Calls for direct bus service to new hospital

Councillor Duncan Cumming
Councillor Duncan Cumming

A Bearsden councillor is calling for a dedicated bus service from Milngavie and Bearsden to the new South Glasgow Hospital Campus.

Independent councillor Duncan Cumming raised the issue at last Thursday’s East Dunbartonshire Council meeting.

Many local residents use two types of public transport to get to the hospital – a train and then a bus.

People also face significant charges to phone the Traveline Scotland as it costs ten pence per minute from a BT landline.

Councillor Cumming said: “There is also a free app, but this is only useful for those who have an ipad, notebook or android mobile phone.

“I think there should be a freephone number for people who can’t access the app or website.

“One lady spent 15 minutes on a call to Traveline Scotland so it cost her £1.50 and she didn’t even get a solution.

“There should also be a dedicated bus service to make it easier to people from Bearsden and Milngavie to get to the new hospital and I will push for this at every opportunity.

“We must ensure this issue stays on everyone’s radar until we get a workable solution.”

Chief executive of Traveline Scotland, John Elliot, said: “We also have a website and apps which are free.

“The call centre is part of a UK information system and that’s why there’s a premuim on the charge.

“Staff are available 24 hours a day seven days a week to answer calls.

“We have 3 million contacts a year and less than one per cent are on the phone. It would cost millions to replace the phone number.

“I accept that for a small minority of people this is a problem and as technology improves we could perhaps have a different system.”

An SPT spokesperson said: “NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) has the overall responsibility for transport links to the SGH and SPT has been assisting by encouraging commercial bus operators to serve the new hospital. To date this has been very successful and by August, there will be more than 80 buses per hour serving NSGH.

“With limited funding, NHSGGC could not provide a direct bus service from every area, some passengers have to change buses. Milngavie and Bearsden benefits from rail connections to Partick interchange which offers frequent onward bus connections to the new hospitals.

“Existing bus routes to the city centre also provide connections to frequent buses.”