Community Affairs

Summer on the Buses

After a turbulent summer on our local buses, with numerous breakdowns, passengers may like to know that First Scotland East have a “Customer Promise” which states that, if your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more by circumstances “within the control of First Bus”, they will give fare paying passengers a whole day’s free travel, and Concession holders will receive £5 of High Street shopping vouchers. Keep your ticket and claim online or by ringing customer services, and please keep reporting vehicle issues as First Bus insist they are keen to address any customer issues raised, and have now added an online feedback address to the bottom of your ticket.

Since the C12 Stirling- Balfron evening services all started going via Cambusbarron we have seen a decline in passengers making this journey. Aberfoyle C11 passengers also have to use this route for all their journeys. No-one wants to see Cambusbarron lose their service but at 1.6 miles from Stirling….it must be argued that their needs would be better served directly from Stirling. If you are struggling with this journey please contact your Community Council, local Councillor or email Stirling Council directly to express your views.

First Bus have also started the process of “Branding” 5 buses specifically to the Balfron depot for the B10/ B12 routes. I’m told this will entail a total refurbishment inside and out and suspension issues will also be addressed!! You may have noticed a few dark blue buses passing through the village, some of these will eventually be branded with a new design logo specific to the local area. This procedure will be done in stages and will take some months to complete. These buses will then be permanently allocated to the Balfron depot. If passenger numbers were to increase substantially, particularly on the B12 route …….who knows what benefits there may be further down the line?? However, that really does depend on local villages supporting this route.

A question often asked by both passengers and the public in general is, “why do we need double deckers?” Double deckers are used because Balfron depot operates the High School contract. This is extremely important, and is what safeguards jobs and makes the depot commercially viable. It may come as a surprise but the overall cost between running a single decker and a double decker is negligible.

Residents will also be aware that Stirling Council have started resurfacing sections of our local roads, and if they can resist the urge to cover them in the dreaded rumble strips, then this should also help to make journeys more comfortable for all commuters.

Valerie Brand