Bus’ green light for timetable extension

The Bo'ness Community Bus service is going from strength to strength. Picture: Michael Gillen
The Bo'ness Community Bus service is going from strength to strength. Picture: Michael Gillen

A community bus group is a step closer towards having a permanent service in place after an extended timetable was approved.

The Bo’ness and Area Community Bus Association (BACBA) new revised service from Bo’ness to Edinburgh will begin from August 2 after the traffic commissioner gave it the green light this week.

It includes an earlier daily start at 9am, a new midday service and four Saturday trips to cope with the increase in demand.

The service is in the ninth week of its 12-week trial and has not only proved popular with locals but visitors are coming from Edinburgh too.

Rab Jeffrey, secretary of the group, said: “That’s nine weeks we have been going so we are bit more than a fad. Between 300 and 400 people are using the service on average per month which is great.

“We are getting more established in the community. Last week we picked up walkers from Edinburgh and there is another bus load planned for this week.

“We hope that tourists from Edinburgh may wish to visit our heritage sites and family members come to visit relatives in Bo’ness as all that will help to make it a more sustainable service.

He added: “We are going to be starting using a revised service from August 2. The trial period has gone well so we are extending the service quite a bit earlier.

“A lot of people have been asking for the Saturday service. This will run at from Bo’ness Bus Station at 9am, 11.30am, 2.30pm and 5pm. It will allow people to go into Edinburgh on a Saturday evening and it suits us too.

“We already have the cost facilities in place to run an extra service.”

The group was set up by concerned residents after bus services were cut leaving commuters and normal customers with limited access to decent routes to work, university or into the city to socialise.

And Robert explained the importance of the decision to approve the extension of the service.

He said; “You cannot move a bus without the traffic commissioners say so. We wanted to extend the service earlier to make the holiday period.

“The last holiday period was very good in May. It was excellent just before the Bo’ness Fair but died down a bit but we are still getting good numbers.

“It is open to the public and anyone can use it.

“We also have a generous fare structure which offers an equal or lower cost than the alternative route via Linlithgow.”