MP and bus boss in route threat talks

A CAMPAIGNING MP met with a transport boss to continue the fight to save an axe-threatened East End bus route.

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Margaret Curran, MP for Glasgow East, said she had "constructive" discussions with Ronnie Park, managing director of First Glasgow, as part of the campaign to save the 64 bus service.

First Bus previously said it wants to cancel the service, which runs from the city centre through Bridgeton and Parkhead to Carmyle.

But locals have said the service is a lifeline to residents in some of the most deprived areas of the city.

Ms Curran said: "I reminded First Group about the importance of the 64 bus route, the valuable social provision it performs and the importance of reducing isolation in areas such as Carmyle.

"I look forward to meeting with SPT and First Bus in the near future to continue discussions and will continue to fight for an appropriate transport provision for the East End."

The meeting, at First Bus headquarters in Glasgow, was not open to the public but was attended by councillors Frank McAveety and Anne Simpson.

Mr McAveety said: "I hope that the discussions we will have will lead to a positive outcome for the people of the East End."

Hundreds of protest-ers have already met in Carmyle and Tollcross to voice their opposition to the proposed cancellation.

They say the route is a key link for older people to the rest of the community and gives young people in some of the most deprived areas access to youth, sport and community services.

Mr Park said: "We held positive discuss-ions with Margaret Curran and look forward to working with her in the future."

The Evening Times reported last November the Competition Comm-ission was investigating the plan to withdraw the service.

It is seeking evidence to ensure the proposed changes are in line with undertakings given by First when it took over the ScotRail franchise.

FirstGroup "initially requested the cancellation" because it said the 64 route runs at a substantial loss.

fiona.mackay@ heraldandtimes.co.uk

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