Bo’ness bus project given cash boost

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A campaign to run a community-operated bus service from Bo’ness to Edinburgh received a major cash boost this week.

At Falkirk Council’s annual budget meeting this week it was agreed to accept Councillor Dr Craig R Martin’s proposal to give the Bo’ness and Area Community Bus Organisation (BACBA) charity £10,000 to help fund the pilot project.

Around £4000 will be spent on ticket machines for the bus, while the rest will fund the other logistics needed to run the service.

Dr Martin, who is campaigning for better bus services both locally and nationally, said: “I have been working closely with the team involved in the Bo’ness community bus and I knew they were a little short in having enough funds to start their pilot project. I am delighted that all councillors agreed with me that we should support them and give them this money that will enable the community bus to run.

“With the bus market continuing to put profits before people we will see a continuation of the decline in local bus services. Therefore we need to support innovative ideas, like the Bo’ness community bus that is run and owned by a not for profit local group to ensure our communities have the bus services they depend on.

“I can’t wait to hop on the bus when it starts – after I bought a ticket of course!”

The BACBA group, set up by Bo’ness residents in the wake of cuts to the town’s services, want to run two services each way during the day to and from Edinburgh with a 17-seater mini bus which will be leased.

The X19 service was one of the routes cut fuelling anger among residents that transport companies are keeping only profitable routes and chopping the ones that don’t make money, leaving communities like Bo’ness isolated.

Members say an increased service will help the local economy by bringing more visitors to Bo’ness attractions.

The group wants the Bo’ness community to get behind the project and has set up a fundraising page at http://campaign.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/boness-communitybus/appeal.