An informtion evening on the New South Glasgow Hospitals has been called for Newton Mearns — but many fear that it’s still a long and winding road to the facility.
Newton Mearns north councillor Charlie Gilbert has raised the lack of transport links to areas outwith Glasgow, despite plans for a Fastlink service.
He told The Extra: “It has become apparent that the cash allocated by the Scottish Government for the new hospital is only for Glasgow. I have emphasised that there must be links, for instance for Giffnock and Newton Mearns, to bus services in Glasgow and on to the new hospital.”
The call has been echoed by Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw, who said: “As many services move from the Victoria Infirmary, patients in East Renfrewshire need to know that it won’t take two hours and several changes of bus to make it on time.”
Labour man Ken Macintosh, Eastwood MSP, added: “Access for residents here in East Ren has been a major worry since the new hospital was mooted. I am pleased the health board are engaging with local people but if we want to avert a crisis, this needs urgent ministerial intervention.”
Extra readers took to social media to voice their concerns, including Erin Lynch who said: “This is an absolute nightmare for non-drivers. Transport links in East Ren are already quite poor. Right now, getting to the new hospital is like a military operation.”
Pauline Davidson added that travelling to the city centre to reach a southside hospital is “just not good enough”.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman responded: “Transport Scotland is contributing up to £40m towards the cost of Fastlink, the rapid trasit system aimed at reducing journey times from the city centre.
“Fastlink will act as an interchange, not only serving people beginning their journey but providing connections from other areas such as East Renfrewshire.
“We have also invested £61m in the M77 to ensure the strategic road is safe, efficient and effective — further work is underway.”
An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman added that the health board is “working with SPT to commission new services.”
The information evening will be held at Newton Mearns Baptist Church on March 11, 7.30pm, with a presentation by Dr Kate Munro, NHS GGC’s community engagement manager, on the facilities available.
The £842m hospital campus was officially handed over in January, with the first service transfers scheduled for April.