Linlithgow asked to sign petition to help save L1 bus

Passengers turned up in numbers to support the L1 bus campaign and a petition now has more than 500 signatures.
Passengers turned up in numbers to support the L1 bus campaign and a petition now has more than 500 signatures.

A petition asking West Lothian Council to re-think its plans to reduce the L1 bus service has reached over 500 signatures.

A group of local passengers who rely on the bus to get around the town were horrified to hear the bus is to be reduced to an hourly service running from 9.30am to 3pm.

Full-time mum Pamela Barnes has two children and relies on the service to get her youngsters to their sports activities.

She said: “I use the L1 service six times a week so finding out it will be cut is not good.”

Since hearing the news, Pamela has been on her own journey, trying to convince the council to re-think the plans.

Last Friday through her Facebook group, Save Our L1 Bus, Pamela organised a mass ride-a-long on the service to show the council how vital it is.

She said: “It was a great success, we had a lot of people turn up and I believe they have continued to use the bus. So there is definitely a need for it.”

Changing the bus from once every 30 minutes to hourly is another speed bump in the council’s plans that Pamela is not impressed with.

She said: “You cannot expect people to wait an hour for a local bus. A lot of people jump on to go shopping, then hop back on without having to wait an unreasonably long time.”

The petition, which can be found online via the Facebook page or at Taste Deli and the health centre in the town, is asking the council to re-think its decision and Councillor Tom Kerr has already put forward a proposal offering a solution.

He said: “I have suggested altering the 31 bus service, making it go through Springfield and Braehead before 9am and after 3pm to help cover the loss of the reduced L1 service without adding cost to the council.
“However it is only a proposal and no decision has been made.”

The cost of the bus to the council was £86,000 a year and with the proposed cuts savings of £66,000 will be made.

West Lothian Council is having to trim £1.5 million from its budget in 2016/17 and transport across the district is getting the chop.

Cllr Kerr said: “The cuts have to come from somewhere and this was a decision agreed by all but one of the councillors.”

The group are holding a meeting on Thursday, March 17, at the Star and Garter Hotel to discuss their next steps.

Pamela said: “The town could become an Air Quality Management Area soon as the pollution levels in the High Street are unsafe, so how can it make sense to cut a bus when that will eventually lead to more cars on the roads?

“School children to the elderly use the service, it is vital.”