No rise in bus fares when Polmont road closes

Polmont's Station Road was closed  for five days for exploratory works ahead of a nine-month closure in January. Picture: Michael Gillen (141827)
Polmont's Station Road was closed for five days for exploratory works ahead of a nine-month closure in January. Picture: Michael Gillen (141827)

Commuters have been assured that they won’t have to pay more for bus journeys when a nine-month road closure kicks in early next year.

First Bluebird, which operates in the Falkirk area, has responded to concerns that, due to diversions being in place when Station Road in Polmont closes in January, it may take passengers more than one bus to get their destination.

Specific concerns were raised at a recent Maddiston Community Council meeting that pensioners and young mums who need to take the bus to Meadowbank Health Centre in Polmont, or workers going to Falkirk town centre, may need two buses which could cost them more.

Maddiston Community Council convener John Wotherspoon said: “The diversion’s route is via the A801 and is almost 5.5 miles which is five times the normal distance for the journey from Maddiston Primary School.

“Any revised bus timetable to cover this means a journey of two buses which could take well over an hour.

“Given the return bus fare to the medical centre is about £5 and that we have been reminded that the bus service to Maddiston is not subsidised, we are awaiting with interest news on what the ticket price will be.”

Both Falkirk Council and First are currently working to plan the diversions for buses for the January closure and the timetable has not been finalised for the affected routes.

A First Bluebird spokesperson said: “We are currently working up plans with our partners at Falkirk Council to manage the impact on our customers of the closure of Station Road. As soon as those plans are finalised we’ll let our passengers know. In the meantime we assure customers that the road closure won’t impact on the cost of fares.”

The road was closed for five days until Tuesday for exploratory works affecting the bus services 1 (Falkirk – Maddiston – Whitecross – Linlithgow), 13 (Falkirk – Shieldhill circular), 13A (Falkirk – Polmont) and 40 (Falkirk – California).

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We will make suitable arrangements to minimise disruption for passengers by working with First Bus.

‘‘This will include any issues with bus fares that may arise.”