BUS drivers have been told NOT to use bus lanes on the "fast" route to Glasgow's new hospital - because they're too slow.

McGills drivers using the dedicated Govan Fastlink route have been ordered to ignore the lanes due to signals not giving buses priority and causing "chaos, delays and confusion."

The company has also applied to the Traffic Commissioner to de-register one of their five Fastlink services, the F1. It runs 12 buses an hour from the hospital to Buchanan bus station via Govan and was introduced in May, largely for hospital staff and visitors.

Stagecoach, which also operates a Fastlink service, have also confirmed they are not using the lanes.

A statement from the company said they had stopped using them last week due to problems with traffic lights.

McGill's letter, from head of service delivery Colin Napier, orders drivers to ignore the lanes on "the Broomielaw, the Squinty Bridge, Pacific Drive and Govan Road at Elder Park roundabout."

Mr Napier goes on to tell drivers to ignore the lanes inside the hospital because the main road is quicker.

He says: "Those of you who drive on this corridor will be well aware of the ridiculous ongoing chaos with bus priority signals simply not doing the job that they are supposed to, resulting in avoidable delays, frustration for us and confusion to passengers.

"Within the Queen Elizabeth hospital DO NOT use the bus lanes, where possible use the main sections of road which, in most cases, is actually quicker."

Mr Napier tells drivers that McGills is working with SPT and Glasgow City Council to resolve the issues but "until such time as the systems have been properly tested and are operating to the required standard, we will not be using them."

The Evening Times has previously reported the problems with the route, with transport bosses warning in June that operators were at risk of axing services.

The SPT report said an "absence of progress" on the infrastructure of Fastlink sections meant concern over the "possible withdrawal of commercial services."

Reported problems included delays with the installation of bus shelters and cable laying.

Mr Napier's letter also talks of bus stops being inaccessible and advises drivers to stop adjacent to them where possible "in order to minimise any further inconvenience to our passengers."

The F1 service will cease on November 16 after McGills applied to the traffic commissioner to cancel it on September 21.

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach said: "We are not currently using the new Fastlink route bus lanes due to problems with the traffic lights which mean that journey time improvements which can be achieved through the new bus lanes are not being realised. Positive investment in targeted bus priority measures can help improve traffic flow for all road users and we look forward to resuming use of the bus lane when these issues are resolved."

A spokeswoman for McGills said there had been "a few minor technical glitches with the traffic lights on the Fastlink infrastructure causing delays."

She said: "We fully hope that Glasgow City Council will sort this and that buses will be back on the infrastructure as early as next week."

She said the decision to cancel the F1 service was not related to the issues around the infrastructure but because there were too many buses serving the route.

She said: "Like all new services, it is difficult to predict demand, especially with something as tricky as the opening of a major new hospital. As McGill's is the main bus operator on the Govan to City Centre corridor, we wanted to ensure that all bases were covered. We have decided to divert the resource we have on the F1 onto services 23 and 17 which will see them operate more frequently through the hospital.

"Our 21 and 26 services will also continue to serve the hospital. The frequency of buses on the Fastlink infrastructure on the north side of the river is wasteful and once the F1 stops, the Stagecoach X19 service will still have a bus every 10 minutes along Lancefield Quay and the Broomielaw which is more than adequate for the passenger numbers involved. "

A spokeswoman for SPT said: "We are now aware of delays to testing the optimisation of traffic signals and understand that this has caused some frustration to operators on the route.

"We are now working with Glasgow City Council to agree when a programme of works will be undertaken to resolve these issues."

A GCC spokeswoman said: “We are aware of some teething problems to traffic signals along the Fastlink route and are working with SPT and the bus operators to resolve these.”