Cop26 ‘ring of steel’ prevents Glasgow residents accessing their own homes

Cop26 ‘ring of steel’ prevents Glasgow residents accessing their own homes
Residents were left stranded waiting for roads to reopen

Dozens of families were unable to access their homes due to a “ring of steel” installed as world leaders dined together in Glasgow at the start of the Cop26 climate summit.

Roads in the city’s West End were shut and police lined streets as figures high-profile delegates including Joe Biden and Boris Johnson ate at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday evening.

Residents were unable to access their homes amid road closures. One told Glasgow Live that people were denied access by police on Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street meaning her parents were unable to get vital medication in their home, while another person said carers were unable to reach homes for planned appointments with the elderly and disabled.

Get Ready for Glasgow, the body responsible for communicating road closures and travel updates during Cop26 initially said that road closures on Monday would not affect pedestrian access or emergency service vehicles. However, on Monday evening it announced temporary road closures would hit pedestrians.

“Due to police advice, there has been a temporary change to the advertised restrictions in place at Finnieston St and Argyle St. Pedestrians will not be allowed to cross until approx 6pm tonight,” Get Ready for Glasgow wrote on Twitter.

David Thomson reported issues in the area stating: “Elderly and disabled in Yorkhill and Kelvingrove have been left without Health and Social Partnership carers. Some need meds, food, personal care and a bed etc. but carers have been turned away at a police cordon even though arrangements were supposedly in place.

“Arrangements had been made for carers to get through as normal using specially updated ID badges, but they were turned away at the cordon.”

Another person affected said: “My mum told the police she left the house for work at 7.30 this morning and asked where did they want her to go as she doesn’t have car keys or anything on her – the policeman told her he did not know.

“My dad has told them he needs access to his blood pressure medication this evening and they have told them sorry but no access. So they have been left standing at Grey Street.”

“I find it hard to believe out of the hundreds of police standing along Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street right now that they cannot escort residents into their homes.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “Police implemented temporary changes to the advertised restrictions in place – including at Finnieston St and Argyle St.

“While every effort has been made to ensure restrictions are advertised in advance, whenever we are notified of short-notice changes they will be posted on social media.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are aware of a few concerns raised with people trying to gain access to their homes. Escort officers were on the ground to assist people. We thank local people for their understanding.”