Further COVID-19 cases mean even more changes to Falkirk bus services

First Bus has been forced to alter even more of its services as more staff test positive following the recent coronavirus outbreak at its Larbert depot.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 12:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 12:23 pm

Following the outbreak at Larbert, mass testing of staff was undertaken on Thursday, February 4 and Friday, February 5.

The situation at the depot had already caused the company to make changes to a number of the services in the area from Monday and now, with last week’s test results showing an increase in both positive cases and the number of staff being required to self-isolate, it has to make further reductions in the bus services from tomorrow due to a lack of available driving and support staff.

From Wednesday until at least Saturday, February 20 First is amending a number of services to operate a “Sunday Plus” timetable – a Sunday service with some additional early and late journeys – from Mondays to Saturdays.

More staff testing positive for COVID-19 has forced First Bus to alter more of its services in the Falkirk area

The services affected inlcude PM3/688 1 Dunipace – Bridgend, PM3/669 2 Limerigg – Bo’ness, PM3/671 3 and 4 Falkirk – Grangemouth circular, PM3/673 5 Hallglen – Langlees, PM3/674 6 & 6A Falkirk Wheel – Forth Valley Royal Hospital, PM3/670 8 Fankerton – Forth Valley Royal Hospital, PM3/386 29 Falkirk - Bathgate, PM3/687 35 Falkirk – Condorrat, PM3/8 X37 Falkirk - Glasgow, PM3/351 X38 Falkirk – Edinburgh and PM3/352 X38 Falkirk - Stirling.

While the bus firm’s Bannockburn is now COVID-19 clear, the Larbert site, which has around 300 staff, has introduced additional measures to help prevent the further spread of the virus, with staff who were in contact with the individuals who tested positive now self-isolating with full pay.

A First spokesman said: “Bannockburn depot has thankfully recovered fully from the COVID-19 infections from last month, so they are now back operating at full strength again.

“However, we are making a small reduction to services – around 12 per cent – out of our Larbert depot just as an extra precaution to ease the pressure on the staff, as we have a number of colleagues tested positive and more self-isolating.

“We did the same process with Bannockburn at that time as well.”