Image copyright Evening Times.
We show below the transcript of the article written by reporter Hannah Rodger and printed in the Evening Times on 20th February, 2016. We will, as a Community Council, be pursuing all avenues to retain direct links between our area and the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. As this is “breaking news” further updates will be published as soon as they are available.
ARTICLE TRANSCRIPT :
“A VITAL transport link serving Glasgow’s newest hospital is to be axed by bus chiefs after only six months.
The G1 and G2 services running from Maryhill and Kelvindale to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital are to be terminated in April.
Stagecoach bosses have taken to the decision to stop the routes on April 23 after they were deemed not “commercially viable”, having run for the past six months.
The two buses, which run every ten minutes during the week, serve Maryhill, Partick, Ruchill and Firhill, taking residents directly to the new hospital in Govan.
Local councillor John Letford, who campaigned for the services to be introduced is outraged by the decision.
He said: “This is going to have a devastating impact on my community, which is one of the poorest in Scotland.
“There is multiple deprivation in my ward.
“The services were the mechanism people used to get to the hospital, that was the point of the buses.
“I have a lot of people in my ward who don’t have cars, how are they supposed to get there now?
“The passenger numbers on the routes were rising, I would say they could have done a bit more by way of marketing of the service to improve it.
“Depending on where people live, they will have to get two buses if these routes are cancelled, and it will take quite some time.”
The councillor, who represents the Kelvin ward, has arranged an urgent meeting with Stagecoach bosses to discuss alternatives.
Patricia Ferguson, Labour MSP for Maryhill and Springburn also agreed the service helped the community.
She said: “ This is extremely disappointing as it is very difficult for people to get to the new hospital.
“Not only was this bus good for travelling to the hospital but for connecting communities along the route.”
Angry residents have contacted Councillor Letford with concerns about the service being removed.
One resident said: “I was dismayed to hear the service is to be withdrawn. I find [it] is of immense value connecting [the area] to the West End after the 4A ends at 6.30pm.
“This would be a disaster for me. I feel stage coach haven’t given it a chance to blossom.”
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach West Scotland said: “It is with regret that we have registered the withdrawal of the G1 and G2 services which run between Glasgow’s West End and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
“The last day of operation for the services will be Saturday 23rd April 2016.
“The services were introduced in August 2015 and it was hoped that they would provide a vital link for visitors, staff and patients to the newly opened Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
“The services did attract passengers however not at a level that would make the services commercially viable.
“Our X19 route will continue to serve the QEU hospital campus offering a 10 minute service from Glasgow City Centre Monday to Saturday at peak times and up to a 20 minute service on Sunday’s during the day.””
Considering neither G1 or G2 service received any publicity, it is no wonder they have not been financially viable. Can’t speak for the G1 service but the G2 service could be well used as it runs through parts of the city which takes 2 or 3 buses to reach otherwise. Very disappointed this service is to end. The alternative is either a longish walk down Hyndland St to Dumbarton Rd or a longer journey into town when the (4a is running) to catch a bus into Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. As a lone woman travelling in dark winter days and nights neither is an appealing prospect. It also adds considerable time to each journey. I do hope our KCC, Councillors and MSP will be able to persuade an operator to continue the G2 service otherwise it is a £10-£12 taxi journey each way to attend an appointment or visit a friend/relative.
Patricia Ferguson, MSP, now has a Petition on her website to Save the service. http://www.patriciaferguson.co.uk/save_the_g1_g2