Infrastructure & connectivity
The combination of transport and technology infrastructure place Glasgow a step ahead of numerous European locations.
Transport options are plentiful. Glasgow is within an hour’s drive of three international airports, with Glasgow International Airport being just 15 minutes from the city centre. Rail and motorway links are also extensive and commuter/passenger services are reliable and well-maintained.
Glasgow is constantly investing in its transport infrastructure, with projects such as an extensive development and major expansion at Glasgow Airport and several motorway and rail line improvements and extensions. The Glasgow Subway is undergoing a full-scale upgrade and modernisation while Queen Street Station is about to begin a multi-million pound redevelopment and expansion.
Connectivity options include one of the most state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructures in Europe. The city is equipped with a 100% digital infrastructure and hundreds of wifi hotspots throughout Glasgow enable almost ubiquitous mobility.
Glasgow is close to three international airports: Glasgow Airport is 15 minutes from the city centre, Glasgow Prestwick, 45 minutes and Edinburgh, 1 hour.
Glasgow Airport has approximately 200 flights daily with and 30 airlines serving 120 destinations. There are 438 flights to London per week and over 70 per day to and from London. With one hour flying time it’s easy to do business between Glasgow and London.
Over 9 million passengers pass through Glasgow Airport annually. More than £200 million has been invested in the airport in the last decade, which has resulted in securing new routes, an international pier extension, a terminal extension and more in-airport amenities for passenger use and comfort.
In 2016 Glasgow Airport secured three prestigious prizes and was named best European, UK and Scottish Airport of the year.
Glasgow has the UK’s largest suburban rail network outside London and its biggest rail station, Glasgow Central, has connections to all major English cities. London can be reached in around 4 hours. Glasgow Queen Street station connects Glasgow to the East and North of Scotland (Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Inverness). Eight trains go to Edinburgh per hour, which can be reached just 50 minutes.
The rail network also serves the scenic west coast towns and villages.
Glasgow’s underground rail system has 3 city access stations and 12 others that serve key business, culture and leisure areas in Glasgow’s west end. Trains run every 4 minutes at peak times and travel across the city in 10 minutes.
Over the past 10 years, First Bus Glasgow has invested over £100 million in new buses and technology for the Greater Glasgow network and they now operate over 100 routes across the city. There are countless other operators running more than 150 daily services throughout Glasgow and the surrounding areas.
There are frequent bus services to and from Glasgow Airport, taking only 15 minutes.
Scotland offers a modern and comprehensive road network with less traffic densities than other parts of the UK. Transport Scotland – the national transport agency – is undertaking an ambitious project to upgrade the core of Scotland’s motorway network to improve the connections between the commercial centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and beyond.
The M8 is the main motorway in Scotland and connects Glasgow and Edinburgh. The M8 bypasses Glasgow city centre, ensuring less congestion at peak times and provides access to north, south, east and west of Scotland. The M74 and M77 join the M8 at Glasgow connecting the city region at its heart.
Work is underway on both the M8 and the M74 to extend their reach and reduce travel times across Glasgow and the surrounding areas.
Glasgow benefits from a substantial travel to work area. 1.2 million people live within a 45 minute commute and 2 million with an hour of Glasgow, providing the city with a wide and mobile labour pool.
Glasgow’s digital connectivity can meet and exceed the most demanding technology requirements of today’s progressive companies. 97% of the city will be covered by superfast broadband by December 2017 with a commitment to provide a true next generation fibre network in the city by 2023, providing ultrafast capability.
Keeping pace with the scale of development, the new Gigabit City fibre network is transforming the city’s digital infrastructure, supporting internet connectivity of up to 100 times faster than the UK average. The state-of-the-art network will future-proof the city as the demand for greater bandwidth continues to grow. Up to 7,000 city centre businesses will be within close reach of the fibre network within a year and ultimately up to 15,000 businesses across the city will benefit when the citywide roll-out is completed.
Glasgow’s telecoms connections are 100% digital with numerous operators offering services in the city.
At present, broadband connectivity is offered as fixed (fibre and cable), wireless and mobile network. Glasgow was the first UK city to provide a combined cellular and wifi network in all of its 15 underground stations.
The Glasgow Economic Strategy has also identified Digital Technology as a key sector for the first time. Digital skills and technology enable all of Glasgow’s sectors. Focusing on growing the digital sector and increasing the number of people with digital skills creates an attractive, modern location for any business to flourish.