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Better and safer Cumbernauld buses as First Glasgow tackle vandalism

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 20:20 GMT on Friday, July 19th, 2013.

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Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

ONE of Cumbernauld’s largest bus operators has reaffirmed its zero tolerance approach to vandalism onboard its services, after company statistics showed that vandalism is on the decrease.

First Glasgow has revealed, for example, that broken windows have been reduced from 8,000 ten years ago to just 750 for last year, with the operator putting the decrease down to close relationships with the police; the introduction of CCTV to the majority of First fleet; running anti-vandalism programmes; as well as better engaging with local communities.

Since the publication of the figures, First Bus has pledged to crack down further on vandalism, by making it clear that they will prosecute anyone found damaging its vehicles. 

The company’s hard-line approach follows a landmark civil court case, against Nathan Chlosta.; a man who damaged 26 First Glasgow buses in the space of three months. 

As a result of the case, First were able to ban Mr Chlosta from their services, and First Glasgow was awarded £10,000 damages, with Nathan handed down a 200 hour community payback order.

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Managing Director of First Glasgow, Ronnie Park, said: “Our responsibility is to our customers - to give them a pleasant, safe experience when travelling on our buses. I am pleased that our approach to reducing vandalism, and indeed all crimes on our buses, is succeeding.”

Talking about the specific case against Nathan Chlosta, Ronnie Park said: “If someone is caught causing damage to any of our vehicles, or acting in a manner that will compromise the safety of our employees and passengers, we will seek to prosecute the individual concerned. In this case we took Civil Action to prevent this individual from travelling on our buses throughout Scotland and sought compensation for the damage caused.

“We adopt this zero tolerance approach to make bus travel safer and more pleasant for all our customers. In addition, as a commercial bus operator, we would much rather invest the revenue we receive from customers in improving our services, and not replacing windows or cleaning graffiti.”

He added: “I can assure passengers that bus travel remains a very safe form of transport. Given our scale of operations (114million passenger trips a year; 950 buses; 41million miles covered annually) crime on our buses is extremely low. However, our approach to reducing instances of vandalism will remain relentless - we will continue to do everything we can to further improve on our good record.”

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