“Business leaders hit out as bus gate fines hit £1.5m”

Glasgow’s car-supremacist local rag sank to a new low today:

CITY business leaders have reacted with fury at the new bus gate leading into George Square as it was revealed fines have topped £1.5million.

Look past the hysterical headline and it turns out that

Drivers are fined £60 meaning the maximum penalties issued so far comes to £1,671,060.

However the majority of drivers pay within two weeks as the fine is halved to £30.

So the total raised in fines is probably nowhere near the headline figure.

We are then solemnly informed by a couple of nonentities pillars of the community that the bus gate is driving (literally) people out of the city centre:

There is now no way of getting there other than some circuitous route which will put people with cars off going there for entertainment and dining … It is another reason to visit Braehead and Silverburn

That the council is Fleecing the Motorist (yawn):

I fail to see what good it has done for the city other than rake in a barrow load of cash for the council by fleecing the motorist

That the council’s nowhere-near-extreme-enough strategy to restrict car use is all wrong:

The council should be opening the city to allow ­motorists in and there shouldn’t be any bus gates or parking charges

That the bus gate is causing Accidents:

 The number of people who have almost crashed trying to reverse out of that zone is incredible

What all this shows is that there is no argument too feeble for the Motorists. They will do and say anything to retard efforts to make Glasgow a more liveable city.

Let’s say this again: the majority of households in Glasgow have no car. Buses should be prioritised over cars. It’s only fair.

I don’t often take the bus, but I had occasion to do so on Monday. I was stunned by just how slow it was – there were no bus lanes to help the driver move efficiently through the car-choked sewers streets and he was constantly having to pull in and out of laybys at bus stops to get out of the way of the all-important car driver.  It was absurd and barbaric, and it reminded me that conditions for walking and cycling are not the only things that must be improved in Glasgow – if this is to be a civilised city, buses must also be accorded the priority they deserve.

Stay strong, Glasgow City Council. Keep the cars out of Nelson Mandela Place. #prayforthebusgate

Follow @carsickglasgow on Twitter

8 comments

  1. This is a great post. It reminds me of the TED talk by Enrique Peñalosa: “Why buses represent democracy in action.” The talk makes the point that if all humans are equal, (as is set out by the Declaration of Human Rights), precious road space should be split equally between all humans. To have a system that promotes equality rather than the rights of the rich, a bus with 80 people on it should be given 80 times as much road space as a car with one person. If they prioritise cars, they are failing to comply with basic rights.
    Good luck with the campaign!

  2. I’m always amazed that for a city where only 1/2 of households have access to a car it’s so keen on the car. The M74 extension was one of the least progressive things the council could do.

    In defence of the reversing motorists: the sign-age is poor and could do with improving.

  3. Sorry, but buses are not the answer to opening up Glasgow’s choked streets. They never will be.

    Here’s a story. I tried to take the bus today. Twice. It didn’t go well, either time. I don’t own a car, don’t want to, prefer to cycle everywhere, usually. However, I do have a 3 month old daughter and until she can sit up on her own and I can take her in a bike seat, taxis & buses are really the only option for getting around.

    Today’s first attempt at cross city travel wasted 45 minutes of our time waiting for a series of buses that never arrived. A few texts and a change of plan later, we decided to take the train. But the subterranean train station (Mt Florida) is only accessible by lift – which was broken. As it frequently is. . .

    Another change of plan, a different bus route. This time the bus was late 10 minutes and took one hour and five minutes to travel a route the timetable advises as 40 minutes long. This, on a Sunday.

    And don’t get me started on the smell of it, the stop-start rattle-bang-crash experience, the correct change carry on, the bus-nutter roulette, the good-guy-bad-guy driver lottery, the will-I-won’t-I get the baby’s pram on board guessing game. All that, and after a forty five minute wait. On a late bus. In the rain. Full of bastards every bit as crabbit as you.

    Thank god I don’t have to do this during a workday.

    I get why people drive. I really, really do. It’s not for me, though. The amount of money they waste, all that tax, all that stink, all that death. But your car will get you where you need to be much, much more reliably than a fucking bus. No wonder nobody uses them unless they absolutely have to.

    1. What you experienced wasn’t the inherent weaknesses of public transport. It was the result of weak politicians who have failed to take public transport seriously. It doesn’t have to be like that.

      1. Well, aye. That, and couple of generations of post-welfare consensus voters who’ve been fatally seduced by the kind of me-first ideology that leaves motor car owning the only credible – the only *serious* – solution to the kinds of problems that our market driven economy propose: How to get to work. How to get home. How to buy food. Etc, etc.

        We all need to take responsibility for this hellish state of affairs. Us unenlightened voters have got the unenlightened coonsils and governments we deserve.

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