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Paisley Bus Station? On the 850 Year Old Graveyard or the Statue of Queen Victoria?

George with Gary Kerr, Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP and Cllr Brian LawsonProposals for a bus station for Scotland’s largest town have been ridiculed as complete fantasy. Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), the agency responsible for the transport framework for the west of Scotland have produced a report to improve bus facilities in Paisley. Nine sites were looked at including the historic graveyard of Paisley Abbey celebrating its 850th Anniversary this year and Dunn Square a small area of gardens on a steep hill hosting a statue of Queen Victoria.

 

Speaking on the report, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

‘Some of the proposed sites are ludicrous, they don’t deserve any scrutiny or money to be wasted on them.

 

‘The idea that one of the most historic and scenic sites in the centre of the town – Paisley Abbey – is to be used as a bus station is nothing short of a joke.

 

‘Then there is the proposal to rip up the gardens on Dunn Square, sited on a steep hill, demolishing a statue of Queen Victoria to hold the buses.

 

‘Mean while there is the huge unused site behind the Arnotts store in Paisley, flat, next to shops and right next to Gilmour street station to create an integrated transport system for Paisley. This obviously seems to simple for SPT.

 

‘This report basically states that Paisley will not be getting a bus station. Just a revamp of bus stops.

 

‘Renfrewshire pays £3 million every year to SPT to ensure a robust transport network.

 

‘Paisley gets a one off £1.8 million revamp of bus stops. This is not value for money in anyone’s eyes. Where is the vision? Where is the determination to ensure the economic development of the town? New bus stops don’t cut it.’

 

 

Operators had to call taxis when buses broke down – Ewan Fergus Reporter – Evening Times

George Adam MSPTRANSPORT bosses have admitted that a failing bus fleet used to provide a lifeline to elderly and disabled people was so unreliable it had to use taxis.

Keith Brown, right, Jonathan Findlay and passengers Hilda McCartney and Jacqueline Thomson launch online booking

The Evening Times revealed on February 9 that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport agreed to pay £1.1million to replace the “extremely unreliable” bus fleet after just five years of service.

Now we can reveal bus firms that operated the MyBus scheme had to use taxis.

And although SPT said bus operators would have covered the cost of the taxis, Paisley MSP George Adam says he believes that, ultimately, the taxpayer will have footed the bill.

An SPT spokeswoman said: “Given that MyBus is a lifeline service for many vulnerable people, SPT’s conditions of contract state that in the event of a breakdown, the bus operator contracted to supply the service must provide a replacement vehicle.

“Taxis are used only in an emergency and when a replacement bus is unavailable. The cost is met by the operator, not SPT.

“SPT’s Partnership body recently approved the purchase of new replacement buses. These will only meet the growing demand for these services and will also help further reduce operating costs and provide more reliable vehicles.”

Mr Adam, however, said the fact taxis had to be used is a “concerning revelation”.

He said: “I pushed for better scrutiny of the Dial A Bus scheme, which became MyBus in a rebranding.

“I urged them to use taxis in the first instance, rather than the bus system because the taxis already have the infrastructure in place, call centres, management. But SPT set up its own system.

“MyBus seems to suffer from more of the same problems of Dial A Bus.

“I would be amazed if bus operators were handing cash over to taxi firms, their direct competition, without seeking to recover that from SPT and, ultimately, taxpayers.

“I would find that extremely strange. I think it would certainly come back to the taxpayer footing the bill. The bus companies would say to SPT ,’You provided the buses, they don’t work, you pay for the taxis’.

“I will be writing to SPT to express my concerns.”

SPT said it did not keep records of how many times bus operating companies had called taxis to replace broken down vehicles from the MyBus fleet.

The MyBus and MyBus Rural are bookable bus services for anyone aged over 80, or who has mobility difficulties, or who lives in rural areas.

As well as Glasgow, services run in Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Ayrshire and Dunbartonshire.

Bookings to be picked up are preferred at least a day before, but can be made up to two hours before journeys.

In March 2012 an online booking service was launched by Scots Transport Minister Keith Brown and then SPT chairman Jonathan Findlay.

TRANSPORT bosses have admitted that a failing bus fleet used to provide a lifeline to elderly and disabled people was so unreliable it had to use taxis.

The Evening Times revealed on February 9 that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport agreed to pay £1.1million to replace the “extremely unreliable” bus fleet after just five years of service.

Now we can reveal bus firms that operated the MyBus scheme had to use taxis.

And although SPT said bus operators would have covered the cost of the taxis, Paisley MSP George Adam says he believes that, ultimately, the taxpayer will have footed the bill.

An SPT spokeswoman said: “Given that MyBus is a lifeline service for many vulnerable people, SPT’s conditions of contract state that in the event of a breakdown, the bus operator contracted to supply the service must provide a replacement vehicle.

“Taxis are used only in an emergency and when a replacement bus is unavailable. The cost is met by the operator, not SPT.

“SPT’s Partnership body recently approved the purchase of new replacement buses. These will only meet the growing demand for these services and will also help further reduce operating costs and provide more reliable vehicles.”

Mr Adam, however, said the fact taxis had to be used is a “concerning revelation”.

He said: “I pushed for better scrutiny of the Dial A Bus scheme, which became MyBus in a rebranding.

“I urged them to use taxis in the first instance, rather than the bus system because the taxis already have the infrastructure in place, call centres, management. But SPT set up its own system.

“MyBus seems to suffer from more of the same problems of Dial A Bus.

“I would be amazed if bus operators were handing cash over to taxi firms, their direct competition, without seeking to recover that from SPT and, ultimately, taxpayers.

“I would find that extremely strange. I think it would certainly come back to the taxpayer footing the bill. The bus companies would say to SPT ,’You provided the buses, they don’t work, you pay for the taxis’.

“I will be writing to SPT to express my concerns.”

SPT said it did not keep records of how many times bus operating companies had called taxis to replace broken down vehicles from the MyBus fleet.

HOW MYBUS WORKS –

The MyBus and MyBus Rural are bookable bus services for anyone aged over 80, or who has mobility difficulties, or who lives in rural areas.

As well as Glasgow, services run in Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Ayrshire and Dunbartonshire.

Bookings to be picked up are preferred at least a day before, but can be made up to two hours before journeys.

In March 2012 an online booking service was launched by Scots Transport Minister Keith Brown and then SPT chairman Jonathan Findlay.

 

Full Story – http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/operators-had-to-call-taxis-when-buses-broke-down-116694n.20297379

George Asks for Free SPT Holiday Travel for Paisley’s Kids

CHILDREN IN PAISLEY SHOULD ENJOY SIMILAR BENEFITS

George at the driving seatPaisley MSP George Adam is urging Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to extend free summer travel for children on the Glasgow Subway so that kids from Paisley can also enjoy complementary travel.

Mr Adam is concerned that families from Paisley wishing to attend tourist attractions in Glasgow this summer, including the new Transport Museum, will not have the same advantage as their counterparts from Glasgow.

George Adam MSP said:

“I welcome the SPT announcement that children will travel for free on the Glasgow Subway this summer.

“Unfortunately families in my constituency will still be deterred due to the remaining cost of a rail ticket into the city and I strongly urge SPT to extend a similar scheme to Paisley where children can take advantage of a free travel card. How often does Paisley and Renfrewshire need to be ignored by SPT? There needs to be some balance and Renfrewshire as one of the “partners” needs to get the same offers as Glasgow. It appears our children are now being ignored by SPT.

“I will be writing to SPT to urge them to extend this scheme to Paisley. Free travel for kids on the Subway is a fantastic idea, but it makes sense to assist families in surrounding towns and villages to get there.

The SPT offer runs from 25 June to 21 August for up to two children under the age of 16 with every full fare paying adult.

More information about the SPT initiative can be found here