Battle of the buses: Campaign steps up as services get stay of execution

Efforts to save two buses from North Ayrshire to Glasgow are intensifying after Government funding allowed them to continue.

Battle of the buses: Campaign steps up as services get stay of execution iStock
The X34 and X36 services, from Irvine and Ardrossan to Glasgow, had been due to finish next month.

Campaigning to save the two buses from being axed is being intensified by councillors after the services were given a stay of execution.

The X34 and X36 services, from Irvine and Ardrossan to Glasgow, had been due to finish next month, however the Scottish Government extended its Network Support Grant nationally which meant Stagecoach could extend the service until October 1.

Councillor John Bell told the full North Ayrshire Council meeting on Wednesday: “This gives us a stay of execution to keep campaigning. I have had many letters from constituents pointing out the difficulties this will place on their working and home lives.

“One said it was a pivotal form of transport and the only viable form of transport if you live in Beith. A day ticket on the Stagecoach bus is £6.30.

“But if she got the alternative, a bus and a train, that would be £14.90 per day, which she says is an unacceptable amount of money given the cost-of-living crisis and that gas and electricity has increased massively.

“Young people are being encouraged to use public transport over driving with free travel for under-23s, but they would have no bus service to use.”

Garnock Valley councillor Donald L Reid said: “If this service is not saved the Garnock Valley, which suffers disproportionately as a rural area, will suffer even more. We had a public meeting, which is the biggest one I have ever been at, attended by 200 people last Tuesday and one woman said she would be unemployed if it didn’t run.

“It’s a lifeline service for this whole area. I would hope the council would put the most pressure on to make sure the services are retained after October 1 otherwise the Garnock Valley is on a real downward slope.”

The council agreed to register their support to the community in their efforts to make Stagecoach reconsider their decision and instruct the chief executive to write to the Scottish Government, the SPT and the Scottish transport minister.