Bearsden councillor demands action on threatened bus routes

Duncan Cumming outside The Scottish Parliament
Duncan Cumming outside The Scottish Parliament

INDEPENDENT coUNCILLOR Duncan Cumming met with the Transport Minister For Scotland, Keith Brown, to discuss the inadequate provision of local bus links in the district and a rail halt at the Allander.

The Bearsden North councillor was invited to Holyrood following a 1,600 signature petition about the state of the bus service he handed into Alex Salmond’s private office in April.

He gathered the signatures after First Group said they would axe services in Bearsden.

Councillor Cumming, pictured outside Holyrood, said: “I was obviously pleased to be granted the meeting with Mr Brown last week which provided a platform for me to put forward the very legitimate concerns of local people.

“Whilst we do still have a limited bus service, many issues remain to be addressed. The minister, accompanied by two senior civil servants, listened attentively to the points I raised.

“The petition and the considerable public support that the campaign had, and still does have, emphasises the passion and the strength of feeling that local people feel regarding their local buses services.

Councillor Cumming said that Strathclyde Partnership for Transport had recently put forward a 10 point plan, which has been presented to the Scottish Government and which has identified the problems of cross operator ticketing.

He added: “Many of my constituents report to me that the absence of cross operator ticketing does significantly increase bus fares.

“The minister confirmed to me receipt of this plan, which is currently being looked at by the civil service.

“However, it is quite possible that significant changes may have to be made to the legislation to allow this to become a reality.”

At the meeting the councillor also pressed the minister on the Allander Rail Halt for which he has personally campaigned for over nine years.

There are plans to build a new train station between Hillfoot and Bearsden - if the proposed Kilmardinny housing development gets the go ahead.

Councillor Cumming said: “The Minister confirmed that he will investigate this important matter and will write to me with his findings.

“I shall continue to campaign for the retention and enhancement of what little local public transport services we do have in Bearsden North.”