First Bus under fire again for changes

Cllr Paul O'Kane bus campaign against First Bus cuts
Cllr Paul O'Kane bus campaign against First Bus cuts

First Bus are still well and truly in the firing line for plans to change local services on the southside.

Two weeks ago The Extra revealed how the transport operator planned to alter the number 4 service and make significant changes to the 4A serving Eaglesham.

Local Labour Councillor for Newton Mearns North, Paul O’Kane has called on First Bus to rethink the proposed changes.

Paul said: “I am extremely disappointed that First Bus have decided to axe or change parts of this vital service in our local community. The removal of a bus service from parts of Barrhead Road and Stewarton Road will have an adverse impact on local residents who rely on this to get around.

“In addition Harvie Avenue and Capelrig Road will experience a much reduced bus service. This is completely unacceptable.

Paul added: “This is unfair for local people from students taking the bus to school, college and university, to elderly people using the bus to access shopping centres, dental and health appointments at various locations.

Cllr O’Kane has written to First Bus outlining the concerns of local residents and calling for the company to consult with local people and ultimately reinstate the services.

In addition he has written to the Transport Minister, Pollok SNP MSP Humza Yousaf to raise the wider issue of better bus reregulation across Scotland.

Commenting further, Paul said: “Companies like First are able to change services at the drop of a hat because of a lack of regulation. Bus passengers across Scotland are losing out – vital services have been cut back and fares are going up. Too many communities aren’t getting the bus services they deserve because bus firms are picking and choosing the most profitable routes.”

A First Glasgow spokesperson said: “First Glasgow has announced curtailment of the routes for Services 4 and 4A in some areas, regrettably due to falling passenger numbers.

“We accept that the changes made to Service 4 will cause inconvenience to some passengers but we have been faced with falling customer numbers in Newton Mearns for several years and we believe Service 38 can meet the needs of the majority of passengers in the area. Customers using Service 38 can transfer to Service 4 at Newton Mearns Cross.

“The section of route on Service 4A in Eaglesham has existed as a drop-off for passengers before buses proceed to the terminus. Pick-up for buses leaving Eaglesham for Glasgow is still available at other stops as before.

“By making these changes, we believe we can maintain the service levels in line with current demand and we have sought to provide alternatives where possible.”