• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Transport chiefs in vow after Games disruption

TRANSPORT chiefs have vowed that lessons will be learned from Glasgow 2014, as Scotland sets its sights on hosting other major sporting events.

WORK AHEAD: The clear-up operation begins at the SECC.
WORK AHEAD: The clear-up operation begins at the SECC.

While Games organisers have been largely praised for putting on a successful 11-day festival of sport, the transport infrastructure around Glasgow appeared to reach breaking point on occasions, with the Commonwealth Games causing the busiest ever period for the city.

Loading article content

Some spectators who had paid up to £10 for park and ride services missed the start of events as they waited hours for shuttle buses, leading to refunds being offered on a case by case basis to those affected.

There were also persistent complaints about train services in and out of Glasgow. Huge queues developed at Glasgow's Queen Street and Central stations, affecting commuters travelling to stations including Mount Florida, for Hampden Park events, or Edinburgh.

While officials insisted public transport had been one of the success stories of the games, Transport Scotland said that it would learn lessons for future events, including the Ryder Cup, which begins in Gleneagles next month.

Scotrail said the Commonwealth Games had caused the busiest period in the history of Scotland's railways.

Its trains travelled a total of 1.4 million miles during the Games, taking 1.1 million people to 13 venues.

Timetables will return to normal this week.

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: "We used every carriage available to us, including extra trains hired from elsewhere in the UK, to ensure we were ready for the unprecedented demand.

"Wherever possible, we worked to minimise the impact on services elsewhere in Scotland but appreciate there was a knock-on effect for some of our regular customers on non-Games routes.

"Their support and understanding was vital in allowing us to play our part in helping to deliver a fantastic and successful Commonwealth Games."

The success of the Games has led to speculation that Scotland could welcome other major sporting events in the future, with a bid for the European Championships in 2024 mooted.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP and Conservative sport spokeswoman Liz Smith said it was vital that the experience of Glasgow 2014 was used to improve transport in future.

She said: "There were some issues with transport, and perhaps that can always be expected when a city hosts an event on this scale for the first time.

"However, no-one is going to cling onto those memories, and it will be remembered as a stunning success.

"Glasgow 2014 can be a catalyst for Scotland to hold other major sporting events, and if and when that comes lessons will have to be learned from some of the details surrounding transport and moving people from A to B."

Glasgow 2014 would not reveal yesterday how many applications for refunds had been received from those who had been let down by park and ride facilities.

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland praised the public for taking on board the travel advice given before and during the Games.

She added: "Thanks to more than £1 billion of additional investment in our transport infrastructure on the likes of the Subway modernisation programme, Airdrie-Bathgate rail link and M74 extension ... transport has played its part in the success of the Games over the past fortnight.

"This was underpinned via the delivery of the biggest train ­timetable that Scotland has ever seen in support of the Games.

"We continue to work with our partners to keep people moving and routes to the airport are busy as athletes and officials make their way home after a hugely successful and enjoyable games. Transport Scotland has a track record in delivering around large scale events and we take forward the lessons learned as always.

"This includes aspects such as park and ride, although this was not our direct responsibility, and we will take account of this in the final preparations for the Ryder Cup and other such events."

Additional Images: 
Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

252523