Bus changes leave older Denny residents stranded, claim campaigners

Mary Wallace and Jean Weir are leading a campaign for improved bus services between Denny and Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen
Mary Wallace and Jean Weir are leading a campaign for improved bus services between Denny and Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen
  • First Bluebird revised Falkirk district bus routes in November
  • Denny residents feel service has deteriorated
  • Older people forced to walk longer distances to nearest bus stop

Two grandmothers are leading a campaign for improved bus services between their home town and Falkirk.

Mary Wallace (80) and Jean Weir (79) are unhappy there is no longer a regular service calling at Glasgow Road, Denny, and are asking local operators First Bluebird to reinstate one as a matter of priority.

When they invited me to a meeting, I immediately asked them: ‘how am I meant to get there?’ So they are sending a car to pick me up

Jean Weir

They argue that many older people who rely on bus services, and live in the Glasgow Road area, are now being forced to walk up to a mile to Denny Cross in order to travel on to Falkirk.

Their campaign is being supported by Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson and Mrs Weir was due to meet with bosses from First Bluebird at the firm’s Larbert depot yesterday (Wednesday).

“When they invited me to a meeting, I immediately asked them: ‘how am I meant to get there?’ So they are sending a car to pick me up,” she said.

The duo, who have known each other “for donkey’s years”, decided to begin a campaign after being left frustrated by the outcome of a recent public meeting on services at Bonnybridge Community Centre.

“There used to be a 19 from Dunipace via Forth Valley hospital to Falkirk (that called at Glasgow Road) but that was taken off,” said Mrs Wallace.

“We were told it was just wasn’t making enough money to be viable.”

To prove a point, the pair spent two hours at Denny Cross on a weekday morning monitoring the number of passengers travelling to Dunipace from Falkirk on services that previously called at Glasgow Road.

“There were 21 passengers,” added Jean. “Which doesn’t suggest that those buses are financially viable either.

“What I want is the firm to be fair - the one used to stop in Glasgow Road, and the two went up the spine road.

A spokesman for First Bluebird said: “We’re looking forward to meeting with Jean Weir so that we can better understand her concerns and talk through some suggestions.”

Timetable revisions carried out across Falkirk district by First Bluebird proved controversial when introduced in November.

The company insisted at the time it was committed to longer-term investment in the area.