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MSP raises concerns over future of Balfron bus depot

The Stirling MSP’s written to the Managing Director of First Bus, seeking answers about the future of Balfron Depot.

Bruce Crawford says a number of constituents have expressed concern, after changes to local school bus contracts.

Mr Crawford wants the operator to give assurances,“Whilst there is no indication at this time that Balfron Bus Depot is at risk, it is understandable that local people are concerned and looking for assurances.

“Balfron Bus Depot employs local people, and it is an important site for managing and maintaining the local bus fleet.

“I have written to FirstBus and hope to receive assurances that bus services in the local area will be maintained, at least at their current level, and that the future of the Balfron Depot is secure.”

FirstBus, in a statement, told Central FM News that the recent changes are not a threat to the wider depot.

A statement read, “We keep all our operations under review and some work operated by our Balfron was not sufficiently covering the operating costs of running those contracts.

“We gave the relevant notice to the local authority regarding the contracts and re-bid for those, regrettably we did not retain all those and the numbers of buses used and staff employed at Balfron has reduced.

“No one has been made redundant and people have been redeployed or loaned to other depots.”

Stirling MP Stephen Kerr commented, “The response I have received is somewhat reassuring but no one should be complacent about how the pressures both locally and nationally may impact in the longer term.

“Rather than take the initial reply as a sufficient response I have written back to First Bus immediately seeking more details and information as to how the company will ensure the long term future of this important facility.

“Staff being ‘ loaned’ to other depots suggests that is a temporary measure and I want to know how they will be able to return to Balfron to work.”

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