GLASGOW'S landmark George Square will be closed off to traffic in the event of a change in political administration running the city in 18 months.

As part of plans to restore and refurbish the city’s main civic space the SNP said it would at least part pedestrianise the Square, describing its present state as "like a giant roundabout".

In the first of a series of public surveys to be carried out by the council's main opposition party as it seeks power in 2017, it found almost three-quarters of respondents supportive of moves to fully or partially pedestrianise the area around George Square.

The plans were previously mooted several years ago by the council's former roads chief as part of a bid to ease chronic congestion in the city centre and win support from motoring, business and transport bodies.

It was also in the agenda when former council leader Gordon Matheson planned a major overhaul of the square, hosting a competition giving designers free reign to remove the Victorian, A-listed statues.

But following the furore over the aborted design competition, all proposals, bar a temporary resurfacing, have been mothballed with no indication as to when they will be resurrected.

Nearly 1200 people responded to the SNP Surveymonkey poll and also found that almost 75 per cent, the overwhelming majority of whom were from the city, said George Square should be used primarily as a civic space for the city.

Over 82 per cent of respondents of Glaswegians agree that a dedicated event space for the city centre would enhance George Square and the city centre, with more than 80 per cent agreeing all commercial activities should either be moved from George Square or reduced in number.

Welcoming the survey feedback, Susan Aitken, leader of the council's SNP group, said: “I was struck by how many people agree that George Square should be fully, or partially, pedestrianised.

“We know that the council has modelled the city centre to assess the impact of a complete or partial pedestrianisation of George Square, and it’s worth noting that this was also an integral element of architect John McAslan’s winning design of Cllr Matheson’s suspended George Square competition. .

“A full pedestrianisation would almost double the surface area of George Square and open up the potential for George Square to take on a continental feel, with businesses able to promote outdoor dining.

"It’s a common complaint that the Square can seem more like a giant roundabout than the attractive, accessible public space it should be, and the majority of our respondents obviously agree that at least a measure of pedestrianisation would positively enhance their experience of George Square. We will work with the council and with local businesses and partners to make this a reality."

The council said a plan to close the road in front of the City Chambers had been previously agreed but has not yet been implemented because of other work going on, or due to take place, in nearby streets.

A spokesman said: "Any proposals to close other roads around the square would have to be considered carefully as the knock-on effect to traffic management in the rest of the city centre would be substantial.

“Officers are continuing to develop plans for the city centre that seek to balance the public’s use and enjoyment of George Square along with its unique position as a high-profile event location.”

Interest in the future of the space has seen a rise in interest in the social media site Restore George Square.

A spokesman for the account said: "It's no surprise that yet another quantitative survey has indicated that the overwhelming majority of Glaswegians favour George Square's use as a civic space, a public park.

"We believe the return of the raised grass beds and trees, with considered, full or part pedestrianisation, would be the most popular option were the council to offer a quantitative survey on the matter, as recommended by their own pollsters Ipsos Mori in 2013."