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Next stage of Fastlink project takes shape

£3million investment to improve bus services and passenger facilities in city centre.

Plans to extend the Fastlink project within Glasgow city centre, to deliver further bus priority measures and improved passenger facilities have been agreed by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Glasgow City Council.

The £3.14 million package of works was announced by the Minister for Transport and Islands Derek MacKay at the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) UK conference being held in Glasgow.

Mr MacKay said:

“Any measure which makes public transport a more attractive option is to be commended and I welcome this opportunity to recognise the work completed on Fastlink to date as it moves into its next phase.

“This key project has come a long way and a great deal has been achieved, with even more to come.  I look forward to the full benefits of the scheme being realised when the city centre elements of Fastlink are delivered in 2017, bringing additional benefits to passengers along the way.”

This latest stage of the project will deliver further journey time savings for Fastlink services and most other bus services operating in the city centre.

The scope of works covers many key city centre streets including Union Street, Argyle Street, Jamaica Street, Midland Street, Oswald Street, and Howard Street.  It will see a simplification of the junction at Union Street and Argyle Street.

With more than 180 buses per hour and tens of thousands passengers per day, Union Street will be transformed with state of the art passengers facilities, real-time information and widened footpaths along with upgraded street lighting.

Consultation on the next stage of Fastlink, including planning and design will begin in January 2016 with works expected to be completed by 2017.

Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Transport, Environment and Sustainability, Bailie 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.

“The works associated with Fastlink have been challenging and we are delighted the route is open and in use with passengers benefitting from faster, quicker journey times.

“Our City Centre Transport Strategy commits the council to supporting the delivery of Fastlink and to delivering traffic management measures to facilitate the movement of all buses, including the Fastlink services, through the city centre.

“A huge programme of work is planned for the city centre, involving improved public realm, new traffic management, cycling infrastructure and surface water management.

“Discussions will continue with all major stakeholders, including SPT, in the delivery of any future measures.”

SPT Vice Chair Dennis McKenna said:

“Fastlink offers passengers in and around Glasgow a high-quality, attractive and affordable bus route. This latest stage announced today further enhances the city centre’s main bus corridors to reduce journey times and improve travel options for bus users.

“The further roll out of Fastlink in the city centre will see passengers benefitting from improved bus facilities and improved bus services able to take advantage of bus priority measures throughout the city centre.”

The initial development of the Fastlink project which is now running incorporates enhanced bus priority and passenger facilities over the 8km route from Glasgow city centre through Govan to the Queen Elizabeth University (QEU) Hospital.

As a result of this project, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is now considered to be the best hospital to get to in the UK using public transport. Journey times have been cut with passengers experiencing the trip on fast, frequent and high quality local bus services.