Community set to fight changes to the L1 bus service in Linlithgow

Bus passengers are angry at the service cuts.

Bus passengers are angry at the service cuts.

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Passengers in Linlithgow are fighting the changes being made to the L1 and the L31/32 bus services.

West Lothian Council was given the difficult task of setting a budget for the year ahead, having to trim £1.5 million from its spending.

Earlier this week it announced changes to bus services across West Lothian, including in Linlithgow.

Councillor Tom Kerr said: “These cuts were agreed by 32 of the 33 councillors across all political parties.”

From April 1, the L1 bus will run hourly from 9.30am to 3pm, but some residents feel this will leave them stranded.

Pamela Barnes, a regular user of the bus, said: “These changes will make it difficult for people to get home from school, do their shopping and get to work.

“That is how important the bus is.”

The changes mean the L1 no longer goes to the leisure centre after 3pm which is a big problem for lots of parents according to Pamela.

She said: “Many will have children who go there for various sports. Most would take the bus to save using a car but now they will have no option but to drive.”

West Lothian Council recently commissioned a detailed survey of air quality in Linlithgow High Street as it is failing to meet European standards.

Pamela said: “How can it make sense to make cuts that will put more cars on the road when the High Street is polluted enough?”

The L31 bus, going from Livingston to Bathgate via Linlithgow was also not safe from cuts. It will run from 6.44am to 11.14pm on an hourly basis, passing the leisure centre on the Bathgate to Linlithgow route.

Cllr Kerr said: “I had a very busy surgery on Wednesday with many members of the public raising their concerns. 
“That is why we are trying to see if it is possible for the L31 service to enter the town via Springfield and also pass through Braehead before 9am and after 3pm. 
“This would hopefully cover what has been cut.”

Pamela has launched a Facebook page, Save our L1 bus, and a petition asking the council to re-think its cuts.

She said: “I understand the cuts had to be made but the L1 bus is needed and we will prove it.”

Pamela and other residents have organised to meet today (Friday) at 12.15 at Springfield Primary School to travel by bus to show how vital it is to the community.

She said: “The service was bad enough already and cutting it is only going to make things worse.”