More complaints about bus service

Bus operator First has been accused of putting its passengers second - again.

Just months after the traffic commissioner met company bosses to give them the chance to answer claims it was failing to run services between Camelon and Grangemouth on time, there have been complaints about the service it provides to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

One passenger complained that in the space of a week earlier this month the 67 and 76 buses arrived at Bainsford late and the 6A from Falkirk bus station did not leave on time and was a “nightmare” journey.

She said: “It was a double decker that rattled and shook all the way. The journey was a nightmare. When we arrived the driver actually apologised for the noise we had to put up with. He then told passengers waiting to go back to Falkirk he was terminating the service and taking the bus back to the depot empty.

“I can’t afford taxis to take me to the hospital and depend on buses, but some of the buses they put on such an important route are ridiculous. They keep all the best buses for people going to Edinburgh. It’s a disgrace.”

First Scotland East was asked to comment but a spokeswoman would only say: “For this story to provide a full and accurate comment we will require more details in relation to the contact, the journey they were travelling on and customer details. Once we have this full information we will be able to comment.”

In January Scotland East’s managing director Paul Thomas said: “At First Scotland East the safety of our staff and our passengers is our number one priority. I can assure customers that we would never put into service a bus that was not roadworthy. Our buses are inspected regularly to very high standards and generally we experience very few problems.

“However, as with any motor vehicle, mechanical problems can occur whilst on the road. We would encourage the passenger concerned to contact our customer services team so that we can identify exactly the vehicles that caused her concern and launch our own investigation.

“In the meantime, I hope to unveil details in the coming months of our plans to upgrade and refresh our bus fleet.”

Complaints about bus services can be sent to the traffic commissioner at: The Stamp Office, 10 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG