I must confess that I’m not a regular bus user. In fact, if I’m been honest I can barely remember the last time I was on a bus in this area.
My excuse is that I’m fit enough and I live near enough the town centre to leave the car behind and walk when the mood takes me.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate that lots of people rely on buses to get them about, whether it be to work, for shopping, hospital appointments or socialising.
For their sake and to encourage people to make more use of public transport, we need a reliable bus service.
This means we need buses which are fit for the 21st century, not some of the older ones we still see on the routes around the district.
We also need a service which goes to places that people want to go to.
But that begins the debate that if two people are on, let’s say an early morning bus from the Braes to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, does that make it an uneconomical service?
Well it almost certainly makes it uneconomical but it is still providing a service.
And I think that’s the key. It’s a public transport service and is something that we need to invest in.
This week comes the news that the bus station is to close. Well it doesn’t exactly add anything aesthetically to the east end of the town – and doesn’t appear to have been upgraded from the days when I did use buses.
However, I’m not convinced that plans to use busy Newmarket Street as a hub are the answer.