Glasgow night services face uncertain future

The future of First Glasgow’s 11 weekend night services hung in the balance as we went to press in late July.

Citing a lack of demand, the company announced in early July that it intended to withdraw them at the end of the month, prompting an outcry by politicians, latenight workers and business owners, and an offer from McGill’s to replace some of the threatened routes.

Following a meeting with Glasgow City Council, the company agreed to keep running them for at least another three weeks until August 20 while politicians, public sector agencies and the hospitality industry reviewed late-night transport options in Scotland’s largest city.

First’s services link Glasgow city centre with Faifley (N2), Easterhouse (N2), Mountblow (N6), East Kilbride Calderwood (N6), Paisley town centre (N9), East Kilbride Greenhills (N18), Newton Mearns (N38), Pollok (N57), Drumchapel (N60), Cleland (N240) and Hamilton Hillhouse (N267). Between two and four outward journeys are offered on each route in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday.

They were reintroduced in June last year to help boost the night-time economy in the city as Covid restrictions were lifted. Despite significant efforts by the company to promote them, including offering free tickets last December, passenger numbers have remained low. It says they were operating regularly with as few as 14 passengers per hour, and were incurring significant losses. First highlighted its concerns on night bus service uptake through meetings with stakeholders and partner organisations in an attempt to secure promotional support.

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