BUS timetable changes due to come into force on Sunday were greeted with cautious optimism by Bearsden councillor Duncan Cumming.
The Independent representative for Bearsden North, who has campaigned against cuts to local services, welcomed the fact there would be no change to the 118A service that runs from Hardgate through Bearsden and into the city centre, but was not so happy with cuts to the 118 route that will now be run by two different bus companies, with one of the firms now terminating the service at Gartnavel Hospital out of peak hours.
Councillor Cumming said: “These changes are complex and therefore may well be confusing to local bus users. Many of these services continue to remain under review and could be subject to change at the end of September.
“I am delighted that the 118A Service remains unchanged as regards timetable and route. From July 15 this route will be operated by City Bus on behalf of SPT rather than McColl’s buses.
“Please be assured that I will continue to lobby SPT, and the bus operators to provide a service to go at least as far as Gartnavel Hospital during the day, to assist those attending for appointments or for visiting.”
But Councillor Cumming was less happy with the cuts to the 118 service.
He said: “It was with regret that I learned the 118 Service routes have been significantly curtailed. There will now be two operators, City Bus and First Bus.
“The 118 subsidised service that will be run until the end of September by Citybus on behalf of SPT will only run to Gartnavel Hospital on a very limited timetable, whereas the 118 First Bus Service, although limited, will continue to provide direct access to the City Centre, via the West End, with a return option.”
Following these changes, Councillor Cumming has had a meeting to discuss his concerns with senior management of both SPT and Citybus.
He added: “I have asked Citybus if they would consider exploring the possibility of extending services beyond Gartnavel Hospital and I will continue to campaign for additional services to and from the City Centre via the West End.
“I would also like a loop bus that would circulate around the communities of Bearsden and Milngavie, thus making shopping and access to the train stations much easier.”
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) said they were committing over £200,000 across the region to maintaining under threat bus services.
Denis McKenna, chair of SPT’s operations committee, said: “SPT has approved £216,334 of temporary bus contracts to maintain public transport links across the region.
“SPT understands local bus services are extremely important to the people in the communities they serve. It is great news that SPT has been able to keep these operating.”