This article appeared in the Glasgow Evening Times this morning –
“A public consultation has found city bus services are not meeting the needs of existing and potential passengers in most areas of the city.
In April this year, the city council asked people for their views about existing services and how they could be improved.
All community councils, housing associations, GP surgeries, libraries and Glasgow Life venues were notified of the consultation along with representatives of local transport groups and student organisations.
An analysis of the existing bus network found the vast majority of the city has access within 400m to at least half hourly services during the working day.
But the public consultation found many people feel their ability to access employment, education, social and other activities is limited by their current level of buses.
Although some people were happy with their existing service, the majority raised a number of recurring issues.
They included bus routes not meeting their needs, bus frequency not being good enough, services being unreliable, journeys taking too long, not enough off-peak services and fares being too expensive.
A report to city councillors says: “A substantial list of desired service routes was provided.
“This has shown there is a clear demand for more routes that do not involve interchange in the city centre.
“Key routes mentioned were to and from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital from all areas of the city, direct East End to West End routes and direct services linking different areas of the South Side without having to interchange in the city centre.
“It was also raised by a number of consultees that often bus services did not operate for sufficient periods of the day to enable access to employment and education by not operating or operating on reduced frequency in the evening and weekends.
“The consultation has shown bus services are not currently meeting all the needs of existing and potential passengers in most areas of the city.”
A First Glasgow spokesman said: “First Glasgow is committed to providing local and accessible bus services across our operating area.
“Feedback and analysis is an important element in developing these services.
“We welcome this small survey which was undertaken to identify real and perceived gaps in service, and we look forward to continuing to work with Glasgow City Council and our other partners in our ongoing efforts to meet the needs of the travelling public in the city and surrounding areas.”
A spokesman for SPT said: “We look forward to receiving the detailed results of this consultation as there is no doubt, there has been a worrying decline in bus patronage across Scotland over the last 10 years which paints a very bleak picture. SPT has always sought to take a positive, pro-active stance to improve the bus network in the West of Scotland.
“To continue to do this, we believe the best way forward is in forming the Strathclyde Bus Alliance, with bus companies, local authorities and others to tackle this decline and then look at achieving growth.”
Elaine McDougall, the city council’s transport spokesman, said: “We are well aware of the issues with bus services – or lack of – in certain areas of the city.
“Our consultation has highlighted the need for improvement and where the gaps in the bus network is having an effect on people’s lives.
“We will be sharing the results with SPT however, for any real change and improvement to happen, the Scottish Government needs to consider reregulation of the bus market in the city.””