DCSIMG

Bus group pulls out of busy route from Ferry’

First Bus

First Bus

First Scotland East 
announced this week that it is set to withdraw bus provision from Queensferry as from April 21 this year.

First Scotland East announced this week that it is set to withdraw bus provision from Queensferry as from April 21 this year.

The announcement comes just weeks after rival bus operator Stagecoach gave notice it was set to launch a new service from Queenferry to the city centre from Monday, March 3.

Paul McGowan, managing director of First Scotland East, said: “I’m sorry that we are withdrawing Services 43, X43 and X4.

“These services are somewhat remote to our core business and the cost of running operations in the area is becoming increasingly challenging.

‘‘We are also aware of extra competition that we will shortly face in the Queensferry area from another operator, which will provide the same links to Edinburgh.

‘‘We’ve carefully considered the limited options available to us and reluctantly we see little alternative but to withdraw these services.’’

Almond ward councillor Norman Work said he was not surprised by the move, saying: ‘‘I don’t think many people cared who delivered the bus service as long as it ran on time. But I am concerned that there will be no competition.
I would urge people to use public transport when possible to ensure Stagecoach maintain a good service.’’

And Grant Sangster, transport spokesman for Queensferry Community Council added: ‘‘It’s important to recognise that some people will lose out if First’s service 43 is withdrawn.

‘‘While many passengers may benefit from quicker journeys and cheaper fares on the 40/A, others will have a less frequent service and pay more.’’

‘‘Ideally, we’d like to see West Lothian and Edinburgh Councils work together to keep bus links to Ferrymuir, Dechmont via Kirkliston and Bo’ness which risk being lost because they are commercially unattractive.’’

*First confirmed it will provide refunds to those customers that have purchased FirstYear tickets (all other ticket types expire before the withdrawal date of April 21).

They are also in discussions with West Lothian Council about the future of two morning and two evening journeys which operate between Bo’ness and Queensferry, currently funded by Falkirk and West Lothian Councils.

First added there would be no redundancies as a result of the withdrawal of the Service 43, X43 and X4 .

 

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