Kilwinning Councillor Joe Cullinane has moved to reassure his constituents about the immediate future of the 27 bus service amidst rumours that Stagecoach are about to withdraw the service.
In recent weeks a rumour that Stagecoach were due to withdraw the 27 bus, which serves the Whitehirst Park and Corsehill areas of Kilwinning as well as areas in Irvine, in December has started circulating around Kilwinning. A number of concerned constituents had approached Councillor Cullinane about the matter and he has sought assurances from Stagecoach that they have no such plan.
Stagecoach have told Councillor Cullinane that they have ‘no plans’ to withdraw the service “next month or in the short term” but that ‘all services’ are subject to an annual review to ensure they are ‘commercially viable’. The bus company went on to express concerns with Councillor Cullinane about rising costs, continued cuts to the concessionary bus pass grant by the Scottish Government and a fall in bus passenger numbers.
With constituents continuing to raise concerns about bus services Councillor Cullinane is now looking to establish a Kilwinning bus users group and has approached Stagecoach to take part.
Speaking about the 27 rumours, Councillor Cullinane said,
“Rumours about the immediate future of the 27 bus service have started circulating and I want to reassure my constituents that Stagecoach have told me that they currently have no plans to withdraw the service.”
“I do however remain vigilant about the issue. The cautionary words from Stagecoach about the challenges they face do not fill me with great confidence. As someone who has continuously campaigned against local bus cuts I promise that, should Stagecoach change their position, I will vigorously oppose any reduction in local bus services and campaign with the community against it.”
“I remain committed to fighting for better bus services through the reintroduction of bus regulation. I firmly believe that the current, deregulated, system is failing communities. Bus services should be run to meet the needs of communities not to suit the bank balances of big bus companies. Whilst I will continue to fight for this I am aware that the current SNP Government, and indeed their local councillors, are opposed to it. With no prospect of regulation under their watch I am taking the initial steps to establish a Kilwinning bus users group so that my constituents can have a a forum to communicate their concerns directly with the bus companies that run local services. I hope to get this up and running in the new year.”