Glasgow has its say on planned bus changes

PUBLIC opinion is split after city bus bosses announced the network's biggest revamp in more than a decade.

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Glasgow has its say on planned bus changes
Glasgow has its say on planned bus changes

At the start of the week First announced its plans to overhaul its bus network, in a move they have labelled "SimpliCITY".

The scheme will consolidate and simplify some routes, with others merging and being renumbered to run more frequently.

But the bus operator also admits the move will see a cutback of 1% to its overall network, and the axeing of a number of minor and duplicate routes.

The new First timetable in full

Bus user Alan Kilpatrick, 47, from Townhead, said: "If they're going to spend a lot of money on this, they need to get it right first time."

He also added that the firm needs to pay more attention to its website, which he claimed isn't user friendly, making timetables even harder to understand.

First passenger Marion Pearson, a legal secretary from Riddrie, said she is happy with the current service she uses to get to work, but other services could be revised.

The 65-year-old said: "There's only one bus an hour to the Forge, and that stops at around half past three, so, if you're working, that's pointless.

"I've no faith they're going to let people know the changes very well."

Student nurse Christine Freeburn, 25, uses First Bus to get to university and for getting her three-year-old daughter, Taylor, to childcare.

Christine, from Renfrew, said: "I have shifts all over the city, so I would only be concerned if the changes weren't made clear to me."

Fellow student Ashleigh Hendry doesn't think the revamp will make much difference, as she thinks services currently don't run on time and the timetables are not clearly advertised.

She said: "If they're cutting some services, it will be worse."

Meanwhile, Evening Times readers have used our website to comment on the changes.

Christopher Kernachan, from Drumoyne, said: "This is First Bus changing services for the worse I think.

"Poorer communities will lose out again."

William Bell, from Glasgow, said: "The problem in Glasgow is that, unlike in Edinburgh, there is no other company to take on First.

"We are stuck with First and they know that they can do what they want."

Stewart Douglas, from Bearsden, added: "I can only label this exercise as 'service cuts' no matter how they try to dress it up."

First Glasgow currently runs 80 different routes in and around the city, carrying around 114 million passengers a year.

First Glasgow managing director Ronnie Park said: "We've had lots of customer feedback.

"The bulk of correspondence we've received relates to questions about what we are planning for specific routes.

"I'm pleased that we will be able to confirm that in the vast majority of cases customers will benefit from a significantly improved service, with buses operating every 10 minutes or better."

First have launched a public consultation about the changes, which will end on Friday March 1, and say they will happy to reconsider any planned changes to allow Glasgow to have a "simple and understandable bus network."

l Tell us what question you would like to ask Ronnie Park, managing director of First Glasgow.

fiona.mckay@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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