OPINIONS over plans to franchise buses in Glasgow are wanted as a consultation on the SPT proposal is now open.

SPT, the regional transport authority, is looking at two options for the future of bus services in the Glasgow area.

It is investigating local services franchising and Bus Service Improvement Partnerships (BSIP) as ways of improving bus services.

The decision last month sparked controversy with one bus operator pledging to fight it.

McGill’s boss Sandy Easdale said he and his brother James, co-owners of the firm, would fight it with “every penny” describing it as “theft” of a private business.

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SPT said franchising has been shown to improve reliability and affordability in other places where it operates.

It is estimated to take from five to seven years to put in place and cost £15m in preparatory work and then up to £85m a year in additional public subsidy.

Campaigners who want a publicly owned bus network said the decision was “bittersweet” as it didn’t go as far as they would like.

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The consultation will run for six weeks.

Councillor Stephen Dornan SPT chair said: “This is an opportunity for everyone to have their say on the future of the bus network across our region.

“We have heard from a lot of people already about the state of the network and what needs to be done to fix it.

“This is your chance to formalise your thoughts and help us take forward the best options to help halt the decline in bus services across the west of Scotland.

 “I encourage everyone with an interest in the future of bus services in our area to participate in this important consultation.”

SPT said it is “seeking to understand the extent that stakeholders and, importantly, the public agree or disagree with the recommended options and the reasons for these positions”. 

The deadline for responding is midnight Monday 13 May 2024.