A GLASGOW nightclub owner has branded the city’s late-night public transport as “abysmal”.

Donald MacLeod, owner of The Garage on Sauchiehall Street, claims poor transport links are keeping revellers from coming into the city to enjoy themselves and spend money in Glasgow’s bars and nightclubs.

Glasgow City Council is currently working on delivering its strategy to bring three million overnight visits annually to Glasgow by 2023, but Mr MacLeod warns the night-time economy will only grow if improvements are made to late night public transport.

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“There’s no joined up thinking and there is no commitment from the big transport groups to help further the aims of the city and the businesses,” he said.

“We’d love to see a more vibrant night-time economy but we always seem to take one step forward and two steps back,” said Mr MacLeod. “Thinking back, you’d have hundreds of thousands coming into town at the weekend, you’re not getting anywhere near that at the moment, it’s too punitive.”

In response, both ScotRail and First Group said they were open to engaging with the council and relevant stakeholders to discuss services, from both a demand and public safety perspective.

The council has set up a night-time economy commission through the City Centre Strategy Board, which will host its first meeting this month. Meetings are scheduled throughout the year with a report due to be published by the end of 2018.

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “Our destination marketing team is actively engaged in the promotion of Glasgow’s night-time economy, working closely with Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland, as well as industry partners across the city’s food and drink, event, nightlife, retail, transport and education sectors to deliver Glasgow’s Tourism and Visitor Plan to 2023, which provides the framework for the continued growth of the city’s wider tourism economy.”

In spite of creating four Nitezone taxi ranks, which are monitored by CCTV and marshals, one issue facing revellers heading home is the length of queues, with people waiting up to one hour at ranks during peak periods.

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Inconvenience, rather than safety, is seen by many as the barrier to staying out later.

For those leaving pubs at closing time, the last trains to depart Glasgow’s major terminals leave after midnight, including the Glasgow-Edinburgh mainline, while nine night bus routes are operated by First Glasgow.

Mr MacLeod said the late-night trials of the subway was heartening and praised the introduction of night buses, though he argued that there should be 20 routes.

“To make people feel safe we need more people and they aren’t going to walk home,” he said. “Everything spins around the city centre and there aren’t enough spokes on the wheel.”