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Cheap and easy - if only it covered a greater area!
Member Name: cpf1993
Date: 04/01/01, updated on 04/01/01 (113 review reads)
Advantages: Reasonably quick and easy form of transport with cheap fares.
Disadvantages: Trains routes run on the west side and city centre. Infrequent service.
I was interested to watch the Holiday programme on BBC1 the other night in which Dougie Vipond gave Glasgow a glowing review. Among the things he praised was the Glasgow Underground, a.k.a. The Clockwork Orange. While what he said about it being cheap is true, he did not give you the full story about it.
The Glasgow Underground is not something I use a great deal. The problem with it is that the circular route only runs around the city centre and the west side of the city. As I live South-East of Glasgow I would have to go really out of my way to use the Underground, and thus a lot of people do not use the Underground before they have even tried it.
However if I have to go west of the city before or after work (normally to go to Glasgow Airport or to the Braehead Shopping Centre) I do find it very cheap and convenient. I will normally park near Kinning Park station, as it is one of the places where you can use the underground and park for free. However you need to know where to park, and be warned that some stations with their own car parks will charge you for the privilege (Shields Road being one of them).
The fares are in my opinion amazingly cheap. An adult single will cost you a mere 80p, a return is £1.60, and there are reasonably generous discounts if you travel on it frequently. Compare this with train fares, which if I wanted to use to get into work before 9am would cost me £4 return. The Underground rates do not change, but at those prices is there really any cause for complaint?
Most trains are uncluttered, with the evening rush hour being the only time that you may struggle to get a seat on a train. However the trains are too infrequent, and even at the busiest times I have had to wait at least ten minutes for a train on a number of occasions, something which would not happen in London very often, let alone during a rush hour. To draw a more favourable comparison with London though I have never had to dodge around stati
on repairs or litter in a Glasgow underground station, although the smaller scale of the network presumably allows it to be more easily manageable.
The stations in the centre of Glasgow are well positioned. Both the St. Enoch and Buchanan Street stations are right beside large shopping centres and within easy walking distance of most of the city centre and its main streets (Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street). However what would be most beneficial would be if the system were extended. If it could be stretched to places like East Kilbride, Motherwell, Cumbernauld and Paisley it would be brilliant, although now it would probably be too expensive and impractical to do so. I guess I'm stuck with commuting by coach for a good while yet!
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