Fastlink busway completion delayed to 2017

The five-mile project was originally supposed to be finished for last year's Commonwealth Games. Picture: Contributed
The five-mile project was originally supposed to be finished for last year's Commonwealth Games. Picture: Contributed
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Completion of the delayed Fastlink rapid busway between Glasgow city centre and the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital has been put back to 2017, project chiefs revealed today.

This follows objections to the original plans, including by taxi drivers.

The five-mile project was originally supposed to be finished for last year’s Commonwealth Games, and then in time for the opening of the hospital in Govan in June.

However, a construction contract for almost the last mile of the route was not completed until the following month, and work in the city centre never got underway.

Bus operators then temporarily stopped using the partially-segregated bus lanes in a dispute over hold-ups along the route to Scotland’s biggest hospital.

The link, along the north bank of the Clyde, west from the city centre, then across the Clyde Arc (“Squinty Bridge”), and along Govan Road past the Glasgow Science Centre, was finally officially opened today.

The city centre roads upgrade for Fastlink forms part of £3.14m worth of work also announced today by transport minister Derek Mackay.

He said: “I look forward to the full benefits of the scheme being realised when the city centre elements of Fastlink are delivered in 2017, bringing additional benefits to passengers along the way.”

Work will include on Argyle Street, Jamaica Street, Midland Street, Oswald Street, and Howard Street.

The Union Street/Argyle Street junction will also be simplified.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and Glasgow City Council, which are in charge of the Fastlink, said: “Consultation on the next stage of Fastlink, including planning and design, will begin in January, with works expected to be completed by 2017.”

So far, Fastlink has cut journey times by 15 per cent and is due to reach its 20 per cent target when the work is finished.

A city council spokesman said: “The proposals have been substantially modified after taking into account feedback, and to complement wider proposals for the area which will come through the City Deal work we’ll be carrying out in the city centre.”