I HAVE seen correspondence about Glasgow’s transport problems and I, too, have written on the topic, once about creating peripheral car parks with transport to and from the city by bus.

It is interesting to see that Professor David Begg raises this as one solution to Glasgow’s transport infrastructure (“Far fewer cars in the city centre are the answer for Glasgow, says report”, The Herald, November 30). But there are two other areas that ought to be explored.

Under Glasgow there is a labyrinth of unused former railway tunnels. Surely these could be surveyed with a view to extending the existing subway. Why not bring them back into use?

The other unused transport opportunity is the River Clyde. A small fleet of water buses of a design similar to those in Venice would be ideal. They have a low air draft to enable passage under Venice’s canals bridges. Such a design would work on the Clyde, enabling water buses to pass under the Millennium and Bells Bridges at the SEC Centre, the “squinty” bridge, and all of the others upriver.

Presumably the mooted bridge to connect Govan to the Riverside Museum could be designed similarly, remembering that it will have to give passage to the Waverley paddle steamer, so air draft may not be a problem with this one if it is an opening type of design.

Landing pontoons already exist at the Riverside Museum, the BBC, the hotel beside the SEC, the casino at the Broomielaw and at Jamaica Bridge. There is also a landing pontoon at Braehead and I am sure that others could be created up and down the river.

It may even be worth considering the re-establishment of navigation on the River Cart with a pontoon to service Glasgow Airport. Vessels such as the low-wash, high-speed catamarans used on the River Thames in London may be the ideal type and a non-stop service to the city centre may be quicker than bus, taxi or train with the added benefit that the Clyde is already there.

There will be no need for large infrastructure costs. I also remember when a dedicated pontoon was created in the Pacific Quay basin beside the Science Centre. It was installed promptly to allow seaplane flights, so installing new pontoons would be relatively quick and not massively expensive. There are also plenty of sites on the Clyde to create service yards to maintain such a fleet.

To underline Professor Begg’s views, providing a sound and efficient transport service that would also be economical to use (stories abound about the cost of rail and bus fares) and would reduce car use for commuting would surely bring many benefits.

Ian W Gray,

Low Cottage,


JOHN McCormick is correct in his assertion that lack of functional infrastructure plays a major part in train delays (“Why it’s network infrastructure, not ownership, that needs sorted out”, The Herald, November 30).

The increased use being made of our railways is a success story and the new electric trains being introduced across the central belt together with the proper inter-city standard of coaches between the seven cities (at long last) are to be welcomed.

More trains means more wear and tear on the tracks and more congestion. As well as signal failures and points failures, there are the delays suffered by passengers because of capacity problems. Passengers on the single-track routes from and to the likes of Milngavie and Inverness know this only too well, and passengers on the Borders Railway have joined this long suffering club.

There is broad agreement in the industry that single-track railways are a nightmare to operate and don’t really work when the number of trains is increased near to full capacity. It is up to the politicians to invest in double tracking these lines.

Poor judgment was exercised when the planned length of double track on the Borders Rail was reduced, and former first minister Alex Salmond’s promise in 2008 to cut the journey time between Edinburgh and Inverness to two hours 45 minutes by 2012 has not been fulfilled.

Indeed, some trains on that line will take significantly longer from this month’s new timetable because of the lack of capacity for the increased frequency promised, and now being delivered.

Meanwhile the Government’s climate-change agenda is being ignored with emissions from transport continuing to increase year on year. Where is the joined up thinking? Continued delays to train services push more passengers on to the roads.

As the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said in April 2016, “Single-track railways linking Inverness, Aberdeen and the Central Belt are unacceptable in the 21st century”. And don’t forget Milngavie.

R J Ardern,

Drumdevan Road,


RAIL has been in the news again with punctuality on Scotrail services the worst in 12 years while rail fares in 2019 will be rise by some three per cent. But everything is relative. People in Levenmouth might take consolation from the fact that, as the largest town in Scotland with no rail connection, we are less affected by such difficulties. The truth, of course, is that we suffer to a greater degree than every other equivalent town since we also need to travel to the cities.

It costs us more as, unlike many other so-called advanced countries, there is no smart ticketing available so we need to pay separately and more overall for, first, the bus and then the train fare.

Since bus services are also in decline and increasingly unreliable, we face additional challenges in catching a bus to connect to rail services without long gaps waiting in between. Many small towns and villages like us, even those in the central belt, endure similar inconvenience when dependent on public transport.

But when a major settlement such as Levenmouth remains so poorly connected, I reckon that’s a persistent failing on the part of government

Neil Stewart,

Omar Crescent,


IS anyone in authority actually watching what is happening at ScotRail ?

I noted that, at 10.40am on Sunday, there were 61 train cancellations, one due to an “emergency services incident” and the rest to “staff shortages”.

Over the past few weeks this has been a recurring problem and it would seem to me that the company is failing to meet its contractual commitments. Is anything being done about this ?

I would recommend that members of our government responsible for transport look at the Journey Check website, take heed and act.

G Braidwood Rodger,

6 Woodhouse Court,