On the buses . . .

A REVAMP of Glasgow’s bus network could be in place as early as May.

The city’s largest bus operator, First Glasgow, this week revealed plans to “improve and simplify its bus network”.

The changes should see increased services, more wifi provision and simpler routes.

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Managing director of First Glasgow Ronnie Park said: “Glasgow has changed considerably since the current network was introduced in the 1990s.

“A new network is required which better matches the travelling needs of the city, especially as we approach the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“Further investment in the network is planned, including the introduction of a number of new buses later in the year, as we look to increase passenger numbers and grow our business.”

A public consultation on the proposal of the new “simplicity” network will run until March 1, prior to First submitting plans to the traffic commissioner.

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Councillor Norman MacLeod, SNP member for the Pollokshields ward, has criticised the nature of the changes.

He told The Extra: “The greatest concern is over confusion for bus users. The consultation period is laughably short — only 12 days.

“With so little time to get used to the alterations there may be people travelling on the wrong services, or missing their buses because of timetable changes.

“I would encourage all bus users in the area to look very closely at their new timetables and be ready for the changes when they come.”

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However Pollokshields councillor David Meikle “welcomes any measure to improve frequency and routes but also simplify to make easier for customers.”

He continued: “Some of the proposed changes include services which cover Shawlands and other parts of the southside.

“I will be looking at the plans closely. Of course I appreciate First is a private company but I trust it will listen to councillors and local residents if we have concerns about the changes.”

Langside councillor Archie Graham added: “Making the service easier to understand and the expansion of the availability of wifi are particularly welcome.

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“We would encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation, particularly if there are any concerns on proposed alterations to bus timetables. We look forward to discussing the various issues further with First Bus, once the consultation period has ended.”

Among the changes, the numbers four, five and six buses will provide journeys every few minutes between Battlefield, Victoria Road and the city centre during the day.

Buses will also run up to every five minutes between Muirend and city centre during daytime.

Members of the public can view and comment upon First Glasgow’s plans by visiting www.firstgroup.com/glasgow.

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