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Transforming Transport for Strathclyde

Written by SPT 23/03/2021

A vision to transform public transport in Strathclyde with fairer fares, ‘smart’ journeys, and a single buses brand has been unveiled by the chair and vice-chairs of SPT.

The discussion paper outlines a proposal to evolve SPT into ‘Transport for Strathclyde’, a more powerful authority in control of one network across the region.

It calls for a new parliamentary Bill to empower the body and a ‘public transport social contract’ with the public which guarantees access to work, health, education and recreation – ‘without breaking the bank or planet’.

The document will act as a ‘starting point’ for a discussion on how to transform public transport in Strathclyde.

‘Transport for Strathclyde: a new public transport network’ features five visions for public transport in the region: one network; a smart network; a green network; and affordable network; and a network of the future.


Specific ideas include:

  • Fairer fares: a clear fare arrangement which fits the needs of the region, and smart payment and pricing which would permit measures such as fare capping or pre-arranged ‘travel-to-work’ tariffs.
  • A ‘Smart Travel Pass’: an app or card for every citizen.
  • Strathclyde Buses: the creation of a new single Transport for Strathclyde service brand.
  • Smart passenger-responsive journeys: with a personalised ‘journey plan’ on an app so that passengers will know when a bus is coming and the driver will know if they need some help.
  • Real time network management: with better understanding of live travel needs a ‘smart network’ could adjust traffic lights and traffic management.
  • A ‘personal carbon emissions statement to passengers take action to reduce how their transport choices impact the environment.


To deliver the vision in the paper, the chair and vice-chairs propose a fresh approach with an ‘empowered, accountable and resourced Transport for Strathclyde transport authority’.

The document states that detailed financial modelling will be required and the necessary mechanisms and options must be developed to provide Transport for Strathclyde with the resources required.

It explores the systems used in other regions, such as London, Vienna and Tallin, where public transport has been transformed.


Chair of SPT Councillor Dr Martin Bartos said:

“This vision includes the features of a healthy public transport network and presents a fitness plan to address our own regional transport challenges.

“Transformative change for the better is achievable and must be delivered, not least for the sake of our future on this planet.

“Above all, this paper is about generating the policy discussion needed to get the collective agreement to start to transform our public transport system in Strathclyde for the better.

“I hope the public will join us in driving forward transformative change in public transport for Strathclyde.”


Vice-chair of SPT Councillor Alan Moir said:

“At the heart of this paper is a desire to create a better, more accessible public transport system.

“By improving public transport, we can improve quality of life in our towns and cities, and across our island and rural communities.

“Bus services are a lifeline for many – providing access to work, education and health services. But those most likely to depend on public transport are least well served at present.

“The Strathclyde public transport network must be transformed so that it truly works for every member of the public.”


Vice-chair of SPT Councillor David Wilson said:

“More and better public transport stimulates economic activity, which in turn can offset the overall burden on the public purse.

“Most importantly, it provides the public with the opportunity to get to work, shop, see friends and be more active.

“But in Strathclyde we know that other regions and other countries do this better than us.

“We need to explore realistic options for the future of public transport in Strathclyde and find a solution where everyone is a winner.”


View the Transport for Strathclyde report in full

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