A bus route has been saved from the axe after thousands signed a petition.

First Bus reversed the plan to scrap the X1 service between Glasgow and Hamilton this month.

The firm however said the route must attract more passengers if it is to have a viable long-term future.

Last month the Evening Times reported the plan to scrap the service which prompted anger in communities in Glasgow and Lanarkshire along the route.

READ MORE: Anger as First axe services

A petition received more than 4600 signatures and politicians urged First to reconsider the decision.

First had said the route was “unsustainable on a commercial basis”.

Politicians reacted and contacted the firm.

Monica Lennon, Labour MSP asked them to reconsider and Christina McKelvie SNP MSP raised the concerns of local people.

Ms McKelvie welcomed the decision to reinstate the route.

She said: “I explained to them the real damage the removal of the service would do to those working and studying in Glasgow. Alongside this I raised the disproportionate number of concessionary users on the route which is a stark indicator of the social link the route provides for many older residents.

“The local community deserve a huge amount of praise for this decision, as without the pressure from them this victory would not have been possible.”

READ MORE: Residents isolated after bus cuts

First Bus said it listened to the community but also issued a use it or lose it warning.

Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director for First Glasgow said: “Despite the numbers involved in the very public petitions against the removal of this service, we are simply not seeing this level of customer volume actually using the service. This must change if the service is to have a long-term and viable future as a commercial service, but we have taken on board the strong views of the paying public and local stakeholders who we have met with.

“As a result, we have taken the decision to reinstate the service as of October 27. This registration has now been accepted by the Traffic Commissioner’s office, meaning there will be no gap in service.

“The hope now with the service is that we may now in time see a boost to passenger numbers given the level of public and political support for the service.”