Glasgow’s Subway needs financial help to cope with a massive drop in ticket income during lockdown.

SPT forecasts a deficit of between £12m and £20m after passenger numbers fell by a massive 97% during lockdown.

Over a four week period the Subway would normally take in more than £1m but this fell to just £20,000 and since lockdown eased passengers numbers are only one quarter of what they were before lockdown.

SPT warned the current Government advice to stay local, work from home and avoid public transport means it needs the shortfall to be made up.

It said it raised the financial concerns as early as the end of March 2020, and the Scottish Government subsequently announced support of up to £5m covering the period of July 2020 to September 2020.

However it go no help for March to June and will get nothing from tomorrow.

The SPT chair is writing to the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to make the request.

A spokeswoman for SPT said: “SPT provided and continues to do so, key transport links during the pandemic when other operators were reducing services. It was reported to our Partnership meeting on 18 September that discussions continued with Transport Scotland to secure financial assistance in line with other transport operators.

“At the time of writing, no formal response to this request has been received and without additional financial support, it will be necessary to reduce other expenditure, including tendered bus services costs, to lessen the anticipated deficit arising from the reduction in patronage levels and income.

Martin Bartos, SPT Chair, at the request of all Partnership members, is raising this directly with the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Michael Matheson.”

The Scottish Greens have launched a campaign to call for guarantees the Subway will not be affected.

Scottish Greens co-leader and Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie said: “The fact that Glasgow’s iconic and vital Subway faces an uncertain future is a serious dereliction of duty by the Transport Secretary Michael Matheson.
“The ‘clockwork orange’ is such an important part of life in Glasgow, where over half of residents don’t own a car. Public transport needs to be the priority, not an afterthought.
"Cutting services at any time would be wrong, but forcing more people onto fewer trains in the middle of a pandemic would also be unacceptable on public health grounds.
“We’ve seen support for private train operators extended until January. Instead of only bailing out the private sector, it’s time for the Scottish Government to value the public sector in order to build a fairer and greener recovery.”
A Transport Scotland spokeswoman, said: “Ministers have already provided significant financial support for bus, rail and light rail operators during the outbreak and clearly recognise the challenges being faced during these difficult and unprecedented times. 

“In July, the Scottish Government announced up to £9 million of emergency funding for Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams in response to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently considering the potential to extend support for these services beyond September.

“These considerations are being undertaken in the context of our published COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making and the Transport Transition Plan. Supporting the recovery of a sustainable transport system is a vital step as part of our wider National Transport Strategy.”