Glasgow has one of the most advanced, fully integrated public transport systems in Europe. Glaswegians are very reliant on buses, the underground and the local railway network which cross the city and link it to the suburbs. The Travel Centre at St Enoch Square (0141 226 4826) is a good starting point for general Glasgow-wide travel information.
From the Airport to the City
Glasgow airport (0141 887 1111/ 0141 848 4330) is located eight miles (14km) to the south-west of Glasgow at Junction 28 of the M8. It is linked by a bus station to Buchanan Street Bus Station by a service which runs every ten minutes from 8.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Saturday and less frequently during off-peak times. Gilmour Street rail station in Paisley is just two miles away and is linked by a frequent bus service. Taxis are widely available at the airport.
Glasgow by Bus
Private bus operators (notably First Glasgow, 0141 423 6600 and Stagecoach: Glasgow, 0141 333 1100 ) provide a comprehensive network of services from early morning until about midnight. You can get on a bus from clearly signposted bus stops in the street - just put out your hand to indicate that you wish the bus to stop. Please note that most buses run an 'exact fare' policy where money is entered directly into a cash box next to the driver and a ticket is then issued with no change given. Prices vary, but a fare of approximately £1.15 should get you on most rides within the city. Night bus services operate at weekends only, when they can be quite boisterous. Tourist bus services operating from George Square are a very popular and informative way to see the city sites. Bus services to and from other UK towns and cities depart from Buchanan Street Bus Station (0141 332 7133).
Glasgow by Underground
The Glasgow Underground has twin tunnels providing a circular service which links 15 stations. The Outer Circle runs in a clockwise direction and the Inner Circle in an anti-clockwise direction. Trains are frequent (approximately one every five minutes) and a flat fare operates: 90 pence for any number of stops. Tickets must be bought in advance of the journey either from a machine or from the ticket office at the station. Hours of opening: Monday-Saturday 06.30-23.15 and Sunday 11.00-18.00.
Glasgow by Rail
An extensive network of regular and frequent local rail services operates in Glasgow, its suburbs and the West of Scotland. Most suburbs and towns within this area are accessible by train, however, the level of service varies greatly and some stations are closed on Sundays. Free timetables are available for each line from the appropriate train station and should be checked before travelling . Telephone enquiries can be made to 0345 484950.
Tickets should be purchased in advance of travelling from the station Booking Office or from the conductor on the train if the station booking office is closed. If you are staying outwith Glasgow and do not want to drive into the city, you can use the 'Park-and-Ride' system which allows free parking at suburban rail stations, where you then continue your journey by train. CCTV protects most of the parking facilities - the Park-and-Ride also operates at four Glasgow Underground stations.
Glasgow by Taxi
Glasgow has approximately 1500 traditional London-type black hackney taxis, all of which are licensed by Glasgow City Council. Each taxi is fitted with a sealed meter which has been approved by council officials and displays the current fare at all times. A fare card stating the tariff should be displayed in a prominent position within the taxi - as should the driver's licence card. As a rough guide, a three mile journey will cost in the region of £7, remember the 10% tip for a good job. Each hackney taxi can carry up to a maximum of five passengers - please do not ask the driver to carry more, as it will cost him his licence if he does.
Taxis can be flagged-down in the street or queued-up for at designated taxi stances. The stances are usually located at busy spots such as stations and main thoroughfares - a taxi will not usually stop to pick up a hire if they are within a quarter of a mile of a stance. The major taxi companies offer tours of the city for under £30, but always ask in advance for a quote before travelling. If you are going on a longer journey - especially outside the city boundary - certain extra charges may apply and on some occasions the driver may ask for payment in advance. If you require a taxi with wheelchair access, you are best to phone a taxi company and order one.
Glasgow also has many licensed 'private hire cars' which operate on a similar basis as the black hackneys, except that they cannot be flagged-down in the street and they tend to be slightly cheaper. Always, always look for the yellow licence plate sign in the private hire car window (and the metal plate on the back of the car), before taking a journey and never accept a journey from a private car which stops claiming to be a private hire cab, as this is against the law and no reputable driver would do this.
Glasgow by Car
Like all major cities, Glasgow can suffer from traffic congestion at peak times and this should be borne in mind when thinking about taking your car into the city centre. Designated parking areas with meters or pay-and-display machines are located around the city. There are also a selection of car parks which are usually indicated by a large P sign . Signs indicating parking restrictions are displayed at kerbsides and on entry to the city centre. Traffic wardens (and police) are on constant patrol and parking on a double-yellow line can carry a fairly hefty fine.
Car hire companies include: Arnold Clark (0141 434 0480), Europcar (0141 887 0414) and Mitchell's Self Drive (0141 221 8461).
Please remember to drive on the left !
Glasgow by Bicycle
Glasgow has few designated cycle lanes, but a plan has been drawn up by the City Council aimed at increasing the number.
Glasgow by Foot
Glasgow is a great city to see by foot, provided the weather is good enough. The city centre has many pedestrian precincts (notably Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street) and more are under development.
Additional Travel information
- Transcentre, St Enoch Underground Station, Glasgow
Hours: Monday 08.00 - 17.30; Tuesday 08.30 - 17.00; Wednesday 08.30 - 12.30; Thursday, Friday and Saturday 08.30 - 17.30; Sunday 10.00 - 17.00
- Traveline Scotland (Tel: 0870 608 2608)
- STA Travel, 182-184 Byres Road (Tel: (0141-) 338 6000)
The staff here can give you information on student flights, rail passes in Europe, etc. You can also obtain International Student Identity Cards (ISIC) and travel insurance from STA. Please contact them early for the best prices.
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