Loop service a priority says Ian

CALLS have been made for a new bus service to be run through Bearsden and Milngavie.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s SNP group have discovered that a local circular bus route running in Bishopbriggs is being subsidised by Strathclyde Passenger for Transport (SPT) and are questioning why the council administration has “done nothing” to introduce the same service here.

They plan to bring proposals to the council to introduce a similar half-hourly service following the planned withdrawal of First Glasgow’s number 11 service which will leave many Bearsden residents isolated.

SNP group leader Councillor Ian Mackay said: “This loop service works well in Bishopbriggs and the current administration are aware of that, so why have they chosen to ignore the residents of Bearsden and Milngavie by not entering into a discussion with the operator to bring about the same system here?

“They are happy to blame everyone and moan about services being withdrawn, but they have done nothing to implement a practical solution to the problem, which has been within their power since this present situation has come to light.

“We plan to make the introduction of this service a priority. It’s one thing to protest about the axing of a service due to a decision taken by a commercial company, but finding a solution to the problem is what service users are really interested in.

Derek Cunningham, East Dunbartonshire’s director of development and infrastructure, said: “In February we received a letter from First Glasgow providing a list of impacts that could result from the Scottish Government’s intentions to reduce the Bus Service Operators Grant and to cap the budget for reimbursement of operators through the National Concessionary Travel Scheme.

“We notified all councillors of the situation at the time and went on to have a meeting with First Glasgow and SPT, to which all councillors were invited.

“The main outcome of the meeting was that SPT agreed to investigate opportunities to fill gaps in service brought about by First Glasgow route alterations which will become operational from the April 29.

“Since then we have kept in contact with SPT and have been provided with regular updates. To date, despite approaches to several operators SPT have not managed to find a solution to the service gaps.

“We will continue to work with our partners on this very important issue.”