Philipstoun taxi service in chaos after complaints

A replacement service was put in place by the council due to the road closure for bridge workd in Philpstoun. Picture: Michael Gillen
A replacement service was put in place by the council due to the road closure for bridge workd in Philpstoun. Picture: Michael Gillen

A free taxi service set up to transport villagers to buses was in chaos this week after the operator’s contract was terminated.

A road closure left buses unable to access Philpstoun forcing West Lothian Council to finance a ‘taxibus’ to take residents to a bus stop outwith the village to access the 23, 32, 34 and 38 services.

But since the taxibus started earlier this month the council were inundated with complaints, which sparked a meeting to discuss “performance issues” where the company resigned from the contract, according to the council.

Villager Lorraine Grant (59) said: “People, including children and pensioners, have been left stranded waiting on taxis that haven’t turned up. They’ve even hung up on me when I’ve called asking where the taxi is.”

All the Fours will take over the service from Monday.

A spokesman for the council said: “West Lothian Council stepped in to fund vital transport links for the Philpstoun community, despite having no statutory obligations to provide this assistance.

“We have also listened to the concerns of Philpstoun residents about the stop at Gateside, and the addition of a third stop at Bridgend Road End will give service users extra choice of where to be dropped off or collected when using the service.”

Director of West Lothian Private Hire Kevin Woodburn said the contract was terminated by mutual consent. He said: “We received no specific complaints so I really couldn’t comment on that.

“I can say we leave no stone unturned in providing the best level of service we can. We allocated cars to the taxibus service when we put the contract together and we invest fortunes in our technology and drivers. If there has been situations here when we haven’t fulfilled a satisfactory service I do apologise for that.”

Passengers should call 01506 444444 to book the free Taxibus giving a minimum of 30 minutes notice. Wheelchair accessible vehicles available upon request.