Glasgow gets its PTA
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Commons hear proposals by Scottish Secretary
• Clydesiders' wait for a move towards the establishment of Scotland's first—and Britain's fifth Passenger Transport Authority is now ended. Mr. William Ross, the Scottish Secretary of State, has told the Commons that a PTA for the Greater Glasgow area is to be set up to provide "a properly integrated and efficient system of public transport". He was replying to a written Question put by Glasgow MP, Mr. James Bennett. The reorganization will take place before local government is reformed.
The Executive of the PTA with—take over the Glasgow municipal transport undertaking. including buses and underground; co operate with the Scottish Transport Group to ensure efficient operation of other bus services in the area; take over the present functions of the Traffic. Commissioners in relation to bus services; conclude agreements with the British Railways Board for continuance of local rail services which the Authority consider necessary; provide any new systems of transport required.
Mr. Ross said he was sending letters to all the local authorities concerned proposing that consultations should be held with them, in the first instance informally, to consider the precise area to be designated and the composition of the new Authority.
The local authority areas which he was proposing should form the basis of consultation were: Glasgow, Paisley, Motherwell and Wishaw, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Clydebanc , East Kilbride, Hamilton, Rutherglen, Bishopbriggs, the Sixth, Eighth and Ninth Districts in the landward area of Lanarkshire, Johnstone, Renfrew, Barrhead, the First and Second Districts in the landward area of Renfrewshire, Bearsden, Kirkintilloch, Cumbernauld, Milngavie, and the Cumbernauld, and Kirkintilloch Districts in the landward area of Dunbartonshire.
The Scottish Office said at the weekend: "The Executive will have the duty at least to break even each year. If the policies laid down by the Authority will result in a loss, then the Authority must decide either to change their policies or to requisition on the local authorities in the area to make good that loss."
Mr. Edward Taylor, Glasgow MP, said that the establishment of the PTA would pose "frightening financial questions" for ratepayers in Glasgow and nearby towns. A PTA would pave the way for transferring the losses of the electric train services to the ratepayers.
Mr. Walter Wober, Glasgow transport convener, said that while it was obvious there would be benefits from an integrated and co-ordinated transport service for the area, he, too, was still deeply concerned about what the financial implications might be to the Glasgow ratepayer.