by Ciaran Roarty
The New Eastwood Health and Care Centre is due to open in May, 2016 and it is with great concern we note that no update on travel to and from the site has been shared with the community. In fact, the web page providing information on the new centre on the council website has not been updated since April, 2015.
The following facilities are due to close and move into the impressive new building:
As well as GP surgeries from Muirend, Giffnock, and Clarkston
The full business case for the centre makes reference to the need for ‘Access to Public, community and green transport’ but, just weeks before the centre is due to open no details of this access is available to be evaluated and a vague statement on the council website is all that can be found with more detail: ‘We appreciate that people will need to travel to a different location and we are working closely with SPT to explore transport routes. Further details of travel to the new centre will be shared on this page in the coming weeks.’
The East Ren Greens are, therefore, concerned that the necessary public transport links will not be in place before the opening of the building – there are currently no public transport links between Giffnock and Williamwood, Barrhead and Williamwood, Busby and Williamwood, or Clarkston and Williamwood.
With so many GP surgeries and clinics closing, the impact on the heart of Clarkston should not be ignored either: a significantly diminished footfall would need to be planned for otherwise it will impact severely without any strategic response.
SCOTLAND CAN CONNECT PEOPLE
Too many people are underserved by local bus routes. We would support the re-regulation of buses to stop companies ‘cherry-picking’ profitable routes and leaving some communities stranded. Regulations should include a minimum level of service guarantee; requirements to invest in making services fully accessible to all disabled people and parents; increasing energy efficient vehicles, such as electric or biowaste buses; and a renovation programme for bus stations to make them attractive places. Green MSPs will support campaigns to extend the free bus pass to unpaid carers on benefits provide enhanced support to community transport schemes.
By regulating buses and bringing rail back into public hands, Scotland Can can create an affordable, reliable public transport system for everyone, and make sure that people in our communities are connected to vital health and social care services.