Following public opposition and doubts about the entries submitted, Glasgow City Council has now substituted a substantial face lift for the originally intended radical redesign of George Square ("George Square plans axed", The Herald, January 22).

Having only viewed the images of the various entries illustrated in the pages of The Herald I would be reluctant to state that none of the ideas advanced have merit. However, the concern remains that these designs are only radical in terms of a glitzy redecoration rather than in addressing the wider context of place, function, history and identity.

The main issue is how to naturally draw people on foot to the square and not simply cross it, en route to somewhere else.

Loading article content

In this regard three aspects would appear to need special attention: the inadequate connection to the City Chambers and Queen Street Station, the limited extent of shopping and cafe life, especially along the northern edge of the square, and the intrusion of motorised traffic.

The proposal to redevelop the Queen Street Station frontage ("Radical plan to revamp city station", The Herald, January 21) may assist in the resolution of the first two issues and Glasgow City Council should liaise closely with Network Rail about this.

With regards to traffic, a pedestrian area stretching across the square right up to the front of buildings should be the starting point. If vehicle access is essential, this should be available within demarcated areas, eg for taxis and/or public transport. Perimeter pavements alongside the shops should be spacious.

The specific design of any new structures and decorative treatment of ground and planted surfaces would be best set within this simple framework.

Stephen Downs,

28 Griffiths Street,


Might I be allowed to correct a misunderstanding on the part of R Murray (Letters, January 22)? Beach volleyball is not and never has been a sport at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Let us hope that sand does not feature in Glasgow City Council's revised George Square plans.

Ian Brooke,

12 Ashvale Crescent, Glasgow.

The statue in George Square of Robert Burns was erected and unveiled in January 1877. The writer Peter Mackenzie records that the day was declared a public holiday and 30,000 people gathered, including trades processions from Glasgow Green. I wonder if the present leadership in the City Chambers could muster such a crowd.

The square is doing no harm; after all, the city council decided to lay the red tarmac. Use the money instead to repair some of the roads and pavements of this great city.

Donald Macaskill,

35 Saltoun Street, Glasgow.