'Impending crisis': Removal of Falkirk area 'lifeline' bus service drives local community to take action

The decision to remove a bus service – described as a lifeline for some people – has been met with anger and disbelief by local residents.
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Bus company McGill’s said the decision to axe the number 6 service – which travels between The Falkirk Wheel and Forth Valley Royal Hospital, stopping in Tamfourhill – was commercial and part a series of timetable changes.

The number 6 bus is scheduled to cease from Sunday, August 13.

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Feelings of dismay over the decision to remove the service are so strong, a “peaceful protest” has been organised to take place from 11am to noon on Friday at the bus depot in Stirling Road, Larbert.

The number 6 service will not be running from Monday, August 14 onwards
(Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)The number 6 service will not be running from Monday, August 14 onwards
(Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)
The number 6 service will not be running from Monday, August 14 onwards (Picture: Michael Gillen, National World)

A statement from the “community of Tamfourhill” claimed the people of the area will be left isolated by the decision and “cut off from the outside world”.

It went on: “Local people absolutely rely upon this lifeline for essential services – chemists, GPs and health centres, council services, shopping provisions and

it provided the only public transport connection with Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

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"Tamfourhill is a community already suffering from social, economic and health inequalities and this additional transport discrimination will have a massive impact upon

the most vulnerable and at-risk people within the area.

“Tamfourhill Community Hub is a critically important venue for support and networking for an array of local groups, including older people, the Recovery Community

and young parents with children, and many of these regular attendees and users of the Hub are entirely reliant upon the No 6 bus in and out of Tamfourhill.

"There is no section of the community not impacted by this horrendous decision including the young people of Tamfourhill who will be excluded from the national

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scheme for free bus travel for under 22s which locally will now be rendered meaningless.

“The decision was solely based on insufficient profit being accrued from the Number 6 service serving Tamfourhill. Operating costs of £130,000 were cited by McGill’s

who could only suggest that this sum could be paid by Falkirk Council as a subsidy allowing some sort of service to be maintained.

"Local people have also voiced their disbelief at the data McGill’s have quoted in relation to bus usage on the route with many regular bus users believing the actual

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usage of the Number 6 to be far higher than the bus companies quoted figures.

"The community is now left clutching at straws as they await the outcome of a council meeting involving the executive on August 22. This is a desperate situation for

the community who require emergency interventions to ensure the sick and vulnerable are not completely isolated on the 13th of August from essential and life sustaining services.

"We ask Falkirk Council to provide some short-term support and to continue to work with the community to find a sustainable long-term solution to these local transport needs.

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"Transportpoverty is a real cause of inequality and impacts seriously on the well being, quality of life and cohesion of the community, we therefore ask our elected

representatives at all levels to support the community and the other stakeholders to find a workable solution to this impending crisis."

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