PRIVATE bus companies have failed Glaswegians, a councillor for the north-west of the city has claimed.

Eva Murray was reacting toa transport consultation which found that just 16 per cent of respondents believe bus services meet their needs.

In total, 2,899 responses were received from residents, regular visitors and stakeholder groups.

Calling for the city’s bus network to be taken into public ownership, Cllr Murray, who represents the Garscadden/Scotstounhill ward and is deputy leader of the council’s Labour group, said: “Building a world-class system of public transport means one that works for all of our citizens. Glaswegians want us to be big and bold.

“We can’t wait for private companies to change their mind – we must explore different models of public ownership, pushing for socially necessary routes to be prioritised and looking at how we make our buses more accessible and affordable.

“If we continue pushing for a bus service improvement partnership that prioritises private bus companies – who have shown us time and time again that they will put profit over the needs of people – nothing will change.”

Work is under way on a council bid to a £500m Bus Partnership Fund, launched by the Scottish Government last year.

The funding will be used on bus priority measures, such as pop-up lanes, to tackle congestion.

Duncan Cameron, operations director with First Glasgow, said: “The private sector is much better placed to access the finance to deliver the fleet of low or zero emission and high-quality buses that customers now demand while being able to be fully responsive and agile to the changing market as people’s travel habits change.

“It is practical changes on the ground for the people of Glasgow that are needed, not a stale and out of date regulatory debate.”