£100,000 study will examine river boat service for Clyde
A PLAN to have river buses on the Clyde, which could see a new commuter service between Glasgow city centre and as far down the river as Gourock, is being investigated.
Glasgow City Council, along with four other authorities, has commissioned a £100,000 feasibility study to help decide if the plan is economically and physically viable.
Services in London, New York and Sydney will be looked at to find out whether a similar model could operate on the Clyde. The findings are expected to be delivered by the end of March.
Stops in Glasgow could include Glasgow Harbour and Pacific Quay, with further afield destinations including Braehead and Gourock. The council asked for money to fund a study into a river bus service in 2002, but it never took place. It was hoped a service would have been in operation by the time new housing at Glasgow Harbour was occupied.
The council was unsuccessful in its bid for £500,000 from the government's Public Trans- port Fund. This time Glasgow will join with Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute, West Dunbartonshire and Renfrewshire councils in funding the research.
MVA Consultancy with Transport Research Institute, Saltire Management, Natural Capital and Warman Consult, have been appointed to carry out the work.
The team will look at the possibility of tourist services to connect with the Trossachs National Park, Loch Long, Loch Goil and Loch Lomond.
Neill Birch, MVA project director, said: “There are many examples of waterbus services in cities across the world which have proven to be a viable proposition.
“We will review the best practice from several case studies and draw upon these in the context of Glasgow.
“This scheme offers potential to enhance the use of the River Clyde and open up public transport linkages between locations that are currently poor or non-existent,” he added. “In particular, crossriver public transport movements would be significantly boosted by the introduction of waterbus services.
“Opportunities for interchange with other modes of transport are also being explored, to ensure waterbus services integrate with existing transport networks.”
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council, said: “Between now and March 31 the study team will assess the likely demand for passenger journeys, and advise on possible patterns of service.”