A POLITICIAN has criticised First Glasgow for axing a bus service used by school pupils days before the new term is due to start.

Bob Doris, SNP MSP for Maryhill and Springburn, said he was “disappointed” that the 431 service, which is used by Springburn Academy pupils, is to end after it was given a stay of execution earlier this year following pressure from him.

He said a temporary bus service has now been secured in partnership with Glasgow City Council and Springburn Academy which will operate until the end of September.

First Glasgow said the pandemic had forced the company to make “tough decisions” and it has had to withdraw a number of services which are no longer viable.

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Mr Doris said he would continue to lobby First for a a more permanent solution.

He said: “Earlier in the year I managed to get First Glasgow to continue with the 431 service. “Disappointingly, First Glasgow has once more axed the service. 

“In partnership with Springburn Academy I have made representations to Glasgow City Council and a new contract bus service has now been secured.

“This will run until the end of September and be reviewed. 

“The council and myself will continue to make representations to First Glasgow about providing a service in the longer term.”

Pupils are expected to return to Scottish schools from August 11 if coronavirus continues to be suppressed.

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The start date could vary from council to council across the country.
Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director for First Glasgow, said: “First Bus is facing an unprecedented challenge at the present time which currently sees us only being able to operate buses at a significantly reduced capacity. 

“This means that the cost of running any bus service is now much higher against a backdrop of much lower revenue.

“We therefore need to prioritise all resource where it is most useful to help alleviate the issues caused by social distancing restrictions, and also meet demand for services where we have capacity issues due to high passenger volumes. 

“With that in mind, we’ve had to make some tough decisions and withdraw a number of marginal routes from our overall network, which are simply no longer viable to run in the current climate – unfortunately, this included service 431.“