GLASGOW’S busiest needle exchange should never have been opened in the city’s largest train station, according to an expert.

The exchange in Central Station has been closed after drug paraphernalia was found and a person overdosed.

It had been open since July 2016, at a branch of Boots in the concourse, and provided more than 40,000 clean sets of equipment to addicts.

But alcohol and drugs professor Dr Iain McPhee, who is based at the University of the West of Scotland, said the service should not have been based in such a public place, which is closely monitored by CCTV cameras and has a high police presence.

He said addicts throw away used needles in areas with a strong police presence as they are afraid of being arrested or discovered.

Dr McPhee said: “Drug users that are not yet known to drug services, the police, or even their families, live in constant fear of discovery.

“As we continue to create a barrier of fear for accessing clean, safe and manageable environments for taking drugs, we will continue to see unacceptably high death rates attributed to drug injecting."

The Scotrail Alliance has said it will reconsider the closure, after Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said she recognised “very real concerns” about the move.

A ScotRail spokesman previously said they were “constantly finding leftover kits” in toilets, and “could not stand by and allow this to continue”.

Glasgow’s health and social care partnership said the closure “goes against local, national and international evidence on the individual and community public health benefits”.