Glasgow (United Kingdom)

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, with a population of approximately 585,000. Situated on the river Clyde, 67 km west of Edinburgh, Glasgow is the third most populous city in the United Kingdom. The redeveloping and re branding city gives priority to pedestrians, bicyclists and to public transport.


The city also boasts the largest suburban railway system in the UK outside of London with 57 heavy rail stations and 15 subway stations within the city boundary.

The modal split for Glasgow is 46 percent private cars (drivers and passengers); 25 percent public transport; 18 percent pedestrians; 9 percent rail; 1 percent cycling; and 2 percent other means of transport.

Glasgow’s local transport policy is set out in the strategy “Keeping Glasgow Moving” (to download the strategy visit…), which was published in 2007. The strategy is based on the philosophy of promoting, enhancing and investing in sustainable modes of transport such as cycling, walking and public transport. Measures advocated to achieve this include imposing higher parking charges, extending restricted parking zones, giving greater priority to pedestrians and extending the cycle path network. More of the carriageway is being devoted for use exclusively by public transport vehicles at certain times of the day, and improvements are being made to the quality of information, vehicles and other infrastructure through partnerships with the bus companies.

Limited investments in road infrastructure are also foreseen in order to tackle key congestion points in the network and to provide essential linkages to key city developments and areas targeted for regeneration. Particular emphasis is given to links that enable public transport to provide effective circumferential (suburban) services to complement existing radial (town center to outskirts) services.

Progress in this field has been fair but is being slowed by the influence of the recession. Some of the innovative measures successfully implemented are restricted parking zones and a bus information and signalling system (BIAS) covering about 40 percent of the traffic signal controlled network, which has been developed to improve bus services.

In the field of clean fuels and vehicles, Glasgow City Council fleet formerly relied upon 250 petrol/LPG hybrid vehicles ranging from small vans to 3.5-ton trucks. However, reliability and performance issues led to the vehicles mainly being operated in petrol mode, and they were eventually replaced with conventional vehicles. Glasgow City Council is currently taking delivery of the first of 40 electric vehicles as part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Programme, a GBP25 million initiative involving vehicle manufacturers and power companies in real-life trials of 340 vehicles in regions around the UK.

The main challenge is the ongoing and increasing pressure on funding. Issues may also arise in obtaining stakeholder acceptance of transportation schemes.

Glasgow City Council’s principal partner in implementing transport measures is the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, the regional transport authority.

Summary finalized: August 2010

.eu web awards
European Mobility Week
Smart Cities Marketplace
EU Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of CINEA. Neither the European Union nor CINEA can be held responsible for them.

This website is hosted by an environmentally-friendly server provider.