Glasgow First bus shake-up sparks price hike fear

BUS travellers today vented their fears about forthcoming changes to the city’s bus services.

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Readers’ reaction to plans to revamp Glagow bus routes reflected concern that communities will lose out.

The Evening Times revealed that operator First was planning to boost frequency on key routes and slash duplicate and minor services across the city, through a rebranding named “Simplicity.”

And that left some readers concerned.

Christopher Kernachan, of Drumoyne commented online: “This is First Bus changing services for the worse I think.

“Poorer communities will lose out again.”

While Martin Grant wrote: “Yet again bus travellers are ignored for the good of profit. It may be ‘simplicity’ for First but they fail to state on their timetable when evening will begin. Thirty minutes between services to East Kilbride of an evening is a very poor service indeed.”

And Craig Donaldson, from Glasgow, added: “No talk of a price increase, but we all know it’s coming.”

The bus giant admits its new scheme will involve a slight cutback in the overall volume of services but insists most passengers will see an improvement.

First is styling the change as a “simplification” and is stressing that there will be a full consultation before changes take effect.

Click here to see the new First Bus timetable

Ronnie Park, First Glasgow’s managing director, said: “Simplicity will give our customers confidence that they can expect a bus every ten minutes or better during the day.

“We want to make life easier for passengers so they know a bus will arrive at a bus stop within a matter of minutes.”

And Mr Park has said he would happily reconsider changes to the plan.

He said: “We don’t change bus routes willy-nilly. If there is anything in the new network that needs to be put right, we will do so. There is plenty of time.”

See more reaction in tomorrow’s Evening Times.

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