M77 Bus Lane Corridor

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 7 March 2024.

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Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

2. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will revisit the feasibility of a bus lane corridor on the northbound M77 into Glasgow. (S6O-03167)

Photo of Jim Fairlie Jim Fairlie Scottish National Party

The second strategic transport projects review, which was published in 2022, recommends that

“bus priority interventions are implemented within Scotland’s cities and towns where congestion is highest”.

That recommendation seeks to implement schemes that are targeted at delivering faster and more reliable journey times for bus passengers.

STPR2 also states:

“In the case of the trunk road and motorway network, Transport Scotland” will

“build on the current work progressing plans for” bus priority on

“the M8, M77 and M80”.

That work remains under development, in particular considering the changes in travel patterns following Covid and wider policy priorities.

Photo of Willie Coffey Willie Coffey Scottish National Party

With the news confirmed yesterday that more than £1 billion has been cut from our capital budget by the UK Government, and with no prospect of that being reinstated by any future UK Government, how can we in Scotland make progress with such projects, including park-and-ride facilities, that would help to encourage more commuters out of their cars and on to the excellent bus services that we offer?

Photo of Jim Fairlie Jim Fairlie Scottish National Party

This Government is committed to improving public transport to encourage a modal shift to it, which would result in a reduction of car-based trips and associated emissions. Bus priority measures at appropriate locations have the potential to deliver greater punctuality, to reduce journey times and to offer a competitive alternative to the private car, particularly where the measures include interchange with other public transport services and active travel. The second strategic transport projects review also recommends a framework for the delivery of mobility hubs to enhance transport interchanges and accessibility services.

Photo of Brian Whittle Brian Whittle Conservative

The minister quite rightly highlights that pinch points for traffic going in and out of a city need to be considered when planning for successful bus lane usage. Does he also recognise that, along the A77, there are pinch points, such as at the Bellfield interchange, through which 41 per cent of traffic in and out of North Ayrshire travels? I am sure that my colleague Sharon Dowey could mention also the Dutch House roundabout and other roundabouts along that route. If we do not get them right, unfortunately, a bus lane will not be practical.

Photo of Jim Fairlie Jim Fairlie Scottish National Party

As I said, Transport Scotland is looking at areas right across the country. Once that review is complete, we will have better answers on that.