MOTORISTS in Scotland's biggest city will face city centre speed curbs of 20mph by early in the New Year.

Roads chiefs at Glasgow City Council plan to roll out the scheme by March 2016 as part of its overall strategy of reducing the number of vehicles within the city centre.

One key consideration for the new restrictions are to limit the number and severity of traffic accidents within the area.

Crossroads at Argyle Street, Union Street and Jamaica Street were again recently named Glasgow's most dangerous stretch of road, with 28 accidents in which people were injured over the past three years.

The junction at Stockwell Street and the Trongate was named the second most dangerous stretch of road, with 15 accidents.

Earlier this month a woman was hit by a bus at the exact same spot where two pensioners were trapped under a bus in May. Brain Rose, 76, died following the accident.

The new limits will stretch from Charing Cross in the west, the Clyde to the south, High Street in the east and a northern boundary of the M8.

The council also wants to introduce more controversial bus gates within some of it's busiest thoroughfares by 2017 and plans further pedestrianisation of some streets and making car trips through the heart of the city centre "more circuitous and less appealing to drivers".

In correspondence with councillors yesterday, head of roads George Gillespie said: "The predicted speed reduction within the new zone should contribute to fewer traffic accidents with reduced severity of injury, encourage the use of sustainable transport, improve air quality and generally make the city centre a more pleasant and safer place for pedestrians to both travel across and enjoy all this great city has to offer."

A recent speed survey in the proposed city centre zone recorded an average speed of 22.6mph, which the council said was considered acceptable for the implementation of a 20mph limit.

It is also the latest phase of mandatory 20mph zones, the first of which were implemented in 2011.

A council spokeswoman said: "Slower traffic speeds lead to fewer accidents. The introduction of a reduced speed limit will have positive benefits of slower vehicles movements, reduced numbers and severity of accidents and a less hectic environment which is more encouraging for cyclists and pedestrians.

"There will be a six week public consultation in October. It is important the public take part and let us know their views on the proposal to have the city centre a 20mph zone."

Edinburgh became the first city in Scotland to impose a 20 mph speed limit across its streets, with the limit to be completely in place by April 2017 on all residential streets, main shopping areas, city centre streets, and roads with high levels of pedestrian and cyclist activity.

It also emerged last week that towns and villages across Scotland are to pilot 20mph speed limits on trunk roads as part of an effort to improve safety.

The first of the five 20mph zones came into force on the A77 in Maybole, South Ayrshire yesterday, with similar schemes due to be rolled out in Largs, Biggar, Langholm and Oban.

Glasgow Tory councillor David Meikle said: "A mandatory 20mph zone for Glasgow city centre is an interesting proposal and I agree with the council's objective to reduce speeding and injury accidents in the city.

"I welcome the fact that the council will carry out public consultation as part of the formal Traffic Regulation Order. "Once that is published I would encourage everyone, including car drivers, to give their views."