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HAMPDEN HOSTS TRANSPORT CONFERENCE

November 23, 2005 10:47 AM

The findings of a Glasgow-wide investigation into public transport have been unveiled at a Transport Summit held at The Nevis Suite, Hampden Park Stadium, on Monday, November 21.

"Greater Glasgow's Transport Conference", was attended by Transport Minister Tavish Scott, and will suggest ways forward and contribute to the formation of Scotland's first National Transport Strategy.

The research has been carried out by Fare4All, a transport project set up by NHS Greater Glasgow's Community Engagement Team.

Fare4All is chaired by Paul Martin MSP, and includes representatives from community and voluntary organisations from around the city.

For the last six months the group interviewed older people, parents with young children, and people with disabilities, about their experiences of bus services.

More than 1500 people responded and key findings revealed that only four per cent felt comfortable going out at night.

Respondents spoke of high levels of anti-social behaviour on public transport, with 70 per cent having witnessed drunken behaviour.

Parents with young children expressed anger and confusion over the policy of how many buggies are permitted on a bus, while other bus users felt that the travel information was difficult to understand and the print size too small.

Mr Scott said: "This work by the Fare4All group is important as it will raise awareness of transport issues important to older people, parents with young children and people with disabilities.

"The Scottish Executive is committed to transforming our transport system by making it more reliable, accessible and customer friendly by ensuring that all groups in our communities have fair and equal access to it.

Kate Munro from NHS Greater Glasgow, who managed the Fare4All project, said:

"The findings illustrate how certain communities experience a range of difficulties when using public transport.

"Many of these, like providing legible information or not driving off whilst passengers are still standing, should not be too difficult to resolve.

"Other issues such as anti-social behaviour, vandalism or violence, require concerted action, not just from public agencies and bus companies, but from communities."

The findings were discussed by the Minister, Joan Aitken, Transport Commissioner for Scotland, and Councillor Alistair Watson, Chairman of SPT, together with 200 delegates.

Kate added: "Scotland will soon be spending £1 billion annually on transport.

"The research and the conference provide an ideal opportunity to informpolicy makers of the needs and concerns of some of the more vulnerable communities about public transport and influence how this money should be spent."

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