Sunday, 23 November 2014

Council check: Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

Each Sunday, we look at how one of our local transport authorities provides information on the buses running in its region. Today, it's the turn of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, better known as SPT.

Most people know they oversee public transport in Glasgow, but they cover a few neighbouring council areas too, not that their own website will tell you what their region actually is. According to Wikipedia, they cover the following council areas:

  • Argyll and Bute
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • City of Glasgow
  • South Ayrshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • Inverclyde
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire

The Daytripper map shows the whole region:

Where do the buses go?

Don't ask SPT, they won't tell you. No maps of any description. Not even a list of routes. You can search by area for a list of routes over at Traveline Scotland, but that site is very clunky and SPT don't tell you about it anyway. 0 out of 5.


There is a timetable section, but it only covers those routes that are subsidised by SPT. Most bus routes are commercial and SPT offers absolutely no help (other than a list of commercial operators) to potential passengers regarding those routes. Traveline does have timetables for all routes, but SPT don't tell you that, and it's rather difficult to use anyway. 1 out of 5.


There is a region-wide multi-operator and multi-modal ticket, the Daytripper. But there is no information on single or return fares, nor on operators' own day tickets. No mention of Plusbus, which is available in Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Ayr. 1 out of 5.


So, you have no way to find out which bus goes where, let alone a comprehensive route map, no easy access to timetables for the majority of routes and next to no information on fares. The only thing SPT can seem to do right is promote the Daytripper ticket. For a region of huge interest to tourists from elsewhere in the UK and from abroad, this is a shockingly poor offering. SPT scores just 2 out of 15.


  1. SPT have been bad for years! Its been getting worse, at least 4 travel shops have closed down, trying to found timetables are not easy, and when you do found some, in the SPT travel centres its not a great section. Most of the time you a directed to Traveline Scotland. SPT don't really care about buses. Just look at the many bus stops it looks after, out of date information going back years.

    You should have put "SPT scandals" in to Google or Yahoo, it brings up plenty!!!

    SPT is the poorest of all the transport Authorities, and its show...

  2. I forgot to say a number of councils have even public bad mouthed SPT and have warned there would leave.

  3. Actually, SPT provides more information on single fares than almost anyone else reviewed so far.

    Each timetable PDF includes a full adult single fare table. That really ought to lift the score a bit.

    1. It would lift the score if they would even acknowledge the existence of the commercial bus network, which provides the majority of services on their patch. For a tourist looking to visit the region, providing details about only the subsidised routes is simply not good enough.


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