A LONG-RUNNING campaign for direct transport from Drumchapel to Govan’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is set to end after a charity minibus bid was given the go ahead.

G15 Buses mission to launch a minibus service for hospital patients and visitors throughout north-west Glasgow could soon become a reality after they were granted a coveted Section 19 permit of the Transport Act 1985 – which would enable them to run the operation to and from the hospital.

The charity, which was recently formed in order to operate the service, will now begin to ensure its funding measures are in place, with the aim of those using the bus paying a small fee to support the service.

However, organiser Will Thomson hopes to have the service up and running as soon as possible.

He said: “We finally got our Section 19 permit after 16 weeks.

“It’s good that we got it exactly the way we wanted it and now the next stops are to make sure we still have that client base we had at the beginning.

“I’m excited, I’m very happy. We knew it was the right thing and we knew it was proper and it’s just nice to have somebody agree with us and we’re looking forward to serving the people of north-west Glasgow.”

As previously reported, the closest direct bus route was a six-month pilot scheme which operated from Clydebank to the south side hospital but after it failed last year, the charity became vocal critics of the lack of transport available to Drumchapel residents.

The charity will begin with one vehicle but hope to expand to other areas across north-west Glasgow and add to its fleet if the service proves popular.

The bid has already received an outpouring of support from residents and city councillors alike, with Councillor Paul Carey and Baillie Malcolm Balfour both backing the plans, leaving the charity confident the service will be a success.

Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd had written a letter in support of the charity’s proposal ahead of the hearing to grant the permit and he is keen to see the move up and running.

In response, he said: “I was extremely pleased to be able to assist G15buses in getting their section 19 certificate to allow them to operate this direct service.

“This is a very necessary addition to the transport links to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“I only hope that they can thrive and expand so that the other areas of the constituency can also get a direct service since SPT and First Bus seem to have forgotten that this need exists in our area.”