Your say in making the buses better
I use the Stuart’s (of Carluke) 317 SPT bus service (lanark-hamilton & back) daily Mon-Fri from Crossford in the Clydeside valley. This is the Only bus service we have & it has come to my attention recently that, as of June this year, this vital bus service is being catastrophically slashed to a sunday service. I.E. 1 bus every hour & a half.
This will not only impact heavily on my ability to get to the nearest town for shops & services, but will impact my ability to get to college in Motherwell. This service is also vital for the many elderly residents of Crossford who MUST travel to either Hamilton or Lanark for shops, services & most importantly, doctors, dentists, etc. To slash this service will all but cut off the entire village from the nearest towns.
Crossford itself has only a very small sub post office/grocery shop & a vet (not including two pubs). This scandalous state of affairs also affects Rosebank village further down the Clydeside who also rely solely on the 317 service.
Please bring this to the attention of the relevant authorities & protect our Human Right to travel between our somewhat remote homes & our nearest major towns.
A note from Patrick: I have emailed this query to SPT to get their response.
response from SPT 15 May
The operation of service 317 is subsidised by SPT after 1800 on Monday to Saturday and all day on Sundays. You may be aware that SPT has very limited funding for the provision of socially necessary local bus services. Accordingly, we seek to operate as much as we can in the most cost effective way and a one bus 90 minute timetable is the best that can be afforded during those times of day to maintain a bus service along this line of route.
However, the operation during Monday to Saturday daytime hours is completely unsubsidised. SPT has no powers to control or specify the routes and timetables of commercially operated bus services. I would note that well over 90% of all bus services are provided in this way. SPT has no funding available to enhance service levels where a bus route is continuing to be operated. SPT’s budget is therefore targeted towards areas and communities which would not receive a bus service at all were it not for the provision of a subsidised service and this budget is fully committed for the 2012/2013 financial year.
Service 317 was provided on a commercial basis by McKindless. After that operator ceased trading, the full service was subsidised by SPT. Stuart’s Coaches then offered to operate the Monday to Saturday daytime service on a commercial, unsubsidised basis. With bus industry costs rising and issues surround other sources of funding, such as the cap on Scottish Government funding for the national concession card free travel scheme, bus operators are constantly seeking ways of reducing their costs of operation.
In summary, I would note that whilst the service level reduction being brought in on this commercial bus service is regrettable, SPT is unable to fund or indeed justify funding a restoration of the hourly timetable on this route.
I hope that these notes explain the situation for you.
Network Planning Team Leader
Consort House, 12 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1HN