MSP says withdrawal of direct hospital bus service will be “letting down” service users

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:00 GMT on Friday, 2nd November 2012.

CUMBERNAULD and Kilsyth SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, has asked First Bus to revisit their decision to withdraw its only direct bus connecting Kilsyth to Forth Valley Royal Infirmary.

Under a new timetable the 27 route from Falkirk to Glasgow will no longer go via Larbet, meaning all stops on this route will lose their direct link to the Infirmary, including Kilsyth and Banton. 

The new timetable, detailed on the company’s website, will come into force this Monday 29th October and will be in place until further notice.

Mr Hepburn has now written to First Bus to demand details of the decision making process behind this and to request that they revisit this decision as a matter of urgency.

Commenting, the MSP said: “The 27 route is vital to large numbers of my constituents who depend on it to get to and from hospital appointments.  We all know how stressful a visit to hospital can be at the best of times.  No one wants or needs the added cost, time and worry that comes with not having a direct route.”

“A number of constituents have contacted me in the past to criticise the public transport links to the hospitals which serve the area.  Given that this was the situation while this service was in place I am also concerned about the levels of consultation which may have taken place and wonder how many users of this service are even aware of this impending cut?”

Mr Hepburn added: “I realise that First Bus are a private company and that this is a commercial decision but they need to bear in mind that they have a responsibility to provide a public service.  By cutting this route they are failing in this responsibility and letting down the people of these communities.”

The service update informs readers: “For passengers wishing to travel between Bonnybridge and Forth Valley Royal Hospital they will also be able to travel on the new service 19.”