First Glasgow Managing Director Andrew Jarvis believes the city’s low emission zone implementation is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to change people’s habits and achieve modal shift onto public transport, but only if the right measures are actioned. 

He’s been encouraged by discussions around bus priority lanes within the LEZ but now hopes more will be action will be taken to restrict car movements and car parking in the city in order to help encourage more usage of public transport. 

“Priority measures are badly needed to further speed up journey times and make bus routes more attractive for people in the City,” he says. “The introduction of new technology on our buses such as Contactless payments and our mTicket app coupled with new Ticketer machines across all our vehicles means we have been able to speed up transaction times, reducing the dwell times at stops, which has been hugely helpful, but is only a start. 

“Our First Bus journey planner app allows people real-time data for all UK bus and train journeys, irrespective of operator, to plan their journeys in advance, so we are taking every step that we can through investments in technologies to reduce dwell times at bus stops. In partnership with SPT this data is also now available across hundreds of bus-stops in the City.

“These advances help us to address all of the issues under our control, but now we need help from politicians, the Scottish Government and the local authorities to help us tackle the single biggest factor affecting our services and running costs, which is journey time unreliability and at times, the slow average bus speeds. 

“Journey time unreliability is something, as an industry, that we have absolutely no control over, but it is an issue that has got progressively worse as car and van ownership and use continue to increase. 

“I believe the bus is the solution to this problem with one bus having the ability to remove 75 cars from our roads in and around the city, and a potential annual carbon saving of 67,200kg. 

“The city’s new Low Emission Zone) LEZ is the right direction to go in without question, but it must apply to other modes, particularly cars, as their use is the cause of 60% of all road transport greenhouse gas emissions. Especially, when you compare that to the under 5% figure caused by buses and coaches.

 “We have been at the forefront in delivering the LEZ measures so far, but I believe so much more could be achieved as the close partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government evolves to really deliver an effective LEZ the whole city can be proud of.”