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Bus route blues

Sir - While you have a very good point about the problems arising from having a bus depot in the centre of Linlithgow (Oursay, 2 Nov), there are other problems that will arise from moving the depot for the 43/X43/X4 to Livingston.

This group of routes already suffers from considable dead mileage running from Linlithgow to the start of operations at the Scotstoun terminus, so much so that when I was transport convenor on the Queensferry and District Community Council, an attempt was made to try and find a dormitory depot or secure parking for buses overnight.

Since then the situation has worsened as dead mileage or depot running is no longer eligible for the rebate on fuel duty and it takes at least a gallon of diesel each way for a bus to run between Linlithgow and Scotstoun.

Now, this will be much worse given the longer distance between Scotstoun and Livingston.

As costs rise, so too will fares, especially as the First Group has been discarding networks where they have not been able to obtain an adequate return on their capital.

The 43 group of routes are run commercially except for Christmas Day and New Year Day, and in any case council subsidies are being cut back as part of public spending cuts, so we can expect yet another increase in fares for Queensferry and Dalmeny passengers before long, or see First abandoning Queensferry as it has other areas to the east of Edinburgh.

I can also see many people being inconvenienced by the ‘no change’ rule. This was tried before on the 43 and abandoned.

Clearly, as other services operating out of the depot at Livingston don’t give change, the 43 cannot be an exception.

Fortunately, I am old enough to have a bus pass, but others are not so lucky! - Yours, etc,

DAVID WRAGG

54 Stoneyflatts, Queensferry

Garry’s fired up

Sir, – ‘‘Remember, remember the 5th of November’, so the ryhme goes.

However, November 5, may be a day that many of the youngsters in Bo’ness would like to forget.

The reason for this being the lack of an organised firework event in the town.

Their only chance of a memorable ‘‘bonfire night’’ is a glance of fireworks in the distance.

It appears that there are a few who appear to care quite deeply about Bo’ness youngsters missing out on a firework display.

Some may say that Linlithgow is just up the road, as is Falkirk.

But in these times of financial constraints and benefit cuts, there are some who cannot afford the price of bus fares, especially at the extortionate rates they are now.

Therefore, is it not about time for some action?

Can someone take a bit of 
responsibility and do a fundraiser for fireworks next year?

As you must be aware by now these events do not happen by themselves.

I will contact Ann Ritchie, who puts her heart and soul into being a Bo’ness councillor, and see about getting the health and safety aspect looked at.

Who wants to step up to the plate?

Or shall it just be another story of Bo’ness people moaning about their lot and doing little or nothing to improve matters.

I hereby pledge £20 to get the ball rolling.

If parents and others pledge what they can, then there shall be memories made for Bo’ness children next Guy Fawkes Night.. - Yours etc.,

GARRY CHAPMAN

2 Kinneil Drive, Bo’ness