Complaint over Shieldhill bus that’s “always late”

Janette Cherry says the one bus an hour that residents rely on is constantly late.  Picture: Michael Gillen.
Janette Cherry says the one bus an hour that residents rely on is constantly late. Picture: Michael Gillen.

A pensioner says a local bus service is “unreliable” as it is “always late” and is seeking answers from the bus operators.

Janette Cherry (73), is a regular user of the number 29 First bus which runs between Bathgate and Falkirk, via Shieldhill.

However she claims the hourly service is unreliable as it runs late, often by over half an hour.

The Shieldhill woman said: “Between me and my husband we use the bus every day.

“I work three days a week and can never get to my work on time because of the buses.

“It’s only voluntary work, but that’s not the point. The bus is always late, often by half an hour. Service 29 is just a joke, it’s never on time. It’s just unreliable. If a bus comes on time, halleluiah.

“Last week I had to go to a funeral and I’d have been late if I’d got the bus. If it had been on time I would have been there on time, but I had to take a taxi in the end, otherwise the service would have started before I got there.

“If you have to be somewhere at a specific time you can’t rely on the bus to get you there in time.

“One day an inspector came on the bus and I explained to him that we’d been waiting out in the cold for half an hour for the bus to arrive.

“His response was ‘you don’t need to stand in the cold. Get yourself a smart phone and you can track the bus before you leave the house’.”

A First Midland Bluebird spokesman said: “We are sorry to hear about the problems the customer says she has experienced with our service.

“Service 29 has been affected by some delays recently due to ongoing roadworks. These are outside the Falkirk Council boundary but have had a knock-on effect on punctuality at times.

“While these roadworks are outwith our control, our team are doing their best to minimise disruption and this includes engaging with the relevant local authorities.

“First Midland Bluebird inspectors are on hand to monitor the situation and assist customers where possible. We accept that all customers may not be able to access real time information on our services by mobile device but for many it is an effective way of knowing when our buses are due to arrive.

“We appreciate the customer has raised this issue with our inspector. Our customer services team are also aware now and keen to see if there is any way they can be of assistance.”