  - Scottish Events Campus aerial i

The “unprecedented” opportunities and challenges of hosting COP26 were discussed with business leaders in Glasgow today. 

Planning for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 conference at the SEC, Glasgow, from 31 October to 12 November is at an advanced stage.

As previously announced, the Clydeside Expressway (from Partick Interchange to Anderston at M8 Junction 19), the Clyde Arc and local roads around the SEC venue will be closed in preparation for and during the event.

The main closures take effect from 23 October to 15 November. However, Clyde Arc will still be open for service buses. More detailed information on alternative routes, local road closure dates and where local access will be maintained is available at getreadyglasgow.com

An event Transport Plan has been published today.

Alongside new maps with the intention of giving the public, businesses, delegates and visitors a clearer idea of what to expect on certain days while the conference is running. Road closures for security purposes are expected to mean longer journey times, with businesses asked to carefully consider how their staff will travel to and from work on the busiest days.

The scale of the event is unprecedented in Scotland in terms of the number of world leaders expected to attend and is on a par with the London Olympics in terms of impact. An element of planned and unplanned protest is inevitable. However, Glasgow and Scotland are also gearing up for the unique opportunity to showcase its credentials as a major event host.

At a virtual event attended by over 400 business leaders and transport partners today, Police Scotland, Transport Scotland, the Cabinet Office, Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce provided an update on their planning and answered questions.  The key points from the Transport Plan include:   

  • Free travel smartcard for delegates and volunteers to ensure timeous access to crucial talks and meetings 
  • A fleet of electric buses will provide a free shuttle service for delegates between the city centre and SEC
  • Dedicated travel plans and enhanced public transport services for days when the city will be very busy
  • A mass climate rally by protestors on Saturday 6 November in the city
  • A Travel Demand Management campaign and business engagement strategy to publicise impacts and offer advice, engagement and customer care for ‘business as usual’ arrangements 
  • A refreshed Get Ready Glasgow website and Traffic Scotland and Traveline web portal to inform the public, businesses and commuters of key travel information
  • A suite of accessible transport options will be available and advertised in advance 
  • Detailed planning and communications for road closures and traffic management restrictions as a result of security requirements   
  • Sustainability, active travel and accessibility are built into the Transport Plan, which is a collective effort from UK, Scottish and Local Government.

Transport Minister Graeme Dey said:  

“With just over 50 days until what could be potentially the most significant event not just of our lifetime, but for future generations too, many months of travel planning and preparations are now entering their final, crucial phase.

“A detailed Transport Plan has been developed by a Transport Co-Ordination Group featuring operational partners who are very experienced in staging major events, and helped ensure a successful Commonwealth Games, European Championships and Ryder Cup. However this event will be unprecedented for so many reasons and will bring its own unique challenges for Glasgow and beyond. 

“I would urge commuters, business and the public to take some time to read the transport plan and familiarise themselves with the road closures and latest travel advice. We can all play a key role in delivering a successful event and ensuring the talks deliver results to help secure a better future for our planet.”

Assistant Chief Constable, Bernard Higgins said:

"We are committed to minimising the impact on the public, businesses and the communities we serve to keep Scotland moving during COP26. Police Scotland have been working closely with partners including the United Nations, UK Government, Transport Scotland and Glasgow City Council to prepare for what will be a complex policing operation to support COP26 and to ensure that this will be a safe and secure event."

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said:

“COP26 presents an incredible opportunity for Glasgow as host, not only to showcase all that our city has to offer as we welcome delegates from across the globe, but also to demonstrate the level in which we can contribute both to solving climate change and to laying the foundations for our next phase of economic growth. The sheer scale of the event is a fantastic accolade for Glasgow however naturally there will be disruption across the city over the course of the conference, and so it is vitally important to engage with the business community to manage the impact on the day-to-day running of the city.”

Denise Hamilton, Head of city services and COP26 Operations at Glasgow City Council said:

“We knew that hosting an event of such global significance was going to have an impact on the city and the extent of that impact is now clearer. To keep Glasgow moving and open for business we need people to know what’s happening and plan journeys ahead of time. Over the next few weeks there will be a range of engagement sessions advertised for businesses and communities to attend, in addition to the information regularly being added to getreadyglasgow.com.”

Published 10 Sep 2021