Stuart McMillan MSP has welcomed Scottish Government proposals to invest over £500 million in improved bus priority infrastructure to tackle the impacts of congestion on bus services and raise bus usage.
This commitment is just one element of the Scottish Green Deal, outlined in the 2019-2020 Programme for Government, and will help make bus services greener, more punctual and reliable so more people can make the choice to take the bus.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“This fund will enable local authorities, in partnership with bus companies, to introduce measures that will improve bus journey times – in turn reducing congestion, improving air quality and offering a better service to passengers.
“This could include providing more off street parking to reduce the number of parked vehicles on certain roads, or even widening some streets so buses can pass oncoming traffic more easily.
“The Scottish Government is also looking at plans to reallocate road space on parts of the motorway network around Glasgow to high‑occupancy vehicles such as buses. Given buses are often delayed due to rush hour congestion in and around Glasgow, I hope this will also improve the service for Inverclyde commuters, and may well encourage more of them to make the change to taking the bus.”
Chris Curley, SNP Council Environment and Regeneration Spokesperson said:
“This proposed funding by the Scottish Government would translate to over £7m in infrastructure to improve bus usage in Inverclyde, based on population.
“I think we can identify projects of this value, and more, that would significantly improve the reliability of bus travel in Inverclyde – which as we know is hampered by the substantial increase of cars on our roads in recent years despite a falling population.
“We need to break the cycle of more cars leading to less buses and this funding is a welcome change in emphasis in infrastructure funding, which in the longer-term, could lead to more buses and a better public transport network in Inverclyde.”
Ralph Roberts, Managing Director of McGills Buses, added:
“The number one priority for bus users is that the bus turns up on time, yet, road congestion is the cause for over 99% of buses that turn up late.
“Car use is at an all-time high, as is the resultant congestion and pollution from them. This Scottish Government commitment will make a difference in allowing buses to have a more consistent journey times. Bus is the solution to congestion and road pollution and this is the key to making bus networks reliable.”