Unite the union is holding a public meeting on Wednesday 6 July at Banton Village hall from 15:00-19:00 as community anger grows at cuts to local bus services. Unite’s Community section has been holding a series of community engagement forums in response to First Bus group proposals to cut the x86 and 24 bus service that will leave local communities with no bus service.
Hundreds of local people have attended meetings in June with local politicians including Mark Griffin MSP and Elaine Smith MSP lending support to the campaign with a motion being lodged in the Scottish parliament opposing the cuts. The public pressure has led to the bus operator changing the original dates to review the service as First Bus will now hand the letter into the traffic commissioner outlining the proposed cuts a week later than expected (Friday 8th of July). The proposed date of withdrawal of the services will now be 22 August.
Unite Community coordinator Jamie Caldwell said: “The response from people living in Kilsyth and the villages of Banton, Banknock and Queenzieburn to our Haud the Bus campaign has been phenomenal. Hundreds of people are supporting our petition, sending letters to local MSPs and attending public meetings in opposition to the proposals by First Bus to cut the X86 and 24 bus services.
“The latest stage of our campaign will be in Banton village hall this Wednesday and we would encourage all local people to drop in and find out more about the detrimental impact the removal of the bus routes will have for local people travelling to work or visiting friends and family. Worryingly the proposals will also mean that people will have difficulty accessing basic needs such as food or health services.
“The removal of these routes will unquestionably lead to fare rises and longer travel times. We are hoping the strength of the campaign will continue to apply pressure on First Bus East to overturn their plans all together and keep both services.”
For further information please contact Unite Community Organiser Jamie Caldwell on 07980 721417 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland's largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.
6th of July – Day of Action - Community day of placard making and photoshoot ahead of the new deadline first group putting letter into the traffic com to change the route. Local press and media welcome to attend.
19th of July- First Group AGM