Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is the Regional Transport Partnership for the west of Scotland
The Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive (GGPTE) was created in 1972 to oversee all suburban railways in the Glasgow area. In the 1980s it was replaced by the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive (SPTE). In 1996, the Executive was reincorporated as a body consisting of councillors drawn from the 12 Council Areas which succeeded Strathclyde Region.
In 2006 Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive (and Authority), along with the WESTRANS voluntary regional transport partnership, was replaced by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. It is part of the transport framework created by the Scottish Government, which is made up of a national transport agency, Transport Scotland, and seven Regional Transport Partnerships.
As part of this latest reorganisation SPT gained responsibility for planning for all regional transport (not just public transport) though it lost several specific powers relating to rail franchising and concessionary fares.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) is the largest of the seven regional transport partnerships. SPT’s role involves planning and delivering transport solutions for all modes of transport across the region, in conjunction with member councils and industry partners. It runs the Glasgow Subway, a host of specialist bus services and is responsible for delivering public transport.
The Partnership consists of 20 elected members representing the twelve constituent authorities in the west of Scotland and between seven and nine appointed members.
Glasgow has the largest network of suburban railway lines in the UK outside of London.
SPT is no longer involved in the everyday operation of the rail network. The rolling stock was operated on behalf of SPT by First ScotRail (also part of FirstGroup) until March 2015, since April that same year Abellio ScotRail has operated rail services under the ScotRail brand.
The Glasgow Subway is the only underground metro system in Scotland. Originally built for the Glasgow District Subway Company, the railway first opened in 1896. The Subway is generally recognised as the world’s third oldest underground railway, after London and Budapest. And the only one that has never been expanded from its original route.
The Subway forms a circle in the centre-west of Glasgow and carries 13 million passengers each year. The entire route is underground, contained in twin tunnels, 15 stations are distributed along the route length of over six miles. Eight of the stations are north of the River Clyde which dissects the circular route.
In 1977, Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive closed it for major modernisation works. The railway in its present form reopened for operation on 16th April 1980. Now part of SPT, the railway is one of the few in the UK remaining in public ownership and is ‘vertically integrated’, which means SPT’s responsibility covers all aspects of operation and infrastructure.
In 2016, SPT took a significant step forward in improving its Subway and is currently undergoing its biggest modernisation programme in more than 30 years. A £288 million funding package for the work is being supported by the Scottish Government.
As well as the new trains, the Subway’s signalling equipment, control systems and control centre will all be replaced, and the upgrade will include new platform screen doors.
Once the modernisation plan is complete, and it has been fully tested, the Subway will move from its current partially automatic trains to Unattended Train Operations (UTO).
SPT administers a range of integrated travel tickets, such as ZoneCard, Roundabout and Daytripper giving discounted fares on buses, trains, ferries and the Subway.