Glasgow’s Subway stations have been closed more than 60 times in the space of two months as the underground service battles staff shortages.
West Street station has suffered the most upheaval, being shut 32 times since April 7, while Kinning Park was closed on 18 occasions, Kelvinhall, seven times, Ibrox, four times, and Cowcaddens once in the same period.
Glasgow Green councillors have now demanded a solution is found – pointing out people should be encouraged to take public transport to fight climate change.
Subway operator, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) said it hasn’t always had full numbers of workers to cover duties because of staff turnover and the pandemic. It confirmed a recruitment drive is underway.
Commenting on the problems, Green councillor Christy Mearns said: “It’s imperative that transport is significantly improved and made more accessible, in order to tackle inequality, improve opportunities, and lower climate emissions.
“It’s therefore extremely disappointing that many passengers are continuing to experience Subway closures at several stations across the city, on top of the service disruption caused by train driver disputes.
“Green Councillors have written to SPT to express our dissatisfaction with the Subway closures and we hope that the additional staff that are needed can be urgently recruited without any more delay.”
An SPT spokesperson said: “SPT has been coping with a number of operational issues recently which has meant we have not always had a full complement of staff to cover the entire Subway system. Staff availability has been adversely affected by a number of issues including staff turnover as well as the COVID pandemic. This does mean we have had to make sudden changes to keep the majority of the system running.
“SPT has been, and will be again, actively recruiting within Subway to help deal with the current staffing issues. A number of new staff are undergoing assessment at the moment. Once they are in place and with the next batch of successful applicants appointed, this will help with the current operational issues we have been experiencing.”
The spokesperson added: “While we do appreciate the frustrations sudden station closures cause passengers and apologise to all for the inconvenience, our staff continue to work very hard to deliver the best service possible for all those travelling.”
Seven Glasgow Green councillors and MSP Patrick Harvie have written to the new chair of SPT, Councillor Stephen Dornan, to raise the matter.
The Subway disruption in the city comes on top of reduced train services with Scotrail having to introduce a temporary timetable as drivers are declining overtime due to a dispute.
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