Deputy First Minister opens revamped Subway station

Nicola Sturgeon and George Redmond

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport today (Monday, 17th September) unveiled the first revamped station in its £288million Subway modernisation programme, as Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opened the flagship Hillhead station.

Ms Sturgeon was joined by SPT Chairman, George Redmond, Chief Executive Gordon Maclennan and others at the West End Station, which has undergone over £2million of upgrades during the last 14 months.

Key improvements at Hillhead are:

  • The installation of two new escalators;
  • The relocation of the ticket office and the creation of retail space;
  • New way finding, information and signage for passengers;
  • Enhancements including hearing loops, tactile maps, tactile paving and colour contrast flooring;
  • Brighter, more welcoming energy-efficient lighting;
  • Installation of a major public artwork by renowned artist Alasdair Gray.

SPT is well on the way to making significant savings through the reduction in operation and maintenance costs delivered by a ground-breaking agreement with unions and staff this year.

SPT Chair George Redmond said:

“I am delighted that the Deputy First Minister could join us today to celebrate this landmark in our modernisation programme.

“The Subway is a part of the fabric of Glasgow life, and is close to the heart of commuters.

“The opening of Hillhead makes our vision for a 21st century Subway network – which is equipped to meet the needs of a rising number of passengers – a reality.

“As the modernisation programme continues, we will ensure that all stations across the network meet the standards set at Hillhead, enhancing the environment and creating stations that are bright and welcoming and ready to serve commuters, locals and visitors to Glasgow for generations to come.”

This is a first step in making the subway an icon of Scottish transport fit for the 21st century – new trains, refurbished stations, better access and more effective signalling.”

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Inspecting the improvements at Hillhead Station this morning, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Backed by £246 million in capital funding from the Scottish Government, the modernisation of Glasgow’s subway is taking shape. The Clockwork Orange has been ticking along for almost 116 years and the time is right to breathe new life into the system. Improving the subway is just part of our plans to revitalise Glasgow’s transport infrastructure ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

“This is a first step in making the subway an icon of Scottish transport fit for the 21st century – new trains, refurbished stations, better access and more effective signalling. The programme is a key strand of our Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) which details plans across Scotland for up to £60 billion of spending right up until 2030. The pipeline of investments in the IIP will help improve connections within Glasgow and enhance links between Glasgow and Scotland’s other cities.

“The success of our cities is central to the wider economic success of Scotland. Alongside this investment, the new M74 and M80 motorways, improvements to rail infrastructure in and out of Glasgow, our £40 million commitment to the ‘Fastlink’ scheme, this is a true statement of intent in terms of driving forward sustainable economic development.”

Jim Gibson, of principal contractor Clancy Docwra, said:

“Clancy Docwra is delighted to have delivered this landmark modernisation work.

“This was a challenging project as all the works had to be carried out in a busy Subway station. It would have been impossible to deliver this without working closely with the SPT delivery team, the architects and especially the staff at the station, who ensured passenger disruption was kept to a minimum as the station was transformed.”

John Kinsley, associate director at architects firm Aedas, which worked on the Hillhead modernisation, said:

“Aedas is delighted to have helped deliver SPT’s vision at Hillhead. As the first station to be completed in the Subway Modernisation Programme, our design of Hillhead station sought to create an easier and more enjoyable experience for station users. It has been a pleasure to see the positive feedback from SPT’s customers.”

SPT has pledged to keep the Subway operating throughout all refurbishment works and the majority of modernisation works should be complete by 2020.

Partick (lower) station refurbishment starts in two weeks time. Kelvinhall and Ibrox subway station upgrades are next on the list with works to start next year. All three will be ready by the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Detailed designs for Govan, St Enoch and Buchanan Street stations are also under way.

SPT has already committed in excess of £5million to replace all 28 escalators on the network with more reliable, energy efficient versions. That programme of works is under way at St Enoch and Buchanan St.

SPT is also currently undertaking tunnel improvement works and there are four world-class consortia tendering for the provision of new subway train rolling stock and signalling.

A new subway next generation smartcard ticketing system is also being developed and will be delivered in 2013.