AN INFLUENTIAL community group has branded bus provision in Cumbernauld not fit for purpose following a controversial cuts package and the imminent shutdown of a decades-old depot in Carbrain.
Cumbernauld Community Forum is taking First to task after being inundated with complaints from the 24 local organisations under its umbrella, after some services were shelved, including the X80 and X4.
Chairman Billy Lees who has written to North Lanarkshire Council on this issue said: “I don’t think that First has given any thought to commuters who keep them in business or the 54,000 people who live in Cumbernauld. Residents north of the A80 plus Westfield and Blackwood are all cut off from the rest of Cumbernauld from 6.30pm to the following morning which is a ridiculous situation.
“I would also like to know how they are going to get buses out of Cumbernauld during bad weather in the winter months,’’ said Mr Lees who does not view Glasgow based depots as a substitute for a local hub.
Meanwhile John King of Condorrat Community Council added: “This affects most of our residents – it is quite a distance to walk to the town centre. The infirm and disabled have enough problems as it is.”
A spokesman from First said: “We have not provided services to the places stated during the evening for a number of years. This was due to a lack of passengers using the service. We will continue to provide the same level of evening services following the introduction of our new timetable as we do currently.”
He stressed that the closure of the depot was ‘unavoidable given the challenging economic conditions’ and that all employees had been offered positions elsewhere. “The closure of Cumbernauld depot will have no material impact on the reliability and punctuality of our buses, irrespective of the weather conditions,” he added.
Mr Lees called on the public to lobby their MP, MSP, councillors and First over the issue.