X5 service to be pulled

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

Published at 14:20 on 2 September 2015


First confirmed the rumours to be true today. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

CUMBERNAULD is set to lose another bus service this autumn, Cumbernauld Media can confirm today (2nd September).

Yesterday we broke the story that First Glasgow looked set to withdraw their local x5 service, after months of speculation that First Bus were looking to withdraw either part or all of their Cumbernauld services.

In our article we brought the news that the x5 looks set to be withdrawn in October, after a source at First Glasgow told Cumbernauld Media last week that plans were afoot to alter local bus services.

Speaking to Cumbernauld Media, the First Glasgow employee said he had learned of the proposals late last week, with a provisional date of cancellation apparently looming over the supposedly ill-fated x5 service.

Running between Abronhill and Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station via Kildrum, North Carbrain and Condorrat, we learned that First Bus had  reportedly set October 19th as the date when the x5 will be withdrawn, with a service "rebrand" expected to be announced to local routes thereafter, according to our source.

Asked to comment on the speculation, yesterday, a spokesperson for First Glasgow remained coy as the whether the rumours were correct, confirming only that “any changes will be communicated” soon.

“We continually monitor usage of our services across Glasgow and Lanarkshire and will adapt where necessary to ensure provision effectively meets demand,” the firm’s spokesperson explained.

They added: “Cumbernauld services are among those under review and any changes will be communicated in due course.”

Today, however, First Glasgow has reviewed that statement, with confirmation now issued to members of the public that the x5 service will be pulled.

Formerly the dominant transport provider in Cumbernauld, First Bus started to feel the heat of competition when Stagecoach's x25 service hit the road.

As Stagecoach's quick and direct services to Glasgow grew in popularity, First Bus declared a raft of route changes, fare hikes and service cancellations, with the end result being the closure of the firm's Glencryan Road depot, in May 2013.

Further competition now means that First Glasgow will take their x5 Abronhill to Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station on October 19th, a spokesperson for the firm announced today.

“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,” a spokesperson for First Glasgow announced today.

They explained: “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 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.

“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,” they added.

Get the latest Cumbernauld news from Cumbernauld Media, and stay up-to-date 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can send us your stories here