Constituency MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Stuart McDonald and MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Jamie Hepburn have today criticised plans by First Bus to withdraw key local services.
The bus company recently announced that they plan to completely withdraw the X86 Falkirk to Glasgow and the 24 Stirling to Kilsyth services this August.
The local representatives have now written directly to First Bus and to the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) setting out their opposition to the proposed cut. Local councillor for the area Alan Stevenson has also criticised the plans.
The SNP duo have also now launched a survey, seeking the views of those who live along the threatened routes on how the withdrawal would impact on their lives and on their community.
When concerns were raised about the possible cutting of the 24 service in June 2015, Mr Hepburn wrote to First who set out in writing that they had no plans to withdraw this service. In his latest letter to the bus company he has drawn their attention to their previous assurance.
Commenting on the matter Mr McDonald said:
“There are many residents who will be affected if these services are removed.
“I am deeply concerned that First Bus are not taking into account the negative impact any further service withdrawals would have on the local communities which are served by the X86 and 24 buses currently.
“I would urge all those who will be affected by these plans to participate in our survey so that we can clearly demonstrate to First the strength of feeling in the local area about their proposals.”
Mr Hepburn said:
“These changes would leave whole communities including Banton with no bus services at all, which is entirely unacceptable.
“If despite that, First prove determined to withdraw these services then SPT have a responsibility to ensure that these communities are provided for. Urgent action is required from all involved and that is what I am calling for.
“This news is all the more disappointing coming less than a year after I received explicit assurances that they had no plans to cut the 24 service that they are doing just that.”