McGills and Stagecoach abandon ‘too slow’ Glasgow bus lanes

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McGills said it was withdrawing from the bus priority system to give the city council space to solve the problem
McGills said it was withdrawing from the bus priority system to give the city council space to solve the problem

Two major bus operators have stopped using the newly-built £40m Fastlink bus lanes in Glasgow because they are too slow.

The Scottish Herald reported that McGill’s Buses and Stagecoach had found that problems with traffic light timings were affecting journey times. Both operators have told drivers to avoid the lanes, which connect the city centre to the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on the south side.

Glasgow City Council is set to meet with the operators in a bid to resolve the issue.

The Fastlink project is led by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Glasgow City Council. It aims to provide high-frequency bus services between Buchanan Street Bus Station and the new hospital via Central and Queen Street Stations.

A spokeswoman for McGill’s Buses said: “There have been a few minor technical glitches with the traffic lights on the Fastlink infrastructure.

“This was causing confusion amongst staff and customers.

“We withdrew from the infrastructure to give Glasgow City Council the space to rectify the situation without the added pressure of coping with bus movements as well.”

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach added: “We are not currently using the new Fastlink route bus lanes due to problems with the traffic lights which mean that journey time improvements which can be achieved through the new bus lanes are not being realised.

“Positive investment in targeted bus priority measures can help improve traffic flow for all road users and we look forward to resuming use of the bus lane when these issues are resolved.”

Cllr Alistair Watson, the council’s executive member for sustainability and transport, said: “I am arranging a meeting with all parties involved so we can sort this out as soon as possible.

“We’re all in the business of getting more people to use public transport so if there are teething problems then we’ll resolve them round the table.”