The Rise of the Car in Glasgow’s Crosses

I have investigated the streetscape of Glasgow’s crosses throughout history to analyze the way they have been inhabited over time. Through this exercise, I have identified a rise in the dominance of cars and other transport over these crosses with the space for pedestrians becoming increasingly smaller. Several of these historic crosses have also become nodes for the M8 motorway, which is an extreme version of this phenomenon. I selected three crosses within Glasgow: Anderston Cross (now part of the M8 motorway), Glasgow Cross and Bridgeton Cross to illustrate this. I compiled historic and current photos of these crosses and isolated the streetscapes, creating gifs to contrast these images and highlighted the vehicles in the scenes. What were once important meeting places for the city have lost their personal scale. Although they have historically been places for vehicles too, the increased size and danger of vehicles through the 20th century has led to distinct separation of traffic and pedestrians and created an urban hierarchy in these crosses with pedestrians coming below cars.


Glasgow Cross (Trongate)

Bridgeton Cross

Anderston Cross (Now the site of Anderston train station)


Key Themes: Day-to-day Movement, Infrastructure, Glasgow’s Crosses