Council leader Susan Aitken frustrated over lack of integrated transport ticket in Glasgow

Glasgow’s city leader has admitted she is frustrated with the lack of progress on delivering a “multimodal” public transport ticketing system across the region.

The statement was made during Thursday’s full council meeting when councillor Susan Aitken was questioned by Labour councillor Eva Murray if she agreed it was insulting that delegates to COP26 could receive free, integrated transport that the people of Glasgow cannot.

‘Source of frustration’

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Ms Aitken pointed out that the free transport was funded entirely by the UK Government and no costs were borne from the council or the Scottish Government.

She also said that it was a “source of frustration” to lag behind other cities in when it comes to integrated ticketing – which allows a person to transfer between different modes of transport with a single ticket.

Ms Aitken said: “Similar provisions have been made in previous COPs. COP26 was internationally designated a carbon neutral event with delegates encouraged to walk, cycle and use public transport where possible and making it free helps to minimise the impact on other services.

“COP26 was not the first time free transport was used in the city during an event – a similar system was operational during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“If councillor Murray’s question is about the historic lack of multimodal ticketing in Glasgow and across the city region then I agree with her, it is a source of frustration to lag behind other cities in the city region in that respect and such little progress has been made by SPT on delivering on this.

“It is my understanding that SNP members of the partnership board have pushed for updates on integrated ticketing and extended subway operating hours.”

Question for SPT

Council Murray then said that campaigners for a more accessible public transport system were underwhelmed by the powers of the Transport Act 2019.

She said: “What has changed to deliver integrated ticketing?”

Councillor Aitken responded: “As I indicated I think that is a question better posed to SPT as it is their organisation that has the responsibility and is tasked with these issues.

“I would certainly welcome councils to be more empowered to assist SPT to push them forward.

“I am very clear about what I would like to see happen in Glasgow and across our metropolitan region in terms of a much improved and modernised transport system.

“I’ve done everything in my power to deliver that and I hope we will have some news on the development of the Glasgow Metro proposal early in the New Year.”