COP26: Businesses face uncertainty as streets locked down ahead of summit

25 October 2021, 06:44 | Updated: 25 October 2021, 07:49

Glasgow businesses face uncertainty as streets locked down ahead of COP26

By Guy Stewart

A large part of Glasgow's city centre has now been locked down ahead of the UN COP26 climate summit.

World leaders - including US President Joe Biden - will begin arriving in the UK for the event this week.

And it is estimated that more than 30,000 delegates from around 200 countries will be in attendance.

It has seen several key roads taking traffic in and out of Glasgow shut around the Scottish Events Campus.

Officials predict major disruption for commuters with planned rail strikes adding to traffic chaos.

And some businesses affected by closures fear they could lose thousands of pounds in takings.

Those which have been ordered to shut have been told they will be compensated by the UK Government.

Others outside the summit's main zone can still trade but the road closures will likely reduce footfall.

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Spinder Purewall runs the India Quay restaurant just 500 yards from the COP26 venues.

She said: "As far as we know the traffic lights outside the restaurant are cut off.

"Delegates won't arrive until the end of the month so we've got a week at the start where we will have significantly reduced footfall.

"Deliveries and takeaways will be hugely impacted or even non-existent but logistically it's just not possible.

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"Who is really going to be willing to travel to us to park three streets away and then walk to us to go for a meal?

"We won't be compensated for the disruption to our business because we do have access.

"That would be fine, if we were an office building would be fine, but we aren't, we rely on customers coming to us so we can trade."

Businesses will be impacted by road closures around Glasgow.
Businesses will be impacted by road closures around Glasgow. Picture: LBC

All of the road closures last for the duration of the conference with some reopening on November 15.

It's expected further routes will need to be locked down on November 6 with major protests planned.

A COP26 spokesperson said: "The UK Government has provided details on compensation to businesses within the restricted security perimeter for whom we will not be able to facilitate staff and client access."