Glasgow given £1m to help city’s bus services in pandemic

Bus priority measures planned in bid to reduce congestion and discourage 'significant' increases in private car travel.

Glasgow given £1m to help city’s bus services in pandemic Getty Images

Glasgow has received more than £1m to help the city’s bus services respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measures to prioritise buses are being planned in a bid to reduce congestion and discourage “significant” increases in private car travel while physical distancing concerns remain.

The Transport Scotland cash will be used for pop-bus lanes on six city streets as well as upgrading road traffic signals.

It is hoped the changes will improve journey times and the reliability of services.

Councillor Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction, said: “Public transport is essential for people across Glasgow but the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the service has been huge.

“It is vitally important that services are maintained, and this funding will provide support at a time when it is needed the most.

“Giving buses priority at key points of the road network will help improve the reliability of services and cut journey times, which are big concerns for passengers.”

She added: “People have been thinking differently about their travel choices during lockdown but helping to make services run as efficiently as possible is a positive at any time.

“An added bonus has been working closely with neighbouring councils as this recognises we have a mutual interest in improving transport links across the region.”

Pop-up bus lanes are planned for Springburn Road (Atlas Road to Castle Street), King George V Bridge (including Commerce Street), Bothwell Street (between West Campbell and Bothwell Street), Renfrew Street (between Cambridge Street and Renfield Street), Paisley Road West at Bellahouston Park and Barrhead Road (between Crookston Road and Brockburn Crescent).

A feasibility study for bus priority measures on the city centre-bound Clydeside Expressway between Finnieston Street and the M8 is also planned.

Traffic signal improvements are lined up for junctions in Springburn, King George V Bridge and along bus corridors in the city centre.

A Glasgow City Region Transport Transition Plan Group was formed in May and is co-chaired by Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland.

It brings together eight local authorities, Transport Scotland and the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) to plan a response to the challenges caused by Covid-19.

Glasgow’s council, on behalf of the group, applied for money from the £10m Bus Priority Rapid Deployment Fund – announced by transport secretary Michael Matheson in July.

The Glasgow City Region group secured around £1.8m, with just over £1m allocated to Glasgow City Council.

Projects outwith Glasgow, which will benefit from the fund, include pop-up bus lanes in Clarkston, Renfrew, Giffnock and Clydebank.

Story by local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands

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