TWO new bus gates that aim to stop private cars from entering Oswald Street and Union Street during peak times in the city centre will be put into operation today.

The gates have been installed on the main north and south bus corridors near Central Station, where about 360 buses use the streets every hour at the busiest times.

As reported by the Evening Times last month, the measures aim to cut the number of vehicles and delays on these roads from 7am-7pm.

While there are hopes for improvements in air quality and pedestrian and cyclist safety, the introduction of the gates has caused controversy, with some suggesting

Mitchell Street will become congested while being used as an alternative route.

Commenting on the two new gates, John Bynorth, of Environmental Protection Scotland, Policy, and Communications Officer John Bynorth said: “While they are unlikely to be popular with motorists, the launch of the bus gates has been well sign-posted for drivers in advance. They should bring tangible long-term benefits for air quality, pedestrian and cyclist safety and speed up bus journey times.

“Glasgow City Council will be carrying out monitoring of the air quality impacts the gates have on the streets close to Union Street and Oswald Street. However, we expect the gates will reduce air pollution, improving the health, particularly of pedestrians and cyclists.

“Taxi drivers and their passengers, as well as bus users, could also benefit and the gates should make streets safer and quieter for other users by being less congested.”

The new gates will mean cars going down Renfield Street will need to turn off as they will not be able to continue beyond the junction with Gordon Street.

Cars coming into the city centre will not be allowed further along Oswald Street than the junction of Midland Street.

Cars heading south will be able to use Robertson Street and Wellington Street and those heading north will be able to use West Campbell Street and York Street.

They will add to existing bus gates at Hope Street at Waterloo street, Nelson Mandela Place at West Nile Street and Stockwell Street.

Motorists have to pay a fixed penalty for beinbg caught by the cameras in a bus lane. The charge is £60, but is reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days of the date

of issue.