Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.
Published at 11:48 on 11 September 2015
GOOD news might be on the horizon for local bus users, despite recent revelations that First Bus will be withdrawing their x5 service and reducing the current x3 route, next month.
Perth-based bus operators Stagecoach have confirmed that they are now the new owners of the vacated bus depot, in Glencryan Road.
The news of potential investment follows an announcement from First Glasgow that as of October 19th, the x5 Cumbernauld to Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station service will be scrapped, while the x3 will no longer serve Seafar and will operate under a new timetable.
With further information about how the revised First services will look in Cumbernauld expected within the next couple of weeks, Stagecoach has said that they are preparing to claim some of the land once dominated by First.
Earlier this month a spokesperson for First Glasgow confirmed that the firm always sought to “continuously review the performance of our services,” explaining that in order to “match passenger demand” while see “some services” improves, and others “withdrawn due to low passenger usage.”
Asked about the withdrawal of the x5 service, 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.”
As First Glasgow prepare to drastically alter services throughout the Greater Glasgow area, Stagecoach has confirmed that they now have the keys to the former bus depot in South Carbrain.
Vacated by First Glasgow in May 2013 the former bus depot has remained in lockdown, with the fences padlocked – until now.
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach confirmed that the transport operator had “taken ownership of the Cumbernauld bus depot which has been empty for a number of months.
“We will be carrying out some refurbishment work to the site and then plan to integrate it into our west of Scotland operations,” she added.
The latest information from Stagecoach is a far cry from May 2013, when the company said they had “no plans to move into a depot in Cumbernauld.”
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s MSP, Jamie Hepburn has welcomed the news, and has written to the company offering his assistance in securing an expansion of local services.
Commenting on the news Mr Hepburn said: “This news is very welcome and I am very pleased that this depot is coming back into use and will be refurbished and improved, bringing with it jobs and investment for the local area.
“Cumbernauld is a great central hub for connecting with the rest of the Central Belt and beyond and I have no doubt that this depot can be a success. I will now be writing to Stagecoach to see how we can ensure that this is the case.
The SNP man added: “I am always keen to do what I can to help both to improve our public transport provision and to bring jobs and investment to the area.”
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