FIRST Glasgow was criticised today for confusing passengers after failing to update timetables at bus stops in the biggest shake-up of the city’s bus network for more than a decade.
The Greens, which launched a “Better Buses” campaign last year to improve the service, condemned the launch of the new service as “haphazard”.
The changes, officially branded as “Simplicity” and introduced on Sunday, involve many routes being changed or re-numbered, some with more frequent buses and free wifi.
Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie said: “First has been planning this change for some time, and it’s simply not good enough to leave people wondering what’s going on.
“I saw a couple of updated sites and many that were still showing old information. There certainly appears to be a rather haphazard approach to updating the information.
“Electronic displays seemed to be all over the place. I’m told some of the data for the new timetables was loaded into them last Tuesday, and curiously some of the displays I saw on Saturday were stuck at Tuesday afternoon.
“The display boards are only of any use if people know they can be relied upon.”
Ironically, a damning Better Buses report last November into the state of the network, which carries 114 million passengers a year, described it as “shambolic”, with two in three passengers finding buses unreliable.
Confusion about the changes also reigned among passengers on social media site Twitter.
Jamie Smyth tweeted: “In what way is changing all the services that have been there for years making things simple?”
Kirsty Quail tweeted: “Really annoyed First Bus have changed busses in Glasgow again! So confusing.”
First Glasgow, which is owned by Aberdeen-based FirstGroup, admitted it was still updating timetables at bus stops
A spokeswoman said: “Glasgow and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport have been working closely together to update timetable information at bus stops.
“Plans were agreed some time ago to change the 10,000 bus stops across the network.
‘”Teams began working through the night from Thursday. To have started sooner would have confused customers.
“The vast majority of bus stops have now been updated with the remaining few scheduled to be completed by tomorrow.”
First Glasgow managing director Ronnie Park has said the changes were needed because the city had changed considerably since the current network was introduced in the 1990s.