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  September 2014 
  The 20th Commonwealth Games were staged in Glasgow in July 2014.   Most of the venues were concentrated in and around the city itself apart from the shooting which took place near Dundee and the diving which was at the 1971 Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.   As with the London Olympics, First were appointed as the prime contractor to operate shuttle buses for athletes, officials and spectators.   They supplied nearly 400 vehicles of which about 100 were brand new.  Stagecoach also contributed a sizeable number of buses from its fleets throughout the UK and together with other operators this made up another 500 vehicles.   The event itself was extremely good natured and brought out the old familiar humour and optimism from the Glaswegian public.
East End Venues

Several venues were used in the regenerated East End of Glasgow.   Cycling took place at the new Velodrome opposite Celtic Park which staged the opening ceremony, and the swimming was staged at the pool in Tollcross Park.

  • The Tollcross International Swimming Centre had its capacity increased with temporary seating for the events at the Commonwealth Games
  • The office website for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games encouraged spectators to take public transport to the venues as indicated by this bus stop in Argyll St.
  • Docherty Midland Coaches of Auchterarder were one of several companies to provide coaches for athletes as seen at the Tollcross pool
  • Service buses, such as this new Enviro300 from First heading for Airdrie, displayed information on their destination blinds about the venues
  • First used 40 new Wright bodied Streetlites to provide spectator transport such as this example at the Tollcross pool


Hampden Park was home to all the athletics events.   A shuttle service ran to the stadium from Buchanan Bus Station in the centre of Glasgow as well from Park & Ride sites on the outskirts.

  • Stagecoach provided a around 150 vehicles from its UK fleets including Unibus liveried Enviro400s from Warwick which had also been used at the London Olympics in 2012.
  • Hampden Park was transformed from Scotland's national football stadium into an athletics arena.
  • Stagecoach provided 50 surplus Dennis Tridents from London
  • Go Northern supplied 20 vehicles including this Volvo/Gemini seen leaving Buchanan Bus Station.
  • Buses were loaded using an unconventional method for the return journey from Hampden Park - passengers were lined up beside five vehicles and then all the doors were opened simultaneously on an order on the radio by the controller.
  • McGills extensive bendibus fleet was used by SPT as contingency vehicles.
  • As with the London Olympics Reading supplied 10 Enviro400's mainly in claret livery for media duties.   Three are seen through a rainy Stagecoach window at the new First Group Caledonia depot on the south side of the city.

Clyde Arenas

The main city centre venues were the Clyde Auditorium (affectionately known as The Armadillo) and the new SSE Hydro, both on the banks of the Clyde beside the SECC.   This was the only location to have a transport hub similar to those at the London Olympics.   The arenas hosted boxing, gymnastics, judo, netball, wresting and weightlifting.

  • Weightlifting at The Armadillo.
  • The SECC precinct is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Glasgow.
  • Ulsterbus supplied spare vehicles as they had done at the London Olympics.   These comprised 92 Volvo/Geminis in Ulsterbus and Metro liveries.
  • National Express provided 20 Enviro400s which are intended for the West Midlands fleet.
  • The transport hub was out of bounds apart from ticket holders.
  • First provided a fleet of 60 new Enviro400's destined for Manchester and Yorkshire for shuttle work.   The usual cryptic TLA's (three letter acronyms) were used on destination blinds in this case TIS (Tollcross International Swimming).


Other smaller venues were used around Glasgow such as Kelvingrove which hosted the bowls.   A Stagecoach former Wigan Volvo/Gemini is seen near the venue.   Stagecoach East Scotland and West Scotland provided transport for the police.   There were no shuttles to this location - spectators were encouraged to use public transport, especially The Subway.

>>> PLAY >>>  >>> PLAY >>> 
Weightlifting - Richard Patterson (NZ), winner of men's 85Kg Swimming medal ceremony - Men's 400m Individual Medley - winner, Daniel Wallace (SCO)

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Other Highlights
    Probably the most iconic image of Glasgow is the Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington in Royal Exchange Square.   The Duke has sported a cone on his head for nearly 30 years despite Glasgow City Council's lack of approval.
    George Square is the focal point of the centre of Glasgow, dominated by the imposing City Chambers.   During the games it was the site of the always throbbing souvenir tent and the ticket office for any last minute spectators.   The statue of Robert Burns, Scotland's favourite poet, was also suitably bedecked in a tartan tam o'shanter.
    Many spectators started their journey to the Commonwealth Games venues from Buchanan Bus Station which was suitably bedecked in regalia.
    The BBC Scotland studios are directly opposite the SECC precinct.   A live nightly roundup show was presented from the main foyer which was converted to a wine bar for the occasion.   There were also other attractions on the quayside including the Royal Navy minehunter HMS Bangor.
    Security was enforced in a friendly and courteous manner by PC Plum and some colleagues.
    Special purple signs were in use to direct motorists to the events, although there were only a handful of Games Lanes in use, contrary to the London Olympics.
    Spectators were encouraged to take public transport or walk to the events.   These signs are in Sauchiehall St to give visitors a clue about which direction to take.
    Willow Tea Rooms, Glasgow
Take afternoon tea or have a light lunch in the restored Rennie Macintosh palace that is Willow Tea Rooms.   Be sure to book ahead as there is always a queue out of the door.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx All photos taken in July 2014.   Click to enlarge photos and play clips.




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