The battle to retain the X19 express bus into Edinburgh moved up a gear this week when a petition was presented to Falkirk Council by passengers.
Councillor Craig R Martin, transport spokesman said he would talk to bus operators with a view to having the service retained and timetabled by the time the current service is discontinued.
Prentice Westwood is poised to axe the X19 which, it claims, is unviable in terms of passenger numbers but has been persuaded to retain it until engineering works on the Winchburgh Tunnel by Network Rail are concluded thus avoiding further travel chaos.
Rab Jeffrey of the bus users’ action group said this week: ‘‘We have considerable data which we have submittted to Falkirk Council along with a petition urging retention of this service. There is some discrepancy between the figures supplied by Prentice Westwood and the results of our survey.’’
Councillor Martin said he was prepared to arrange talks with bus operators.
A First Midland Bluebird spokesman said: “We are happy to discuss any aspects of our local services with the council but, based on our previous experience of useage, we would be unlikely to be able to operate a service on the X19 route on a wholly commercial basis.”