GLASGOW residents have expressed their frustration after street closures for a VIP COP26 event led to them having to walk through a “pitch-black” park to get home.

Heads of state and government including members of the royal family and US president Joe Biden gathered at Kelvingrove Museum for an exclusive dinner hosted by the UK Government and guarded by hundreds of police.

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Chunks of streets in the West End of the city were closed off for the event last night, leading to disruption for local residents – and some having no choice but to walk through the unlit park nearby.

The National:

Women took to social media to explain the situation facing them. “We understand shutting down Kelvin Way for COP but being made to walk through Kelvingrove park in darkness is not safe,” one woman warned. “So many generator lights are being used for the police, can you not light the main path for us at least?”

The National:

Kayleigh Quinn, another local resident, said some residents had been told to walk through the park, along Byres Road and back to Finnieston just to get over the road to their flats.

Another said she was “in tears” as a female police officer told her to cut through the park late in the evening.

The National:

Other locals told Glasgow Live that they were not able to get to their homes at all due to the huge police cordon, and had not been warned about the situation in advance.

Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative MP for the Glasgow region, said: “I urge Police Scotland and the local council to immediately act so that nobody is forced down badly lit paths where they fear for their safety.”

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Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: “Residents were diverted on their way home, including on foot through Kelvingrove Park, following real-time changes to operational plans on Monday night.

“While late changes and some level of disruption is inevitable when policing an event the size and scale of COP26, we understand and apologise for the concern these changes caused and for the inconvenience to those diverted.

“We do, in particular, recognise and acknowledge the commentary from some women who had to walk through the park on their own last night, we want to keep everyone safe and we know that the onus is on us to recognise when we could provide some more support and visibility to reassure people in our communities.

“The diversion is no longer in place and there are no plans to reintroduce it. Should further diversions be required at short notice for operational purposes, we will look to establish additional patrols in the area to provide reassurance.

"We will work with Glasgow City Council to consider whether lighting in Kelvingrove Park can be improved."

Meanwhile last night protests took place outside Kelvingrove, around the side streets which hadn’t been closed off.

About 800 metres from the Art Gallery reception, Extinction Rebellion members gathered to protest by banging drums and delivering speeches.

Afterwards, a group with many members from Pembrokeshire in South Wales served supper, including vegan haggis on paper plates with wooden cutlery, at a so-called “Beggar’s Banquet”.