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Survey shows SPT ‘in tune’ with the public

SPT approves expansion proposal

The Chair of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport is delighted with the public reaction to SPT’s Subway extension proposals.

A survey carried out by the Glasgow Evening Times newspaper revealed that, of the 700 people who responded, 93 per cent said the Subway system should be extended.

And today (Friday), SPT members agreed to look in more detail at plans for an extension to the East of the city.

Councillor Alistair Watson of SPT said: “These survey results show that we are in tune with the needs of the public. The message is clear – we want what you want.

“This city needs a world-class Subway system. That’s what our passengers deserve. I realise an extension won’t come cheap and we still have lots of hurdles to overcome but, in my view, what the public wants, the public should get.

“This is a ringing endorsement from the people who would use the extended Subway.”

In 2005, SPT hired design consultants Atkins to produce a report on the future of the Subway. It was finalised last month and listed 10 options for SPT officers to consider. These options ranged from Subway closure to the extension of the current system.

The members have now agreed to support, in principal, the two priority options below:

1) Modernisation of the current Subway system from top to bottom.

This would include replacement of rolling stock, automatic controls, new interchange facilities, new Park and Ride provision, new ticketing systems and an improved maintenance system. The cost to do this is currently estimated at £270million.

2) Extending the Subway to the East End of Glasgow.

This proposal would create a new circular route to the East of Glasgow with new stations at St Mungo’s, Onslow, Duke Street, Celtic Park, Dalmarnock, Newhall and Gorbals. The new circle would link in with existing Subway stations at Bridge Street, St Enoch and Buchanan Street. The indicative cost for this option is £2.3billion.

SPT will now explore these options further.

Members also agreed that three other proposals could be considered at a later date although these are not viewed as priorities at this stage. They are:

1) Subway extension to Maryhill.

This would extend the Subway along the former railway line from Kelvinbridge to Maryhill.

2) A linked new Subway route from SECC to Maryhill.

This would involve a rail service along the former route form the SECC, via Kelvinbridge, to Maryhill.

3) An enhanced bus link to Paisley.

This would provide a new bus link from Paisley to the Subway at Govan and would, in part, link the proposed phase 2 of the Clyde Fastlink project with the Subway.

The rest of the proposals in the Atkins report have been ruled out. These included consideration of Subway closure with no replacement, replacing the system with an over-ground bus network or tram and the conversion of the Cathcart circle to light rail use.

Chief Executive of SPT, Ron Culley said: “We need to face the facts that the current system is fraying at the edges. The Subway has served Glasgow well for over a hundred years but we now need to invest further in the city’s infrastructure. These proposals contain bold visions. They would give Glasgow a 21st century transport system for a 21st century city. What we now need to do is work out how we can make that happen.”