BBC News

Glasgow 2014: Getting to the Games

By Laura Pettigrew
BBC Commonwealth Games reporter

image captionSpectators, residents and commuters have been urged to plan their journeys

"Are you Games Ready?" ask the overhead digital signs on the main motorways into Glasgow - host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Organisers have been putting huge effort into encouraging people to plan their journeys - with the event billed as a "public transport Games".

All those with tickets for the sporting events will be able to travel for free on trains, buses and the city subway network.

However, up to half of the one million ticket holders have still to make or finalise plans for travelling to their events, according to research for Glasgow 2014.

"Many of the spectators know the city well, but it's important to remember venues and much of the transport network will operate differently from what people are familiar with," said Michael Renshaw, director of transport and logistics at Glasgow 2014.

"All venues have very different travel options and there is no general parking available. Spectators can help make their journeys as easy and stress free as possible by planning ahead."

Games lanes

image captionStrange purple signs have appeared on the Games Route Network around Glasgow

The Games lanes came into force on Monday and will remain until events finish on 3 August.

GRN stands for Games Route Network and the puzzling purple signs are aimed at those involved in transporting athletes and officials to and from venues along the designated lanes.

They are like bus lanes - no cars, taxis or bikes allowed. You cannot cross them and parking and loading will be restricted along the whole games route network.

Police Scotland has said it will issue £50 fines to drivers and cyclists caught using the lanes. Cars parked on the routes will be towed away and it will cost £150 to get vehicles released.

Rail and subway

image copyrightPeter Devlin
image captionFirst ScotRail have installed Games-inspired signs at a number of stations around Scotland

Eight trains an hour will link Glasgow Central Low Level Station with Bridgeton, Dalmarnock and Exhibition Centre.

Extra carriages will be added to the busiest Games train services. As well as the extra carriage space, trains will also be running later than usual.

The Edinburgh-Glasgow route will have longer trains and will offer a quarter-hourly service throughout the day.

The full timetable can be accessed via ScotRail.

There will be a one-way system in place for those travelling from Glasgow Central Low Level station and Argyle Street during the Games.

Those heading west towards Partick, Dalmuir, Balloch, Milngavie and Helensburgh must use Glasgow Central Low Level station instead.

Meanwhile, those travelling east towards Rutherglen, Bellshill, Hamilton, Motherwell, Lanark and Larkhall must get on at Argyle Street station.

It only applies to people boarding trains, so customers can get off at either station. Journeys on other lines will be unaffected.

Glasgow subway will be running shuttle buses after 23:00 on week nights and extending times until 01:00 over the weekends.


image copyrightfirst group
image captionA fleet of new buses will carry athletes and spectators to and from venues

First Bus has invested in 109 new buses that will form part of a 380-strong fleet used to shuttle athletes, officials, media and spectators around the city.

In addition to local public transport, Glasgow 2014 is providing dedicated spectator shuttle bus services for some of the larger events or the venues that are less accessible by public transport, including Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium, Cathkin Braes, Celtic Park and Strathclyde Country Park.

These services, which are available for ticket holders only, will operate on a 'fill and go' basis, with buses leaving up to every two minutes.

They will depart from and return to Buchanan Bus Station in the city centre.

First Bus has estimated that, at peak times, buses could be leaving venues every 20 seconds.

Park and Ride

image copyrightGlasgow 2014
image captionSpaces can be pre-booked in out-of-town park and ride areas for venues including Ibrox and Hampden

Using cars to get to venues is being actively discouraged, with road closures and restrictions around all 14 venues.

For those intending to drive to some of the larger, or less accessible events, a park and ride service is available.

It is priced at £5 per vehicle and must be booked in advance.

The service is available for the opening and closing ceremony and events at Hampden, Ibrox, Cathkin Braes and Strathclyde Country Park.

The park and ride sites are located at Baldinnie Road in Easterhouse, Blochairn, Eurocentral in Lanarkshire, the Freescale premises in East Kilbride, Hamilton International Park and Braehead and Silverburn shopping centres.

On foot or by bike

Organisers have billed walking to the venues as a "chance to take in the Games-time buzz".

Special signs and pavement markings give spectators and visitors estimated journey times to venues as well as transport and festival hubs around the city.

Walking time from George Square to the SECC precinct is estimated at 35 minutes. A 40-minute stroll from the city centre will take you to the Emirates Arena, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and Celtic Park, with a slightly longer 52-minute trek out to Hampden.

Glasgow City Council, in partnership with Nextbike GmbH, has also introduced a "Boris-style" cycle hire scheme.

During the Games, about 400 bikes will be available at 36 locations across the city. They are bookable online or by telephone.

At the venues

image captionResidents who live near venues have been issued with parking permits for use during the Games

There will be no general parking spaces at any of the venues at Glasgow 2014, with the exception of limited spaces for blue badge holders, who must book in advance

Parking restrictions are likely to be in place within 10 minutes walk of a venue, but in some cases, they could stretch as far as a 20-minute walk. Restrictions and diversions may also be in place within 20 minutes' walk.

Local residents have been issued with permits.


image captionSecurity will be tight around venues, with restrictions and road closures in place

Having finally reached your destination, be prepared for queues as spectators face tight airport-style security measures.

Tickets, bags and pocket contents all face inspection.

The advice is to travel light - leave big bags at home. Any bags brought into the venues must be soft-sided and small enough to fit under the seats.

Each spectator can only bring in a small amount of food and a non-alcoholic drink of 500 ml or under.

Helpful info

image captionThe Traveline Scotland website has a free downloadable journey planner

There are a number of useful websites and apps that spectators can use to help plan their journeys and keep up-to-date on travel restrictions and disruption.

The existing Traveline Scotland desktop website and mobile apps have also been extended to include Games information. They allow you to download a free journey planner.

Related Topics

  • Glasgow
  • ScotRail