First Glasgow will delay the withdrawal of its night bus services until August after facing calls to U-turn on the decision.
The city’s main bus operator previously announced it would end its night bus services which were reintroduced one year ago claiming as few as 14 people an hour were using them.
The announcement prompted outrage from politicians, late night workers, charities and Glasgow residents.
Now, the bus operator has said it will delay the withdrawal of the services until August 20 following a meeting between First Glasgow and Glasgow City Council to discuss the matter of Glasgow’s late night public transport.
Duncan Cameron, managing director of First Bus Scotland, said: “This move is designed to provide more time for all partners – operators, politicians, public sector agencies and the hospitality sector – to review wider transport options late at night in the city.
“It also gives an opportunity for the people of Glasgow to get behind the night bus services as we maintain an open mind regarding future options in conjunction with stakeholders should passenger numbers increase as well as our driver numbers.
“It is important that all stakeholders take learnings from the past six months and from the significant levels of discussion that have taken place this week.
“In Scotland, 75% of all public transport journeys are made by bus. It’s vital that when given the opportunity to engage on all bus matters, representatives from all partners stand up and input their views before a decision is finalised.”
Councillor Angus Millar, the council’s city convener for transport said he “welcomed” the agreement adding that the council has been “working constructively” with First Glasgow.
He said: “Glasgow City Council has been working constructively with First Glasgow and I welcome First’s agreement to extend night bus services for several weeks to allow for further engagement and exploration of key issues including patronage, routes and staff availability to take place with key partners.
“While the council presently has no regulatory role in the bus sector, we can help facilitate further discussion around a sustainable future for night bus services with those regional and national agencies with statutory roles including SPT and Transport Scotland, key stakeholders from the evening economy and neighbouring local authorities.
“Alongside First we have also previously asked that the Scottish Government extend free bus travel for concessionary travel card holders including under-22s to night services and reiterate that call.
“The public interest in the future of night bus services makes clear the critical importance of bus to the travelling public and all stakeholders must work together on an ongoing basis to support improvements to the city’s bus network. In the meantime, all of us with an interest in the vibrancy and vitality of the evening economy must get together to look at the wider issues of late night public transport.”