OAP slams two-hour bus wait

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A PARTIALLY sighted 81-year-old Milngavie pensioner has hit out after waiting two hours for a bus that had been cancelled.

The retired engineer, who asked not to be named, uses the number 47 service from Milngavie train station to Kirkintilloch once a month to get to a reading group.

But when he turned up at the stop on Thursday, August 4, the Henderson bus had been cancelled because of roadworks on Balmore Road.

The pensioner, who has been going to his class for two years, said: “I was a bit peeved. There was no sign saying the service had been cancelled and I waited for two hours. There were two other people waiting there as well. It wasn’t until someone came out of the station and told us the service was off.”

What annoyed the pensioner more than the service being off was that there was no sign telling users it had been cancelled.

Provost and Milngavie councillor Eric Gotts said: “Firstly, the travelling public would appear not to have been notified that the bus service had been temporarily suspended for five days and secondly it would appear that alternative routes between Milngavie and Kirkintilloch for example through Bishopbriggs, do not appear to have been considered. This is indeed strange because all other vehicular traffic was diverted through Bishopbriggs if it was going between Kirkintilloch and Milngavie.”

Councillor Gotts added that he had written to both Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and Henderson Travel, adding: “Even more concerning is the fact that there is complete confusion over the responsibility for this lack of communication.

“I have concrete evidence that the council’s roads authority did contact SPT in early July to warn them of the situation regarding the temporary closure of Balmore Road due to its resurfacing operations. The issue of responsibility then gets muddied by the fact that the SPT claim that it notified Henderson Travel but Henderson Travel, in reply, apparently deny ever receiving any information from SPT.”

John Henderson, the boss of Henderson Travel who operate the service with a subsidy from SPT, said: “We are terribly sorry this man had to wait two hours, but what should have happened is SPT should have put signs up. They have people that do that. It is their job. We just do not have the manpower to do it.”

A spokeswoman for SPT said: “SPT always works closely with operators to find alternative routes and minimise disruption to passengers when roads are closed. That includes informing passengers about the changes.

“We are currently investigating why notices which were indeed produced in this instance were not on bus stops. We apologise wholeheartedly for any inconvenience this may have caused and will endeavour to ensure this does not happen again.”