Licensees and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) have welcomed the possibility of a late-night subway service in Glasgow.
Currently, trains run until 11.30pm Monday to Saturday and till 6pm on Sunday.
But following the launch of a late-night tube service in London last month, Charlie Hoskins, director of Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT), which operates Glasgow’s subway, indicated that trains “will definitely be running till the small hours” in the coming years.
This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for SPT, who told SLTN: “It’s something we will be looking at, but we are in the midst of a major modernisation programme at the moment, so it will probably be once the new trains are in place before we can look at it seriously.
“But it is part of the longer-term plan.”
She added that the new trains will probably not all be in place until 2020 or 2021.
Bar and pub operators in the city were optimistic about the news.
Michael McHugh, owner of The Station Bar in Cowcaddens, said: “I think it’s overdue, because there’s a lot of pressure on people at the end of the night. They worry about getting home.
“The underground covers the city centre and the west end, so it would increase mobility and allow people to get around the city a bit better. It’s a facility that hasn’t moved along with modern life.”
And Mark Lappin, co-owner of city centre bars Howlin’ Wolf and Slouch, said a late-night subway service would be “a great idea”.
“It would take the strain off the taxi service, who really struggle between 11pm and 3am to empty the city centre,” said Lappin. “It would also take the pressure off the doormen and women, who have a challenge getting all the late night customers off the street.”
SLTA chief executive Paul Waterson said a later subway service would be welcome at a time when the trade is operating for longer hours.
“Anything that can transport people home safely if they’re out late at night has got to be welcomed,” he said. “I think it will help the night-time economy.”
Discussion about the Glasgow service follows the launch of the late-night tube service in London, which ran for the first time on August 19. British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said the launch of the service was “great news” for London’s licensed trade staff and customers.