The forgotten plan to scrap Glasgow Subway for a river boat service

Publication Date30 April 2022
AuthorDavid McLean
Publication titleGlasgowLive (Scotland)
In 1931, with the annual deficit of the system reaching £30,000 - roughly £2 million in today's money - meetings were held to decide its future

During one meeting, the Glasgow Transport Committee said that deficits had risen to more than £150,000 (£10m) since the subway was acquired by the Glasgow Corporation in 1923.

It was argued that the only way forward would either be to adopt a scheme where the cost of the subway, which required significant investment to be electrified, was made chargeable on public rates or scrap it altogether.

River boats over subway trains?

The future, said the city's transport convener, Councillor P J Dollan, would be for Glasgow to focus on trams and buses - and even utilise the Clyde for motor boat transport. It was felt that a river boat service from Rutherglen to Yoker, with intervening stations, would be far more economically viable than developing the city's underground railway.

Cllr Dollan agreed the Glasgow Subway "ought to be scrapped as soon as possible", and that the Corporation should instead turn its attention to constructing a bridge linking Govan and Partick. Maintenance of such a crossing, it was said, would be much cheaper than continuing to handle the debt accrued by the subway.

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