It is incredulous that Falkirk Council will not contribute a subsidy to retain the X19 bus from Bo’ness to Edinburgh.
Both the SNP and Labour Parties claimed to be fighting against austerity in the recent election; I therefore would have expected strong support to their local constituents in their campaign to retain the only direct bus to Edinburgh.
The alternative detour via Linlithgow means a 27 per cent increase in bus fares, greater if they take the train option. It would mean someone on the living wage would be facing an increase of 4 per cent on the amount they pay as a percentage of their salary, taking bus fares to a staggering 22 per cent of salary.
This is surely the most austere of measures facing those Bo’ness workers who are dependent on this bus service.
Falkirk Council may have saved £116,000, but this is nothing compared with the devastation caused to the people who regularly use the service for work, study, social and medical appointments.
It is a grave concern that many people now are faced with the distress of having to move from their homes in Bo’ness and others have to give up their existing employment.
The “Save the X19” campaigners have worked hard and Prentice Westwood are retaining one journey into Edinburgh at 7:30am and one returning at 5:30pm on a commercial basis.
This is not good enough for the majority of commuters. Bo’ness is called a commuter town and people have moved here believing that they have public transport.
Falkirk Council has given no thought to the future for employment opportunity and study for young people as well as increased car usage on the roads.