Reprieve for city coach

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It may not be the end of the road for the X19 coach 
service from Bo’ness to Edinburgh with Falkirk Council announcing plans to release funds to keep the service going until March 31, 2013.

The news was welcomed by concerned commuters, who rely on the current service to travel into work in the capital.

Local woman Anne Travers, who works in Edinburgh, helped to organised petitions against closing the route.

She said: “We are pleased that the time has now been extended and we now need to get people together to discuss what our next move is to help save the service completely.

“It’s important that we get as many people as possible to start using the service to show how much Bo’ness relies on it.

‘‘The students who use it to get to college and university are now back for the academic year, so we have seen a rise in numbers that way.

“People had started discussing different ways in which they were going to travel to work,” Anne continued.

“All of these options included using a car of some sort and that’s not what we want.

‘‘We want people to use public transport but the services have to be in place for the people of Bo’ness.”

For commuters like Anne, the stress and concern of not knowing how they will get to work could start all over again when the review panel meet at the end of January.

The review will look at all aspects of these types of services and make further recommendations to elected members.

Councillor Craig Martin, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “Many of these services serve outlying communities and therefore can be seen as very important to help sustain the local economy and allow local residents access to amenities elsewhere in the area.

“The commercial decision by First to withdraw these services has left us in a very difficult situation and we see this as being the only way we can balance the needs of communities with the harsh realities of constrained budgets.

“We need to take a closer look at these services provided but in the meantime, we can operate a substitute service that can support our communities.”

John Berry