finance

Glasgow Subway boss warns of cuts to services



The company behind Glasgow Subway has said a £4m funding package is not enough to prevent cuts to services.

Today it was revealed that an additional £4m of funding will be split between Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams to help them continue running services during the pandemic.

But a top executive has said that the money – received from Transport Scotland – is not enough to stave off cuts.

Martin Bartos, the chairman of Strathclude Partnership for Transport (SPT), which runs Glasgow Subway, said that the funding leaves the organisation facing a deficit. He claimed the deficit would mean “cuts to our capacity to support public transport”.

He described the package as “disappointing” when compared to funding provided to rail services.

Mr Bartos said: “The extension of emergency Subway support until the end of 2020 hopefully means we will be able to cover the current losses from Subway operations from July to the end of December.

“The funding package is disappointing when contrasted with the speed of the hundreds of millions of pounds of money and commitments provided to private rail and bus transport companies since March.”

He added: “Even if the Subway successfully receives its fraction of the headline total figure announced for Subway and trams, SPT will still face a multimillion-pound deficit by the end of the financial year.

“Unless there is a fresh approach taken by Government and a commitment for the rest of the financial year, the deficit still means cuts to our capacity to support public transport.”

Meanwhile the chairman of Edinburgh Trams, Martin Dean, welcomed the new package.

Mr Dean said: “The additional funding being offered from Transport Scotland is welcome news, especially as we navigate the challenges of fresh restrictions in the area.

“The ongoing financial support allows us to continue to operate our services for anyone who relies on the city’s tramway to make essential journeys.

“We are grateful to Transport for Edinburgh for leading on these negotiations on behalf of our organisation.”

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams continue to provide key connections within our two biggest cities.

“The services provide essential capacity and link with bus, rail and park and ride facilities.

“Over the six-month period from July we will now have provided up to £13m of financial support to operators to enable services to continue.

“Any restrictions on these services could have placed unsustainable demands on other modes, especially bus, and so this funding will assist capacity across all public transport.”



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