We decided from here that our main areas of research should be the motorway, as that was the most powerful aspect of our visit. We split our research into four categories; 1. Historical Anderston 2. M8 pros and cons, 3. Underpass uses in the wider world, 4. Precedents to back up our initial proposal. Each category was assigned to a team member with a particular interest in that field. A brief summary of the historical research;
- Anderston area developed from a weavers village into an engineering district during the industrial age. An influx of migrant workers for the engineering workshops lead to shoddily built tenement houses which became overcrowded and unsanitary. Post-war redevelopment saw these unfit homes torn down to make way for the M8 motorway which now runs dangerously close to the school. The school survives as a protected structure.
- The conceptual notion of a city boundary is given a physical form in the M8 motorway. It was introduced as a concept in the 1940s, but construction began in 1965. Today its effects are closely studied and constantly discussed. The most basic effects are;
- Defining for glasgow city centre
- Vital transport link relied on by many
- Able to bring those on the outskirts of the city in
- Essential now due to the lack of accomodation in the city centre
- Kingston Bridge in Anderston is now one of the busiest road bridges in Europe, carrying approximately 150,000 vehicles a day
- Has significantly reduced congestion in the city center
- The 1960s was a time when planners looked ahead and began work on a network of motorways. Car ownership was rising, and planners recognised the importance of freeing old residential neighbourhoods from traffic.
- Some parts of the old A8 were unsafe. It had three lanes, with a shared overtaking lane, and the high number of fatalities and serious accidents made it clear something more than upgrading was needed.
- Glasgow’s motorways allowed pedestrianisation of Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street
- Relocation of many from their homes
- Lost sense of community
- Disconnect from the city centre to the west end
- The loss of some areas of architectural interest and important buildings to make way for the new motorway – such as the well-to-do charing cross area and the famous kilometer-long parliamentary road in cowcaddens
- Built for 120,000 vehicles a day when at the time there were only an estimate 20,000 so hugeee development at the time – unprecedented forward planning