Extra bus services en route

First Bluebird MD Paul McGowan. Picture: Michael Gillen.
First Bluebird MD Paul McGowan. Picture: Michael Gillen.

A bus operator has announced a series of changes to local services which it says will bring “significant” improvements to the network.

First Midland Bluebird will extend the 2A from Falkirk beyond Dunipace to Stirling and the city’s university from Monday-Saturday starting on May 8.

First Midland Bluebird MD Paul McGowan announced the service changes. Picture: Michael Gillen

First Midland Bluebird MD Paul McGowan announced the service changes. Picture: Michael Gillen

The company says this will provide a “long requested” direct bus from Bonnybridge to Stirling.

There will be additional peak period journeys on Service 38/38A (Stirling–Edinburgh Royal Route) and the new X38 express service will provide improved frequency to and from Edinburgh at peak times, operating through Polmont and Linlithgow and Winchburgh in West Lothian.

There will also be revised timetables for Service 3 (Falkirk Wheel–Grangemouth), Service 4/4A (Camelon Ochiltree Terrace–Grangemouth) and Service 4B (Croy-Grangemouth), with services 3 and 4/4A/4B operating at a 20-minute frequency. Service 4B will continue to operate hourly to Banknock, Kilsyth and Croy Station.

The 29 will have a revised timetable and will no longer run through Greenmount Drive in Shieldhill due to problems caused by parked cars on the street.

First Midland Bluebird managing director Paul McGowan, said: “We’ve conducted detailed analysis and listened closely to feedback in making these changes and we hope it will encourage more people to choose Midland Bluebird buses for their daily commute or for shopping and leisure.”

General election Labour candidate for the Falkirk seat Craig R Martin, who campaigned for lower bus fares when he was councillor, said: “I welcome this news which I credit to First in Falkirk bringing in the daily and weekly passes that make travelling much more affordable.

“As I was saying for years the vicious circle of First raising prices that resulted in usage dropping and then withdrawing services due to low usage was crazy. This is a welcomed step in the right direction.”

SNP general election candidate John McNally said: “It is heartening that First Bus is listening at last to the people who use their service. That’s an important step in the right direction.

“As always, however, prices have to match peoples’ pockets to and that is something that First Bus needs to consider.”

“If, as a consequence, more of us use public transport, then that again is a positive improvement where reduction in emissions is concerned.