Press Release, 19th February 2013
New Hospital Transfer Ticket
A hospital transfer ticket will be introduced by Inverclyde’s bus operator it can be revealed today.
The development has come after local MSP Duncan McNeil met with Chief Executive of McGills Buses – Ralph Roberts – to discuss his concerns over bus fares in Inverclyde and the absence of a through ticket for residents of Upper Port Glasgow to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.
The Labour MSP arranged the meeting after receiving complaints from constituents.
Duncan McNeil acknowledged the improvements to the local bus service in recent years but said that more needed to be done address ticket pricing.
He also acknowledged that the SNP Government’s decision to cut funding for bus companies was a major reason for the increase in the company’s recent 5% fares increase in Inverclyde.
The Greenock and Inverclyde MSP said:
“I met with Ralph Roberts after receiving representations from constituents concerned about the recent fares increase, as well to discuss the idea of a hospital transfer ticket.”
“We had a good discussion about the issues facing local bus services including the cut to the concessionary travel scheme and increased staffing costs.”
“Following a constructive discussion with Ralph Roberts it was agreed that consideration would be given to the range of ticket types available to Inverclyde passengers. Mr Roberts advised that, given the current funding issues of the concessionary scheme, there would be no immediate changes, other than the introduction of the hospital transfer ticket. I am disappointed that this cannot be addressed at this moment in time and I will continue to press McGills on what we both agree to be a significant issue”
“I am pleased to advise that following our meeting, McGill’s has agreed to introduce a weekend hospital transfer ticket from 25th February. The new weekend hospital transfer ticket means that Upper Port Glasgow residents can now buy one ticket that they can use to transfer between buses to/from the hospital, at the same price as the direct bus that operates during the week.”
“It’s important to note that there have been improvements to the local bus service in recent years with more journey times available and new buses which are more accessible to parents with prams as well as disabled people.”
“But the increase in fares is hitting people at a time when they can least afford it. So we need the SNP government to listen to the concerns of passengers and act to ensure that our bus operators are properly funded so that prices are brought under control and services are protected.”