A NEW bus service has come to the rescue of people left stranded by route cuts - and just in the nick of time.
First Glasgow will axe their daytime number 11 service between Bearsden and Milngavie on Sunday - but a new operator will take over on Monday morning.
There was uproar when First announced their plans, which could have led to thousands being left without public transport during the day.
However, frantic behind the scenes talks have produced a resolution - in the short term at least.
Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) announced that McColl’s will operate a 118a service, starting from 9.10am on Monday.
Bearsden North Councillor Duncan Cumming, who has campaigned to save the route and who last week delivered a 1,600 signature petition to Holyrood, said: “During the last few months I have remained in constant contact with SPT and have lobbied them on many occasions, and I am therefore delighted that the powers that be have listened to the voice of the people, and have delivered a partial replacement bus service.
“Currently this new service will only travel as far as the shops at Anniesland Cross, but I will be lobbying for this service to be extended to Gartnavel Hospital. I also remain concerned that Mosshead is isolated, and would benefit from an extension of this service into the area.
“I am keen to establish a Transport Forum for local people to have input into the development and sustainability of local transport, so that we could ultimately have a service of which we can be proud.
The new service is being carried out on a temporary contract with McColl’s, while a long term solution is sought.
East Dunbartonshire Council’s SPT representative, Councillor Alan Moir, said: “I am delighted that SPT officers have found a solution, all be it that there is certainly additional work to be done.
“But let’s be absolutely clear, the problem of securing bus services across East Dunbartonshire and beyond still exists and I repeat my call on the Scottish Government to properly support bus services and to adopt all the SPT proposals to improve better regulation of bus services.”
The news was warmly welcomed by councillors. Councillor Amanda Stewart said: “This is great news for the residents of Baljaffray, Bearsden and Milngavie. I’m delighted that SPT have listened to residents and the council on this.”
Councillor Ashay Ghai said: “This shows that real behind the scenes action by councillors from different parties can be effective.”
The service will be run hourly Monday to Saturday starting at 9.10am and finishing at 7.10pm. The route, commencing at Milngavie Train Station, will take in Fulton Road, Woodburn Way, Main Street, Park Road, Craigdhu Road, Baljaffray Road, Grampian Way, Ledi Drive, Duntocher Road, Drymen Road, Canniesburn Toll, Switchback Road, Bearsden Road and Great Western Road, terminating at Anniesland Cross.