PASSENGER numbers on the Glasgow Subway hit record levels last year, but still remain more 500,000 behind target.

A total of 12.95 million people used Scotland's only underground last year, with traffic peaking at 1.2 million during the period when the city hosted the Commonwealth Games.

However, the annual total is lagging behind a target of 13.5 million passengers set by the network's operator, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport.

The figures will be presented today at SPT's Operations Committee meeting.

Patronage of the Subway is up two per cent year-on-year, but experienced a massive 45.5 per cent surge in traffic in the four weeks to August 9 last year when it played a key role in transporting tourists and spectators around the city during the Games.

The boost appears to have offset a general decline in usage, with passenger figures for the rest of the year actually working out at a 1.1 per cent fall year-on-year.

A spokeswoman for SPT said: "It is encouraging to see so many people used the Subway during the past year - particularly during the Commonwealth Games. Investment in station improvements and the introduction of smartcard technology has contributed hugely to making the system a much more attractive form of travel."

Punctuality figures showed that 99.1 per cent of Subway services arrived within five minutes of their scheduled time, with the number of trains cancelled in 2014/15 down to 1.2 per cent - compared to 2.7 per cent the previous year.

Demand for Park & Ride services outside stations is also at its highest level on record with 242,056 commuters using the facility in 2014/15, up 12 per cent on the year before and 28 per cent over the last three years.

Meanwhile, the report also highlights a continued growth in the proportion of defective buses running on taxpayer-funded routes, which includes vehicles used for school runs.

The report reveals that inspectors examined 209 vehicles running on SPT subsidised bus routes in 2014/15, and only 58 were given a clean bill of health.

That means that 72 per cent of buses checked were found to have some sort of fault, up from 71 per cent the previous year and 55 per cent three years ago.

A total of 32 immediate prohibition notices were issued to operators following vehicle inspections last year, up from 17 the previous year.

However, there were no "S"-marked prohibitions last year - the most serious breach where a defect is the result of "a significant failure of the operator's maintenance system".

There were seven "S" notices issued in 2013/14.

Defects are reported to the Traffic Commissioner and taken into account when SPT tenders subsidised bus contracts.

A spokeswoman for SPT added: "Our priority remains keeping all of our services safe and continuing to engage with the bus industry to ensure all buses operating on our behalf meet the very stringent standards we set.

"In comparison to the number of buses operating in the SPT area these statistics are minor but do support the importance of checks and any issues rectified prior to the bus entering service."