DUNCAN TAKES SAVE OUR BUS PETITION TO FIRST MINISTER

Duncan Cumming bus petition
Duncan Cumming bus petition

A PETITION containing more than 1,600 signatures calling for the retention of lifeline bus services in Bearsden has been delivered to the Scottish Government.

Bearsden North councillor Duncan Cumming travelled to First Minister Alex Salmond’s private office at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh to hand in the signatures.

First Glasgow caused uproar when it announced it plans to get shot of the number 11 through Bearsden, leaving thousands with no access to public transport during the day.

There are also changes planned which mean the 119 will no longer run from Baljaffray Shopping Centre, but will start from Castlemains Road, Milngavie, causing further transport headaches.

The bus company says it is making the changes, which will take effect from April 29, due to a lack of subsidy from the Scottish Government.

Councillor Cumming raised a petition in protest. He said: “When the petition started, I said that I would be following this through, by presenting it to the heart of government, and this I did last week, when I travelled through to Edinburgh.

“The elderly concessionary bus pass holders will be particularly badly affected, but so too will those trying to access work and places of education. Another major concern is access to Gartnavel Hospital for patients attending clinics and for visitors to the wards.”

“Changes in Scottish Government funding are cited as the main reasons, with the reduction in the Bus Service Operators Grant and reimbursement levels in relation to the National Concessionary Travel Scheme affecting bus service provision.

“I have no intention of allowing the culling of bus services to happen, without putting up a fight on behalf of the community. These services are essential to so many people, and a way must be found for the bus company to think outside the box and to continue a day time service, perhaps using smaller vehicles, such as those used by the orange coloured ’My Bus’ Service.

“An answer must be found to this wholly unsatisfactory situation. I am continuing to have meetings with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to see if anything can be done to rectify these outrageous proposals.

“I am continuing to collect signatures, and will do so until a workable solution, that meets the aspirations of the community, has been reached.”