A new river bus service is being launched on the River Clyde this summer, linking Glasgow city centre with Pacific Quay and Braehead. And, following successful trials last year, daily sightseeing trips from Pacific Quay, to Braehead and Clydebank are also being re-launched.
These services are among the latest initiatives from Clyde Waterfront, (www.clydewaterfront.com) the public sector partnership established to support the River Clyde’s revitalisation as a world class waterfront location, through a projected £5-6 billion of public and private investment in economic, social and environmental regeneration projects.
The new river bus service, called River Link, will be operated by Clyde Cruises, using its vessel the MV Fencer, which carries up to 33 passengers.
Running from May 26th – September 10th, five days a week (Wednesday – Sunday), the MV Fencer will offer at least three daily return services from the pontoon at Braehead Shopping Centre (first 10:15) via the Science Centre Pontoon at Pacific Quay to the Broomielaw in the city centre (last 15:30).
A one way journey will take just over ½ hour including one stop and single fares range from £1.50 - £3 for adults, £1 - £2.50 for concessions and 75p - £1.50 for children. Return fares are twice that of single fares.
Hamish Munro, managing director, Clyde Cruises (www.clydecruises.com) confirmed that successful experience of operating the river bus this summer could lead to the introduction of a larger clipper style catamaran on the route in subsequent years.
He said, “We are excited about the potential for this service. Our experience last summer of operating sightseeing trips on the Clyde suggests there is additional demand for this more regular river link service from locals and visitors alike.”
Clyde Cruises’ other vessel, the MV Cruiser, will restart daily sightseeing trips at 1pm from the Glasgow Science Centre pontoon, with stops at Braehead and Clydebank’s Titan Crane, also between May 26th and September 10th. The sightseeing trips are closely linked to the ‘Clyde Heritage Guide’ which offers twelve areas to explore along a thirteen mile stretch of the Clyde, highlighting visitor attractions and historic places of interest with travel information, web links and maps (www.clydewaterfrontheritage.com).
The MV Cruiser will also continue to offer ‘Classroom on the Clyde’ subsidised trips for schools between May and September, linking Clyde Waterfront’s regeneration and heritage with free lesson plans for teachers available at www.clydewaterfronteducation.com
A key part of the Clyde Waterfront Strategic Partnership’s work is to encourage more activity on the Clyde and the launch of this new river bus service and the re-launch of the sightseeing trips, adds to the growing volume of river based activities in recent years. This includes Loch Lomond Seaplanes, Waverley Paddle Steamer and the Seaforce RIBs which offer a great combination of experiencing the Clyde from land, sea and air!
Derek McCrindle, Director of Clyde Waterfront said, “We were delighted to support the launch of these new services which add yet another dimension to the changing face of the Clyde in recent years. We believe strongly that the river deserves to have services like these and we hope that locals and visitors to the area will support them, discovering for themselves in the process, the fantastic visitor attractions and remarkable transformation that is taking place on both banks of the river. The new services certainly support Clyde Waterfront’s strategic vision to develop a vibrant, thriving river with people and communities at its heart.”
The River Link service and sightseeing trips will receive financial support of up to £30,000 and further marketing support from the Clyde Waterfront Strategic Partnership and Glasgow City Council.
Councillor Philip Braat, Deputy Executive Member for Business and the Economy, Glasgow City Council, said: "The Clyde made Glasgow and Glasgow made the Clyde. The river is on the up again, and leisure and tourism will play an increasingly big part of Clyde Waterfront's new economy. We want to encourage operators like Clyde Cruises to develop new services for the upper stretch of the river."
Braehead’s general manager, Peter Beagley said: “Braehead is one of the major destinations and areas of regeneration on the River Clyde and it is only fitting that a riverboat service should run to and from the shopping centre.
“Not only can the new service become a popular visitor attraction, it is also a practical and environmentally-friendly mode of transport for shoppers getting to and from Braehead. We’re delighted that the service will be running on the Clyde and I’m sure it will be a huge success.”
Kirk Ramsay, Glasgow Science Centre Chief Executive: "The River Bus is a fantastic addition to the Clyde and for the city of Glasgow. The redevelopment of the Clyde is bringing more people to the area so increased transport links are definitely welcomed. Glasgow Science Centre, alongside our neighbours in Pacific Quay, will benefit from this new service."
The strategic partners behind Clyde Waterfront are the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Enterprise. The project has been accorded National Priority status and is a key driver of Scotland’s economic development in the 21st century.