Cuts - but Falkirk bus operators take on new routes

Service changes come into force today
Service changes come into force today
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Bus bosses will cut services today (Monday) - but the same day be paid by Falkirk Council to take on four new routes!

Local operators First Bluebird announced plans in November to axe 14 services including the ‘Circular’ from Stenhousemuir to Falkirk via Camelon - because they cost the company money.

The shake-up will also see revised routes and timetables for buses stopping at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

First claims that in the majority of cases the changes will not stop passengers getting a bus to where they want to go across the district - but admit they may have to change buses to get there meaning longer journey times. Fewer buses on certain routes will also create longer gaps between journeys.

Now, and despite cancelling services elsewhere, First has won council contracts to run services from Falkirk to Fankerton via Stenhousemuir and Denny and from Falkirk to Banknock via Bonnybridge as well as the Fankerton to Denny school service the council previously paid Stirling-based company WAVE £120,000 a year to operate.

First has also signed a deal to provide the new two-hourly F25 route between Falkirk and the Braes which replaces the E20, E22 and F40 services they decided to withdraw and cost the council £220,000 a year.

A council spokesperson said: “After being advised by First of the number of service withdrawals and changes the provision of supported bus services in the Braes was reviewed. The new F25 service maintains bus links from California, Waggon Road and Wallacestone to Meadowbank Health Centre and Falkirk and additionally a link to the health centre from Standburn. It does not serve Whitecross which has had an hourly service to the health centre since last August.”