First announces changes to services

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 12:25 on 5 September 2015


First say the x5 will be stopped and the x3 route changed. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

TRANSPORT operator First Glasgow has confirmed that the x3 Seafar to Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station will no longer run through Seafar, while the x5 will be pulled entirely.

Earlier this week we brought you the news that Cumbernauld might be set to lose the Abronhill to Glasgow x5 service as part of a wider shake-up of bus services by First.

Speaking to Cumbernauld Media a First Glasgow employee said that the x5 was coming up for its final run on October 19th, with a “rebrand” of services expected to follow soon after.

Suggestions were also made that the town could lose its x3 Seafar to Buchanan Bus Station service, though First remained tight-lipped about their plans until Wednesday (2nd September) when more information was made available.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the transport giant said: “We continuously review the performance of our services, and the prospects for future development of our business, to ensure they match passenger demand and the forthcoming changes taking effect on 19 October are the result of such a review.

They added: “As part of the changes some services will be improved and in a small number of cases, services will be withdrawn due to low passenger usage,” confirming that: “It is indeed the case that service X5 will be withdrawn with effect from that date.”

The Aberdeen-based transport provider’s spokesperson explained that the decision came about “because the patronage has declined to the point that the service no longer meets its operating costs.”

They added: “We need to remain viable as a business and be able to continue to deliver a high quality service with affordable fares for our passengers, as well as continue to invest in our vehicles and infrastructure. 

“In most cases where changes are being made an alternative First service will still exist, and service X3 (in a revised form) as well as services X37 & X39 (operated by First Scotland East) will still serve parts of Cumbernauld. In areas where this is not the case, other operators already provide an alternative service.”

Today (5th September), First Glasgow has confirmed that the x3’s “revised form” will mean an altered route that will see the service return to its former route.

Instead of serving Seafar, the x3 will start at Cumbernauld town centre and run to Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station via most of its existing route through Westfield.

Confirming the details, a spokeswoman for First Glasgow said today that: “The changes we will implement from October will see some services improved and a small number with low useage withdrawn.

“Of those being withdrawn, there simply isn’t sufficient passenger numbers travelling on them to justify their continued operation at a loss. Other services provided by First, or other operators will still provide an alternative for the vast majority of customers.

“As a business we need to remain viable and be able to continue to deliver a high quality service with affordable fares for our passengers, as well as continue to invest in our vehicles and our infrastructure,” she added.

The firm’s spokeswoman said that although First were withdrawing services they would invest £14million in 75 new modern vehicles, which will feature leather seats, free wifi and more room for buggies and wheelchairs.

New timetables are expected to be issued three weeks before the changes come in, while all of the information about service changes will be made available via the First Glasgow website soon.

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