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SNP plans Subway expansion

SNP plans Subway expansion

The Glasgow Subway was built 120 years ago but has never been expanded - yet that could all change if the Scottish National Party (SNP) wrests control of the city council from Labour in this week's local elections.

At present, the system consists of a single route, reminiscent of London's Circle line, which serves the city centre, West End and southside in a loop. Under SNP proposals, new lines would be built to serve the north and east of Glasgow. In addition, the SNP is proposing to take the governance of the line away from Strathclyde Passenger transport and make it the responsibility of the city council.

Kenny McLean, an SNP councillor for the Partick East/Kelvindale ward, which contains two Subway stations, said: "It is our view that the Subway would be able to contribute more to economic growth in the city and be more responsive to the city’s people and visitors if it were controlled by the city government. We are also confident that more can be done with the Subway to connect communities."

The system is the third oldest underground in the world after London and Budapest, making its lack of expansion all the more incongruous.

Many proposals have been published for expansion down the years, including a 2007 plan for a second circle linking the city centre with the east of the city. This also included a line linking the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) with Maryhill Railway Station via an interchange at the existing Kelvinbridge Station.

However, this and plans for a link to 2014 Commonwealth Games venues in the east of the city fell through. Among the problems was the projected £2.3 billion cost of a second circle. Instead, resources have been focused on improving the existing system, which is currently undergoing a £288 million refurbishment.

The SNP is hoping to oust Labour at local level in Glasgow in the same way that it did at the last general election, when it gained every single seat in the city.

Image: Charles Britten

 

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