Petition to save 'lifeline' evening buses after spate of fire attacks

First Bus has been targeted with deliberate fires in recent months and is considering cutting services in Pollok.

Members of a Glasgow community have started a petition to save bus services after First Bus threatened to withdraw them over antisocial behaviour.

The bus operator has suffered a wave of abuse, vandalism, and deliberate blazes in the Pollok area recently, and is considering withdrawing evening services after 6pm in the area.

First Bus said it is taking advice from Police Scotland and apologised for the inconvenience, but said the safety of staff and customers is its “top priority”.

Members of the Pollok community, who will be affected by the service cuts, fear the most vulnerable among them could be hurt by the move.

One resident told STV News: “My mother lives in Mosspark so it’s daily I’m up and down there.

“Sometimes she might not be doing too good and she’ll phone me down, so it’s crucial that I get these buses.”

“It’s like a prison sentence for the pensioners,” another commented. “They’re not going to be going anywhere.”

A third told STV she had seen a deliberate fire started on a bus, and it had left her feeling “scared”.

“A few months ago I heard wee weans lighting fire to a newspaper,” she said.

“I was quite scared when it happened on the bus. I had to obviously get off, but it’s not fair on the bus drivers either.”

First Bus says it needs to work with the community and police to tackle the problem, after the issue worsened in recent months.

A spokesperson said: “Risk of death is resulting from these incidents. We’ve had a total of 21 incidents reported, nine of those have involved fire-raising attacks on our vehicles.

“In two of those incidents, the vehicles have been pretty much written off.”

A petition to save the “lifeline” 3, 10, 57 and X8 services reads: “After a spate of antisocial behaviour, First Bus are threatening to cut the bus service(s) in Pollok.

“This service is a lifeline for many residents.”

Councillor Rashid Hussain, leading the charge, reassured residents on Thursday that First Bus would not immediately suspend any of the endangered services.

He said: “I represent an area of high deprivation, we’ve got many users that have contacted me that are very concerned about the services.

“They’re vulnerable people, they rely on the services for work and for getting to hospital. Buses to the value of half a million have been destroyed. So a major concern, but it is those few causing the problem for the majority.”

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