Ayrshire Travel & Transport

The transport system in the city of Glasgow and the areas of North, South and East Ayrshire offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire and coaches.

Glasgow has an extensive bus network providing transport across the city of Glasgow, to the outskirts of the city and the surrounding areas. Local bus services and timetables are shown at: First Bus Glasgow.

Buchanan Street Bus Station provides bus services around the city of Glasgow, the local suburbs and further a field to Edinburgh and London.

Stagecoach Bus provides local bus services across Ayrshire including in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Irvine and surrounding areas. The bus network in Glasgow and Ayrshire offers visitors a cost effective way of travelling across the region.

Trains in Glasgow serve a number of routes across the centre of Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Glasgow has one of the most extensive urban rail networks in the UK. There are two main railway stations, Glasgow Queen Street station provides rail links to destinations in Central and Northern Scotland including Edinburgh, Dundee and Alloa.

Glasgow Central station is the largest mainline station in Scotland and is used for services from London Euston. The service is operated by Virgin Trains. The approx journey time from London to Glasgow is 4 hours 30 minutes via Virgin trains and 6 hours via East Coast trains.

Glasgow Central includes several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services including services to Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Birmingham.

There are mainline stations at Ayr, Kilmarnock, Prestwick Town and Prestwick Airport that have services to and from Glasgow Central station.

For more information including timetables, connections and tickets please see Scotrail

The city of Glasgow can be explored by bicycle via a number of cycle routes that cyclists can use to see the city and its various attractions. The city is mainly flat allowing good touring of the city by bicycle. The Glasgow Cycle Network includes cycle routes, cycle lanes and tracks.

For more information please see: Glasgow Cycling

The Glasgow Subway offers visitors a quick and efficient way to get around the city with a number of stops close to tourist attractions and places of interest. The subway is an underground metro that covers the city centre area and the west end, there are 15 stations spread over a 10 km circuit, with two lines operating the outer circle line that runs clockwise and the inner circle line that runs anti-clockwise.

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport in the Glasgow & Ayrshire area go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Glasgow that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars. Glasgow does experience traffic congestion along with many other cities, the traffic is usually at its peak during the peak morning and evening rush hours however road incidents and unforeseen circumstances can create traffic congestion at all times.

Glasgow has good road connections to other areas in Scotland and to England. The M8 motorway links Glasgow to Edinburgh, whilst the M74 motorway links Glasgow to England. The West Coast of Scotland is accessible via the M77 and the M80 gives access to Stirling.

North South and East Ayrshire is assessable via the motorway on the M77 with major A roads including the A737, A71, A76 and A77.

Parking in Glasgow is available in the main car parks and on street parking. Among the main city car parks are the Cadogan Square, Charing Cross, Duke Street and Cambridge Street car parks.

On Street car parking is available in some areas of the city centre, the charges and maximum stay vary according to the zone. It is recommended drivers ensure they fully understand the rules of where exactly they are parking and always check before they park if they are unsure on any aspect of the rules and regulations.

Drivers should note there are parking restrictions in the city and there may be driving restrictions in and around the city centre. Following the rules is advised as any infringement is likely to be met with strict enforcement of fines.

For more information please see: Glasgow Parking for more details on Glasgow parking and car parks.

Glasgow is easily accessible by coach with coach services from a number of UK towns and cities including from London where there are regular coach services to Glasgow with a journey time of between 8 hours to 10 hours depending on the service. Both National Express and Megabus offer coach services from London to Glasgow. There are also coach services to Glasgow from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Licensed Glasgow Taxis taxis are available across the city with taxi ranks located in travel and business areas including Glasgow Central station, Sauchiehall Street, Byres Road and Albion Street. Licensed taxis operate with fares metered and may have a minimum charge. Taxis offer a convenient way to travel around the city especially for visitors who have heavy shopping or are travelling in the evenings or at night.

Minicabs offer visitors a cheaper option to using taxis; in general they usually charge cheaper rates and need to be pre-booked in advance. Unlike taxis they cannot be hailed from the street, licensed minicabs from reputable firms offer a good option to get around Glasgow and the surrounding areas in Ayrshire. Visitors should be aware vehicles are not recognisable as taxis are; they usually look just like ordinary cars.

Minicabs can usually carry 4 passengers with larger vehicles available to carry more. When using minicabs it is recommended visitors only use those that are licensed as a Private Hire Operator with the local council ensuring the vehicle and river are subject to regular checks.

Please Note: Visitors should be aware of unlicensed, unbooked minicabs and those touting for business on the street including outside tourist attractions, stations and public places, it is strongly recommended not to use these for your own safety

There are services between Larne in Northern Ireland and both Troon in Ayrshire and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway. In additional there are services from Cairnryan and Belfast in Northern Ireland services are operated by P&O Ferries.

The port of Troon is approx 35 miles from Glasgow, the port of Cairnryan is located approx 80 miles from Glasgow.

Glasgow Airport is located approx 10 miles to the west of Glasgow city centre, with a journey time of approx 20 minutes by car. The airport is used by approx 30 airlines serving 90 destinations around the world. Glasgow Airport is connected to Glasgow city centre via bus with regular services including the First Bus Glasgow Shuttle service.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located approx 32 miles south west of Glasgow city centre, in South Aryshire. Glasgow Prestwick airport has a railway terminal located at the airport. The trains from Glasgow Central station offer easy access to and from the airport, frequency is every 30 minutes and the journey time is approx 50 minutes. All passengers travelling to and from the airport are eligible to receive a 50% discount on the standard fare. In order for passengers to qualify for the discount, passengers need to show their official flight confirmation and photo id to the train conductor when buying they are buying a ticket.

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