The Journal and Gazette recently reported on the news that the X19 direct service from Bo’ness to Edinburgh for commuters was to cease.
This was as a result of the service being underused, according to operators Prentice Westwood, and, with the withdrawal by Falkirk Council of a large subsidy, the route was no longer financially viable.
One of the difficult decisions taken by the council in an attempt to balance the books as part of its £40 million deficit, was to remove the £100,000 subsidy for the X19 route to Edinburgh.
The service was to be removed during the closure of the Winchburgh Tunnel, and would have caused current X19 users to get a bus to Linlithgow train station only to then get on another bus for Edinburgh.
It has now been announced by the council that the X19 will be continued until the end of the improvements to the Winchburgh tunnel.
Councillor Dr Craig Martin, spokesperson for public transport says “I know how frustrating it is to lose a local bus service. It was only last year that the council used money from reserves to keep the X19 along with other vital services going, however frustratingly with the reduction in grant from Holyrood the councils resources are being used to fund vital front like services like education and care.”
“Despite this lack of cash it is only right that the council extend the X19 till the disruption caused by the Winchbrugh tunnel is over. I want to thank the local X19 campaigners and Boness Councillors including Adrian Mahoney for working with the council over this difficult period.”
“A whole package of measures has also been announced to help those in Bo’ness get to Linlithgow train station, including brand new services, changing bus times to coincide with trains and extending buses to Grangemouth.”