Huge plant pots have been installed on Glasgow’s main retail drags to protect Christmas shoppers from car or truck terror attacks.

City workers have been placing metre-wide plastic planters on Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets to prevent vehicles entering pedestrianised areas.

The measure comes ahead of long-term security measures, including high-tech retractable bollards, to be put in place in next year.

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The Glasgow planters should have the same effect as large barriers being installed in Edinburgh’s New Town this winter - and in the Old Town over the summer.

Municipal planners have been trying to find a way of terror-proofing city centres - as much as possible - while avoiding ugly barriers.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council continues to work with partner agencies to improve the experience of the city centre in a wide range of ways, including safety measures, for all those who use it.

“We would like to thank residents, the business community and visitors for their patience with the ongoing works.”

There has been a growing trend across Europe for cars or trucks to be used as weapons. Vehicles were used in two London terror attacks this year, as well as an assault on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas.

A truck attack on Christmas market in Germany killed a dozen people a year ago. A truck was used in an attack on shopper in Stockholm earlier this year. Both Islamist extremists and far-right white nationalists have adopted the tactic in recent years.

The Herald last summer revealed specialist designers from Police Scotland and MI5’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure have been asked to help shore up defences.

The city already has street furniture that would force a vehicle to slow down or zig-zag.

Sauchiehall Street alone is scheduled go get some £7m worth of work under the Scottish and UK Government’s City Deal package of aid.

Officials earlier said the pedestrianised street - restyled as one of Glasgow’s avenues - would have “reduced motor vehicle space” and more trees. In June, new benches appeared on both Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street.

The retractable bollards will go up when the shopping streets are opened. They will be lowered to allow deliveries early in the morning and in the evening. Retailers have been informed.

Police and emergency services will be able to lower the barriers if they need access to pedestrian streets.

Glasgow city centre is one of the busiest shopping and visitor attractions in Scotland, ranking fifth in the UK for international visitors, a key consideration for counter-terrorism planners. The footfall in the city centre is almost 5m people a month.

Police Scotland has repeated said that there is no specific threat of Islamist terror north of the border but that they cannot afford to be complacent. Key Scottish seasonal events, such as Hogmanay celebrations, will be carefully policed.