Update on travel preparations ahead of European Championships
Final preparations are underway at the Transport Co-ordination Centre in Glasgow ahead of the European Championships.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson today visited the facility at Eastgate to meet representatives from Police Scotland, Transport Scotland, SPT and ScotRail. They have been working alongside Glasgow City Council and organisers Glasgow 2018, as well as neighbouring local authorities, to try and replicate the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
All key partners will be based or represented at Eastgate for the duration of the Championships to oversee delivery of transport services and respond to any major incidents.
Organisers believe that, as with the Commonwealth Games four years ago, spectators and the wider public’s willingness to adopt ‘the four Rs’ – Reduce, Re-route, Re-time, and Re-mode – will be crucial in terms of successful transport delivery and keeping disruption to a minimum.
The approach centres on spectators, residents, the public, businesses and major employers helping to reduce or manage travel demand at certain times around certain events. This is often achieved through employers adopting more flexible or remote working policies for a short time. It also means greater use of active travel such as walking and cycling, and encouraging greater use of public transport.
One of the most challenging days from a travel perspective is expected to be the Cycling Time Trial events next Wednesday 8 August, which will take place between Glasgow and Stirling. The event starts at the Riverside Museum and takes in a number of Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire’s most famous sights on its northbound route towards Stirling. Traffic modelling indicates heavy congestion in the city centre and surrounding areas. There will be significant road closures in place around junction 15 of the M8, from early morning until late at night. Those travelling are urged to avoid the area.
Speaking in Glasgow today, Mr Matheson said:
“I’ve been impressed with the thorough level of preparation for the European Championships from a transport and travel perspective.
“Effective transport planning played a crucial role in the delivery of the ‘best ever’ Commonwealth Games in 2014 and that success and will be tested again over the next fortnight.
“We have invested significant sums in our transport infrastructure so we are well prepared, however without the public’s support and businesses and major employers agreeing to a more flexible approach over the coming weeks then the network could face significant disruption.
“A successful travel plan involving hundreds of thousands of people and numerous sporting and cultural events over a prolonged period requires patience and understanding. I would urge employers and the public to play their part again, just as they did back in 2014.”
Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, Colin Hartley, said:
“To set the stage for thousands of athletes and to deliver a successful European Championships we need the public and major employers’ support to be flexible where they can.
“Whether you are travelling to watch our fantastic events, commuting to or from work, or simply visiting the city, public transport or active travel is your best option to get to where you need to, when you need to. Local roads and motorways are expected to be very busy and we are urging as many people as possible to plan their journey and avoid using the car.
“For some the car is maybe the only option. But if you can travel with colleagues to help reduce the number of cars on the road and avoid busy peak periods that would help. If you are in a position to work from home, August 8th would be the perfect day to show what a flexible and innovative city region Glasgow is.”
Stein Connelly, Traffic Scotland Operator Manager, said:
“We have been working closely with our partners to raise awareness of the potentially challenging days on the network, especially next Wednesday which will see significant road closures in place, including city streets adjacent to junction 15 of the M8, from early morning until late at night. This will restrict traffic using this junction in each direction and effectively block access to the West bound on ramp. We recognise this is likely to result in disruption and delays, especially at well-known pressure points.
“Everyone who was involved looks back at the 2014 Games in Glasgow with fond memories. One of the reasons for such a successful event was the smooth transport planning and delivery. With the support of the public and major employers I am confident we can do Glasgow and Scotland proud again and ensure people are talking about the sport, and not transport issues.”