Transport in Glasgow: What Can Be Done?

Transport in Glasgow: What Can Be Done?

By Brooke Sharkey

One of the main issues surrounding climate change is transport. Whether this is in a car, bus or train, the effects of travelling in the city of Glasgow can contribute to terrible consequences for us and our planet. With emission levels rising, what can we do to tackle these effects?

One way people believe we can tackle the effects of transport is by switching to electric vehicles. Electric cars and buses are much better for the environment as they aren’t run off of petrol and diesel. Petrol and diesel release toxins into the atmosphere such as carbon and methane. These gases are known as greenhouse gases and contribute to the greenhouse effect.

By switching to electric cars and buses, these harmful gases cannot be released into our atmosphere. However, the technology isn’t 100% reliable nor accurate and there are very expensive to buy. As well as being expensive to buy, Scotland only have 2,558 charging points across the country. This may sound like a lot, but in comparison to the size of the country, we need more!

Transport Protest

On the 10th of November 2021, Get Glasgow moving held a protest in George Square. Get Glasgow Moving is a public transport campaign founded in 2015. We spoke to Miles Grant, a protester from New York but now lives in Glasgow, and asked him his views, thoughts and opinions on public transport and what can be done to better this aspect of our lives from the prices of buses, to the route that they take.

“How can companies make bus travel more affordable for people across Scotland?”

  •  “Bus companies right now such as stagecoach are private. This means that they can choose where they run, how much the fare is, and what time they come. We believe that buses should be under public control and buses should be free for people of all ages, not just under-22’s.”

“Going forward, what do you think the next big step is for Glasgow?”

  • We need to get trams back. Years ago, Glasgow had one of the best tram lines in the country of not the whole world.  Getting trams back would take cars off of the roads and I really believe that Glasgow would thrive having trams back, and I think that if they were free and reliable, people would take full advantage of that service.”

“How does the failure to take any action in regards to transport affect people’s daily lives?”

  • 50% of jobs interviews across Glasgow aren’t attended as people cannot afford public transport. This means the become trapped in a cycle and they cannot earn money because they can’t get to their interview, but they cant get to the interview because they have no money. This is why we need to take action, and we need to take action now.”

“Why do you think there are so many cars on the road now?”

  • People only drive as it is a necessity. They cannot rely on the bus service that we have now to take them where they need to be and on time. If the system was reliable, you would be crazy to get in your car!”

He also told us about the Transport Act of 2018. This act states that councils can make their own profits through buses. However, Miles claims that the current bus service isn’t even 

profitable as the machine we pay through costs money to run, as well as the ink and machine to print tickets. He also stated that buses stopping and collecting fares from each individual  increases congestion on roads. If everyone was able to travel on buses for free, the congestion would be reduced and journey times would be cut.

What is next for the city of Glasgow?

Overall, more needs to be done in order to limit the amount of cars on the road and to make public transport services such as buses,trains and trams more reliable and cheaper for people all over the country. We all can do more, but we need to work together!

Glasgow City Council recently announced plans for an extensive, and exciting, metro system. You can read more about that here.

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