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James

Fastlink - Plan for trams in Glasgow is backed

Plan for trams in Glasgow is backed (Evening Times)



Campiagners for better public transport have backed recommendations to bring
trams back to Glasgow.


TramForward, the campaign arm of the Light Rail Transit Association which
pushes for light rail, tramway and metro systems, has welcomed suggestions
which include trams linking the city’s train stations for both passengers and
freight.

The ideas were published in last month’s Glasgow City Council-backed
Sustainable Glasgow, which explains how the city aims to become one of
Europe’s most sustainable.

Although Tram-Forward described the report as “extremely ambitious”, it
said it is “possibly a first attempt in this country to address the future development
of a city in terms of energy use and environment in a unified way”.

The tram system would cost £90million and the total cost of all the proposals
is £1.5bn. However, there are concerns that these costs could rocket, as they
recently did in Edinburgh.

But TramForward’s response insisted: “Experience has shown the compatibility
of trams with pedestrian areas. The report also suggests a lighter form of
construction could reduce costs and disruption during construction.

“The use of the tram system for freight delivery within the central area would
be a new departure, although the idea has been taken up in other European
cities.”

However, the Association also backed bringing in congestion charging for the
city, an idea which has been rejected by Glasgow City Council.

Councillors discussed the Sustainable Glasgow proposals last month and,
according to the group, two-thirds of Glasgow residents support congestion
charges, with almost one-half strongly in favour.

However, council leader Steven Purcell said he remained “unequivocally
opposed” to such measures.

The Scottish Government have also indicated they would be against any
such scheme.



James H
Doog Doog

The city centre is bad enough without the upheaval and chaos such a project would cause in its installation and thereafter.
cybers

Glasgow has obviously seen the upset and upheaval in the capital and thought yer lets have some of that... lets have a german company hold us to ransom every time the pound fluctuates and then close off most of our main thoroughfares .... hell we could even air our traffic cones without having to stick them on the motorway in rush hour...
Plan Approved !!!    
Stuball

They drew up elaborate plans years ago for a tram service running from Maryhill to Easterhouse through old tunnels etc... never happened and I doubt this will. It's just daft and pointless and I see little advantage to it
LowLight

I've still got a leaflet somehwere that shows the route etc of those proposed trams.

We were all told that our houses were getting pulled down to make way for the trams. Aye right.

Now Garthamlock is mostly a wasteland.
James

Stuball wrote:
They drew up elaborate plans years ago for a tram service running from Maryhill to Easterhouse through old tunnels etc... never happened and I doubt this will. It's just daft and pointless and I see little advantage to it


LowLight wrote:
I've still got a leaflet somehwere that shows the route etc of those proposed trams.

We were all told that our houses were getting pulled down to make way for the trams. Aye right.

Now Garthamlock is mostly a wasteland.

I posted the leaflet a while ago here: http://urbanglasgow.co.uk/about456.html



James H
LowLight

Excellent James. Thanks.
glasgowken

God not again. Can't they put this dead horse to rest  
James

Supertram plan to become reality in time for Games (Evening Times)





First Minister Alex Salmond has “promised” to deliver Glasgow’s long-awaited
trams-on-wheels project by 2014.


Willie O’Rourke, a Glasgow councillor and chair of Glasgow Clyde Regeneration
Ltd, told a Fastlink meeting that “personal assurances” had been provided by Mr
Salmond that the scheme would receive the required financial support. It is thought
the £40million project will be used to ferry spectators between the major Commonwealth
Games venues.

Mr O’Rourke said: “I believe we will receive good news from the Government and
in this financial year will be given the go-ahead for the project. No less a person than
the First Minister has promised that by 2014 Fastlink will be servicing the Commonwealth
Games.”

He added that Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson had said the initial phase of the
project would see it running from Dalmarnock, in the East End of Glasgow and the
epicentre of the Games, to the SECC. This would be extended later to the Southern
General Hospital, with Mr O’Rourke claiming Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has
been showing support for the project. Finance Secretary John Swinney has publicly
committed to contributing to Fastlink after cancelling the Glasgow Airport Rail Link.

Ironically, the main catalyst in Fastlink becoming a reality has been the scrapping of GARL.
Mr Swinney began talking up Fastlink as a viable replacement for GARL and, given
the ire stoked in the west of Scotland from its axing, it would be potentially politically
fatal for the SNP in the Glasgow area to go back on that promise. Political sources have
said that funding Fastlink would draw a line in the sand in the row between the
Government and Glasgow City Council.

A council source said: “A commitment to fund Fastlink would transform the relationship
between the council and the Scottish Government.”

The local authority and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport are now putting the final
details to the Fastlink business case which will be presented to the Government in
the coming weeks.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government will contribute funding
for Fastlink, a key Glasgow transport project linking the city centre, the SECC and the
new Southern General Hospital, in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“Ministers await sight of the final business case for Fastlink, and – once this has been
provided – will be in a position to discuss detailed funding issues.”

Overshadowed by plans to link the rail networks on either side of the Clyde, the long-held
desire for a rail link to Glasgow Airport and pipe dreams to have a Subway service in
the East of the city, the Fastlink scheme is now the last one standing. Originally envisaged
in the early part of the last decade as a tram network, on similar lines to metro systems
in Manchester and Dublin, ambitions were curtailed due to high costs by 2005. Then the
proposal became one for a “bus rapid transit” system – high-quality buses on dedicated routes.

At a fraction of the cost of the delayed Edinburgh tram scheme – which is likely to have a
final bill way over the agreed £545m and may not be operational until 2014 – the expectation
is that Fastlink can be delivered without the controversy presently engulfing work in
the capital.

The project’s future is in the hands of the Government, which is awaiting the business case
being submitted. But a source said: “Expect a favourable decision in the very near future.”



James H
Stuball

So there were 4 plans... in order of usefulness -

North-South network link
Airport link
Eastend Subway
Fastlink Scheme

And we're left with the most useless and pointless scheme, the fastlink from the city to the secc.
Fjord

Quote:
First Minister Alex Salmond has “promised” to deliver Glasgow’s long-awaited
trams-on-wheels project by 2014.


Do trams run on anything else... It's just a bendy bus, right?
Beano

Fjord wrote:
Quote:
First Minister Alex Salmond has “promised” to deliver Glasgow’s long-awaited
trams-on-wheels project by 2014.


Do trams run on anything else... It's just a bendy bus, right?
Correct...it's a Bus   no tram lines.
womble

Beano wrote:
Fjord wrote:
Quote:
First Minister Alex Salmond has “promised” to deliver Glasgow’s long-awaited
trams-on-wheels project by 2014.


Do trams run on anything else... It's just a bendy bus, right?
Correct...it's a Bus   no tram lines.


I concur its a glorified bendy bus and to think that this was front page news with a CITY CENTRE BILL but no mention of a house fire with conflicting reports of either no deaths or 3 deaths stuck on a side colomn on page 6 AND I WORK FOR THIS RAG sheesh (sorry for shouting but I need a rant)
cybers

Beano wrote:
Fjord wrote:
Quote:
First Minister Alex Salmond has “promised” to deliver Glasgow’s long-awaited
trams-on-wheels project by 2014.


Do trams run on anything else... It's just a bendy bus, right?
Correct...it's a Bus   no tram lines.


So in order to get rid of the bendy bus from scotlands roads mr salmond wants to implement more bendy buses and call them .... Trams...

Noo that's some fecking spin right there lads  
Mahdi West

Tram on wheels??? Otherwise known as a bus.  
fatweegee

Re: Plan for trams in Glasgow is backed

james73 wrote:
Plan for trams in Glasgow is backed (Evening Times)



Campiagners for better public transport have backed recommendations to bring
trams back to Glasgow.


TramForward, the campaign arm of the Light Rail Transit Association which
pushes for light rail, tramway and metro systems, has welcomed suggestions
which include trams linking the city’s train stations for both passengers and
freight.

The ideas were published in last month’s Glasgow City Council-backed
Sustainable Glasgow, which explains how the city aims to become one of
Europe’s most sustainable.

Although Tram-Forward described the report as “extremely ambitious”, it
said it is “possibly a first attempt in this country to address the future development
of a city in terms of energy use and environment in a unified way”.

The tram system would cost £90million and the total cost of all the proposals
is £1.5bn. However, there are concerns that these costs could rocket, as they
recently did in Edinburgh.

But TramForward’s response insisted: “Experience has shown the compatibility
of trams with pedestrian areas. The report also suggests a lighter form of
construction could reduce costs and disruption during construction.

“The use of the tram system for freight delivery within the central area would
be a new departure, although the idea has been taken up in other European
cities.”

However, the Association also backed bringing in congestion charging for the
city, an idea which has been rejected by Glasgow City Council.

Councillors discussed the Sustainable Glasgow proposals last month and,
according to the group, two-thirds of Glasgow residents support congestion
charges, with almost one-half strongly in favour.

However, council leader Steven Purcell said he remained “unequivocally
opposed” to such measures.

The Scottish Government have also indicated they would be against any
such scheme.



James H


Has anyone tried dealing with Transport Scotland or SPT as organisations? if so let me know how you got on. Thank you.
James

Question mark over third city transport link (© Evening Times)



A third major transport system for Glasgow has stalled.


In the wake of the failure of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link and Crossrail, plans
to run a high speed bus link to key sites north and south of the Clyde have
hit a major hurdle. Fastlink would run on bus only lanes and have priority over
other traffic. Transport bosses looked at three possible routes for the service
which it is hoped will be in place in times for the Commonwealth Games.

The first, costing £37million, would travel from the city centre to the SECC on
the North bank of the Clyde, cross the Clyde Arc and stop at the new South
Glasgow Hospital. The second option, which has been costed at £60m. would
continue from the SECC to the Riverside Museum on the north bank and to
Braehead south of the river. The final scheme, costing £183m, would stop at the
Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank on the north and Renfrew on the south.

A detailed examination of all three was carried out and Glasgow City Council and
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport decided the £60m scheme offered best
value for money. The Scottish Government, which has repeatedly said it backs
the Fastlink project, was asked to provide some of the cash. But, Ministers
revealed they are only willing to look at the cheapest option which stops at the
SECC and the new hospital.

A spokesman for Scottish Government transport body Transport Scotland,
said: “Ministers have made clear on a number of occasions that the Scottish
Government will contribute funding to Fastlink, improving bus services between
the city centre and the SECC, with obvious benefits for the 2014 Games, and
to the Southern General Hospital and this remains the case. Ministers have now
asked SPT to submit a plan which allows them to fully consider the timing and
level of contribution the Scottish Government will make to the scheme. We
remain firmly committed to Fastlink on this basis.”

But Glasgow council leader Gordon Matheson accused the Scottish Government
of intentionally delaying a decision on funding for Fastlink. He said: “Ministers
were queuing up to promise Fastlink to Glasgow when they scrapped the Airport
Rail Link but, many months later – just when work should be getting started - they
are still to actually tell us what they will put on the table. The outline business case
for the project has been with Transport Scotland since April and if they spin it
out for much longer it will be too late. This is exactly what they did in the months
before they cancelled GARL. Quite rightly, Glaswegians will be asking exactly why
this is being dragged out – and if Ministers’ have any intention of keeping their
promises.”

SPT chairman Jonathan Findlay agreed it is vital a deal be reached as soon as
possible if Fastlink is to be in place in time for the Commonwealth Games. He
said: “SPT’ has requested urgent clarification from the Scottish Government on
how much funding it plans to allocate to the Fastlink initiative. SPT, Glasgow City
Council, Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and NHS Greater
Glasgow have been working together for some time to develop this strategically
important, regional project serving both the north and south banks of the Clyde.
We have already submitted a strong business case to the Scottish Government
and our proposal highlights that a number of areas and sites to be served are
Commonwealth Games venues. However it will take a mighty effort to deliver this
for 2014 unless we get a clear direction on funding.”

West Dunbartonshire council leader Ronnie McColl said: “I am disappointed at
the news Fastlink will not be extended to include Clydebank and that our council
would need to secure the funding for any future extension. It seems to me to be
grossly unfair a council the size of Glasgow will receive government funding
but West Dunbartonshire will not.”

In September last year Finance Secretary John Swinney revealed he was to
scrap the Glasgow Airport Rail Link because of the cost but said he would provide
cash for Fastlink. He said at the time: “I have made it clear the Government will
support financially the Fastlink development which addresses the need for connections
and journeys across the city of Glasgow. It will be of particular assistance in
providing connections to the new Southern General Hospital and to the Commonwealth
Games developments.”

Two months later, deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government
will help fund the Fastlink project - a key local transport initiative which will bring
huge benefits to commuters.”


Hitting the buffers

The Glasgow Airport Rail link would have directly connected Central station
with Glasgow Airport. The £395 million project was cancelled in September
2009 due to lack of public funding.

The Crossrail scheme would have allowed rail passengers from Ayrshire and
the south to travel to Glasgow and on to Edinburgh without having to change
stations. The £130 million plan was shelved in December 2008.



James H
discominer

How much has been spent on this diddy link so far?
ChasR

If they don't go ahead at least we have got a free car park out of it.

Well free just now with cars being parked on the completed section between the casino and the Kingston bridge
brickwall

I see this costing bundles and then going tits up
cybers

Look to the mistakes of the east .... Plenty dosh spent no much done in the way of work and demands for more dosh to finish it ....

Bin the plan it aint gonna work !!! besides public transport is an outmoded plan ...
Stuball

While I originally thought this was a total waste of time and money, I'm starting to rethink it... since it's all we're going to be offered. The SECC has little to no transport links and can be murder to get to with only the train station. Also, the new riverside museum will be a fair walk from Partick interchange and some elderly and infirm people may be put off by the walk.

So for once, I find myself supporting one of the hairbrained proposals
bigdrew

Is this the resurrection of the plans submitted in the late 60's......REJECTED
Or the plans submitted in the 70's............REJECTED
Or the plans submitted in the 80's............REJECTED
Or the plans when we were City of Culture......REJECTED

Could it be therefore that as Edinburgh has decided to impliment such a scheme, and  that as Glaswegians 'cannot think for themselves'........a new idea to reduce traffic and create a Tram system....has appeared again....?
James

MSPs in fight to ensure Fastlink future (© Evening Times)



Two Glasgow MSPs have urged the Government to commit to funding the city’s
Fastlink bus scheme amid fears it is being delayed.


Maryhill Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson challenged Finance Secretary John Swinney
to fund the £60m plan and not a cheaper version. Green MSP Patrick Harvie
called on others to ensure Fastlink is not cancelled like the airport rail link.
Government ministers have said they are only looking to contribute towards
a cheaper version of the bus project and not the one city transport bosses
are proposing.

The cheaper £37m scheme will go from the city centre to the SECC north of the
Clyde and to the Southern General on the Southside. Strathclyde Partnership
for Transport and the City Council are looking to build the next option, costing
£60m which will extend to the new Riverside Museum and to Braehead in the
south. Ms Ferguson said she was “concerned that Fastlink has been kicked into
the long grass by Transport Scotland”.

Mr Swinney replied: “Ministers have made clear the Scottish Government will
contribute to funding Fastlink to the SECC and to the Southern General.”

Glasgow’s Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie has lodged a motion in
Parliament urging all MSPs to make a case for improved investment in the
city’s public transport. He said: “It is worrying that the Scottish Government is
stalling over Fastlink at this late stage. More serious still is the SNP’s decision
to back the most limited option for Fastlink if they do proceed.

An SPT spokeswoman said: “We have already submitted a strong business case
to the Scottish Government.”

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said: “Ministers have asked SPT to
submit a plan which allows them to fully consider the timing and level of contribution
the Scottish Government will make …We remain firmly committed to Fastlink
on this basis.”


James H
ECKYTHUMP

Im not a lover of this idea.but i have to agree theres little public transport modes to get to secc and now new transport museum,ironic isnt it you cant get to the transport museum! why couldnt the museum have been put nearer a train station or is that too sensible.i dont think it will be the super tramlike bendy bus either,it will be a first bus.
cybers

Warming to this Idea if for no other reason the link with the transport museum. but instead of letting a company like first loose with another unchecked route why dont they city invest in something like fully restored routemasters with eco conversions ...
Surely suit to purpose better and yi could ogle the clippie !!!
brickwall

I like the idea, but we simply don't have decent enough administrators to make it come in on budget.

The mistakes of Auld Reekie speaks volumes and volumes.
tombro

Why not let the people who run the Vintage Vehicles Trust provide a service ?

I'm sure lots of Glaswegians would  love the opportunity to travel on an old Corpy Bus, an old Alexander Bus or an old SMT Bus.

Charges for such a service could provide funding towards the Museum and the upkeep of the Vintage Vehicles !

Tombro    
ECKYTHUMP

Thats just edinburgh for you.GLASGOW DOESNT HAVE TO DIG UP STREETS ALL OVER PLACE!we have disused tunnels .city union line!and some lines can be converted to light rail!Edinburgh spent £2million per tram carraige.Blackpool is spending £1mill per carraige on its low floor tram.Glasgow could easily link up north /south of city creating hub at the cross and also linking up to subway.It will eventually have to be tackeled sooner rather than later.
cybers

Why should it even be considered though ? Blackpool has to maintain its tram fleet for the Tourist coin.. Edinburgh has now proved its not even a viable option and should have read the report into its own consultation of the Newcastle project which it dismissed out of hand and now with costs at £770m over £220m over budget and with plans to either scrap the project or run half service they wanted to run it has now got farcical.
Glasgow should hop skip and jump right onto that bandwagon its a brilliant idea....
ECKYTHUMP

yes Ediburghs was more a vanity project and not for locals .Blackpool on other hand were forced to put low floor by europe as the old trams couldnt take wheelchairs and in winter the old  double decks trams are taken off so the new one was solely for local use in mind.Glasgow on the other hand would be doing for the right reasons and the city demand for a metro system has never been greater.the areas around crossrail are at moment being built up so and connecting north & south having benefits for the city and beyond.remember most of the infrastructure is already in place unlike eburgh.
cybers

Whilst the infrastructure might be in place the cash is not ...
GARL cannot get cash but has been in the pipe for ages and i cant see any reason to dig a hole to shovel cash into ....
The days of public transport are long dead but for some reason the only people not to realise it are The Government but its coming to a halt soon as services are withdrawn because the subsidies are drying up.
ECKYTHUMP

I remember them building M8 saying it would bring millions into city and biz setting up around the m8 in east eand.we are still waiting.i dont see the new road being much different.
applemaca

ECKYTHUMP wrote:
I remember them building M8 saying it would bring millions into city and biz setting up around the m8 in east eand.we are still waiting.i dont see the new road being much different.


Was the M8 not built at the same time as the Scottish office were purposely driving down the population and intentionally discouraging business  from setting up in Glasgow?
Beano

applemaca wrote:
ECKYTHUMP wrote:
I remember them building M8 saying it would bring millions into city and biz setting up around the m8 in east eand.we are still waiting.i dont see the new road being much different.


Was the M8 not built at the same time as the Scottish office were purposely driving down the population and intentionally discouraging business  from setting up in Glasgow?
Since the days of the "Red Clydeside" a plan by the Scottish Office and the Tory government  started a secret agenda to depopulate and disperse Glasgow's people and industry. Glasgow at that time was perceived as a nest of working class militants and still is today. The fact that the Scottish Government sits in Edinburgh and not Scotlands biggest city proves this. In the future Edinburgh's airport will expand taking further business and  commerce away from Glasgow.
James

Green light for £40m Fastlink (© Evening Times)



Glasgow’s Fastlink transport scheme has finally been given the green light from
the Scottish Government.


Today it has been confirmed that £40m will be allocated to the project, which
runs from the city centre to key venues along the banks of the River Clyde.
Government ministers had said for the last two years they would make a contribution,
but were awaiting the final business case from SPT before an official decision was
made.

Last month the Evening Times showed details of the final route proposed by SPT,
which will include both the major rail stations and bus station in the city centre
and out to the SECC on the north bank of the Clyde and across the ‘squinty bridge’
to the new Southern General Hospital on the south. Plans remain for an extension
to the Riverside Museum and to Braehead, and discussions are being held with
Renfrewshire Council, but SPT would have to find the cash, estimated at another
£20m, for that to go ahead at a later date.

Deputy First Minister and Cities Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, revealed the cash today.
She said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm the Scottish Government’s £40
million funding contribution for this vital Glasgow project. Fastlink will make a
real difference to the quality of public transport links in the area as well as
provide real economic development opportunities for the many communities
along the route. It will also provide much better access to the healthcare services
at the new South Glasgow Hospital Campus site, and provide another vital
transport option for the Commonwealth Games. Having received the final business
case from SPT and subject to continued reassurance on SPT’s work as it develops
during the detailed planning and design of the project, our contribution gives the
green light to this important public transport initiative.”

The final business case specified the route from Buchanan Bus Station to Queen
Street Station and Central Station, along the Boomielaw to the SECC, branching
off and going over the Clyde Arc ‘Squinty bridge’ and on to the hospital. It is
hoped the new dedicated busway will make jobs and services at the hospital and
along the route more accessible.

Where possible there will be a specific new lane, but where it is on the road the
bus lane will be for Fastlink buses only with vehicle registration cameras catching
others who ignore the rules.

In 2009, Finance Secretary, John Swinney first said the Scottish Government
would make a contribution to Fastlink, to improve transport infrastructure in
Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. He made the commitment during his
budget speech that year, when he scrapped the Glasgow Airport Rail Link. When
the Fastlink plan was first suggested, the Scottish Government said they would not
be giving any cash to the scheme. This would have meant West Dunbartonshire,
Renfrewshire and SPT would have had to foot the entire bill. It was only when
Swinney scrapped the Airport Rail Link in 2009 that it was decided the government
would contribute to Fastlink.

The transport link cuts right through the constituency of Nicola Sturgeon, who has
been a vocal supporter of the project. Before the election, she promised to pay
for the entire first phase if the SNP were still in power. First Minister Alex Salmond
was also reported to have privately given one Glasgow councillor “personal
assurances” that Holyrood would hand over cash to pay for the first phase.

Previous estimates have suggested completing the entire Fastlink project would
take up to four years. Is is hoped that the first phase will completed before the
2014 Commonwealth Games.

In total, Fastlink has been priced at a total of £110m. Originally, it was planned
to use 25 flexibuses, which were described as “trams on wheels” and could
each carry 140 passengers.



James H
BTJustice

How old is that picture? The squigly bridge looks nothing like that.
ECKYTHUMP

Awful.its not even a bendybus now.slap in face to city who puts more into Scots economy than any city.at least it should be a modern t bus.why cant it be paid for the same way buchanan galleries expansion.come on Glasgow fight back we need this to be tram or modern t bus.Crossrail is a must for our city and and beyond.
cybers

Tram yi say .... are you mad    though to be fair where its planned would be a great idea as its not on any of the main routes through the city so disruption could be minimised unlike those clowns in Edinburghs effort.

They should just stick a few Loddekkers on the route save the cash and give the country something different in the way of transport.
(Converted to battery or leccy power to keep the tree huggers happy as a concession)
stan63

cybers wrote:
They should just stick a few Loddekkers on the route save the cash and give the country something different in the way of transport.
(Converted to battery or leccy power to keep the tree huggers happy as a concession)


Whatever happened to the buses that ran on gas? I remember then running on the airport route for a while. I think their only emissions were water.

Stan
James

Games blow for fastlink (© Evening Times)



Glasgow's planned Fastlink transport system will not be completed in time
for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.


The scheme, which has always been claimed will be ready for the sporting
contest, will be only part completed by the time thousands of athletes, officials
and spectators arrive in the city. Instead, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
(SPT) and Glasgow City Council, who are jointly delivering the project, say they
are working towards a completion date of 2015. The scheme is intended to have
specially designed buses using segregated roadways beside the River Clyde from
the city centre to the Southern General Hospital.

Some segregated roadways may be ready for use in 2014, but sources stressed
what will be available for use that year will not be Fastlink. The new Fastlink buses
will also not be on the road in time for the Games. When Scottish Finance Secretary
John Swinney cancelled the Glasgow Airport Rail Link in 2009, he said the Scottish
Government would contribute to Fastlink for the Games. It took another two years
before the Scottish Government stated how much cash it would give after warnings
that unless work started it would not be ready for 2014. Last year it was finally
confirmed the Government would meet the £40m cost of the first stage to the SECC
and the new Southern General Hospital.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said then that Fastlink would be a "key
component of the Commonwealth Games transport system". Although some of
the roadways alongside the Clyde have been taking shape for years, the project
is still officially at the design stage. While work on the Games venues is progressing
at pace it is not known exactly when key elements of Fastlink will be in place. SPT
said some infrastructure would be in place but the full completion date is 2015.

With two years and two weeks to go before the Games start, and previous estimates
of 2½-3 years to build, it is not certain what will be ready and able to be used for
the Games. SPT said the project was still being worked on and no delivery milestones
had been confirmed, so it could not say what would be available for the public
in time for 2014.

A spokesman said: "There is no need for SPT to comment further at this time." On
SPT's website it states: "Fastlink will be in place to deliver passenger to the SECC
or the
Commonwealth Games in 2014 and ready to serve the new Southern General when
it opens in 2015." Council sources said as soon as the funding was announced
they were working towards an overall completion date of 2015. They said what would
be delivered would be consistent with what was in the business case that was
accepted and approved by Transport Scotland and there had been no slippage
since then. But it is understood there will not be an official Fastlink service and what
will be available in 2015 is expected to be significantly better than what will be
available during the Games.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "The final business case that was
prepared for Transport Scotland established that, subject to confirmation of funding
by September 2011, priority infrastructure would be in place by the start of 2014
and that further works would take place after the Games, with the actual Fastlink
service available to customers in 2015. Some of the priority infrastructure, such
as dedicated road space, will be used to support transport operations during the
Games."

A spokesman for Transport Scotland said: "Our investment of up to £40m to
deliver the core Fastlink project will see the necessary infrastructure in place in
time for the 2014 Games, bringing major benefits to visitors and local users." He
added: "The connection to the Southern General Hospital will be completed by
2015, in time for the opening of the new hospital. This has always been the intention
and is entirely consistent with previous commitments."

The final completed project will run from a Fastlink bus stance at Union Street, along
the Broomielaw to the SECC and Hydro Arena. It will also link with Buchanan Bus
Station and Queen Street and Central railway stations. It will cross the Clyde Arc
Bridge and travel along the south bank to the Southern General. Fastlink buses will
be given priority on the routes to make public transport quicker and more attractive
to passengers. A commitment to take it further to Braehead, on the south bank of
the River Clyde, has been agreed with Renfrewshire Council, but no firm plans have
been drawn up.

Business leaders have been under the assumption that the phase to the SECC will
be complete by 2014. Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of
Commerce, said "We have been assured the part to the SECC will be delivered
before the 2014 Games."



James H
James

£40m Fastlink plan slammed by concerned city residents (© Evening Times)



Glasgow's £40million Fastlink project has hit its first opposition.


The dedicated bus route from the city centre to the Southern General hospital has broad
political support. However, the Govan Tenants' and Residents' Association has protested
against the scheme – arguing it will hurt business in their neighbourhood. The association
has called for the new route – funded by the SNP Scottish Government and backed by the
Labour-controlled city council and SPT – to be switched north of the river to the Expressway.
Right now it is planned to go straight through Govan's historic centre.

Association Secretary Greg Hine said: "The Expressway is physically and structurally more
suitable to carrying high volumes of traffic than Govan Road. The project could impact on
local businesses if customers are no longer able to set-down/pick-up or park for any period
of time due to local restrictions."

The association is also worried about "fast" buses causing safety concerns – although the vehicles
will not be travelling any more quickly than normal buses. Mr Hine and his colleagues have no
power to object to the scheme, which already has approval. But they could in theory try to block
any traffic orders required for it to go-ahead. This, however, would have to be done on the
basis of technical problems rather than broad concerns about the route.

The Fastlink will use specially designed buses on a segregated bus corridor – the buses
travel at normal speeds but don't have the kind of delays caused by traffic lights and
junctions. Council officials deny the route is designed as a simple "quick" link between the
Southern General and the city and insist that it is, in fact, designed to serve Govan too.

After hearing the residents' associations plan to reroute the Fastlink north of the river, an insider
said: "Nobody could get on and off the bus on the Expressway. This isn't a high-speed shuttle,
this is a service for the entire length of the route."

Mr Hine, a management consultant, said he believed the scheme was Glasgow's answer to
Edinburgh's trams. He said: "The South Side part of the Fastlink project is an unsafe, unwarranted
development that provides poor value for money, no positive benefits for the local area and
serious safety concerns for the people of Govan."

But council bosses believe Govan would be one of the big winners from the Fastlink scheme.
A business case prepared for Fastlink shows Govan as one of the "best-performing" parts of
the project.

A council spokesman said: "Fastlink is not a shuttle service to the new hospital. It is intended
to offer high-quality, affordable public transport and a credible alternative to the car."



James H
Stuball

I can see the point made by Govan but I also know how desperately the Southern General needs a proper transport link... it's a miserable place to get to if you don't drive
Catnip

Was chatting to a 4th year medic at work the other day, he was saying the new Glasgow South hospital is gonna have a catchment area up to Loch Lomond. Can you imagine having to get rushed from up there to Govan? Gonna be grim.
James

Angry traders fear Fastlink plans could impact on business (© Evening Times)



FURIOUS traders fear plans to extend the Fastlink project could impact on their trade.


The £3.14 million plans would see 180 buses per hour pass through Union Street, with Argyle Street,
Jamaica Street, Midland Street, Oswald Street and Howard Street all affected by major roadworks.
While the development, which is expected to be completed by 2017, is intended to reduce journey times
through the city centre, the potential upheaval is leaving shop owners concerned.

Pasha Ali, owner of Starchaser on Union Street, said he only received a small leaflet to inform him of
the upcoming work. The 39-year-old, said: "It's pretty bad, because people won't be able to stop by
as easily. The council have not explained anything to us. It will definitely affect my business."

Across the road in Timpsons, Area Development Manager Alan Madden said that his clientele of city
workers may find accessing the shop difficult, forcing them towards other branches. He said: "Any
type of work is going to cause disruption. Office workers use this branch, so it could affect us mid-week.
If it isn't clear between here and the station it could have an impact."

Rubadub on Howard Street is another store potentially facing upheaval. Manager Daniel Lurinsky, 36,
said: "We're struggling enough as it is, this street is quite neglected. There's been quite a bit of competition
for us lately so it will definitely be detrimental. We don't have a back door, so we have to bring everything
in the front door. If there's a bus lane I don't know how we're going stuff in. We've not heard a thing about it."

According to plans, Union street will be completely changed with "state of the art passenger facilities,"
widened footpaths and upgraded street lighting. Glasgow City Council's Executive Member for Transport,
Environment and Sustainability, Councillor Elaine McDougall said: "This is a tremendously exciting time for
the city.

"We have delivered some significant and innovative new infrastructure and it's clear the new routes available
to Fastlink buses have heavy demand. A huge programme of work is planned for the city centre, involving
improved public realm, new traffic management, cycling infrastructure and surface water management."




James H
cybers

Hope Street and Union Street will be converted to Buses and Taxis only for their full length effectively banning the private car from the city with the stupid bus gate at NMP killing all travel west to east except on Clyde Street. Such a shame the reports neglected to mention this in all the news outlets.

Shortsighted planning means the installation of more bus gates/lanes including cameras with an eager council who are already fleecing utter fcuk out of people for turning left across bus lanes with their camera systems rubbing their hands thinking of the free money while the population stand idly by.

Extortion of the motorist is a damn sight easier than fixing the real problems.
James

Yeah. And not to mention that's one of the worst photoshops for a story like this I've ever seen.  


James H
cybers

James wrote:
Yeah. And not to mention that's one of the worst photoshops for a story like this I've ever seen.  


James H


I just assumed Norrie took it :P
James

Marblez

What is going to actually change ....  you'll still wait half an hour for a bus and then three will come along at once ......  

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