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SPT renews bus contracts to maintain services

Local bus services are to be safeguarded by Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) following the withdrawal of, or changes to, several commercially operated services.

Today (Friday, 3 September) SPT’s Operations Committee approved the award of three contracts to maintain public transport links in a number of areas.

As a result of commercial decisions by operators to withdraw elements of local bus services, SPT has moved to maintain public transport links.

The contract for the evening element of Service 226 Hamilton – Little Earnock was awarded to First Glasgow (No 2) Ltd at a cost of £4,125 for the period 28 November 2010 to 16 July 2011.

The contract to operate Service 32 Beith – Glengarnock – Kilbirnie was awarded to Stagecoach Western Buses Ltd at a cost of £29,700 for the period 29 November 2010 to 16 July 2011. The contract provides a like-for-like replacement for the existing service.

A contract for Service 303 Barrhead to Glasgow will be awarded to First Glasgow (No 1) Ltd. The contract, worth £67,815 runs from 28 November 2010 until 13 July 2013. It covers evening and early morning weekend services.

Chair of SPT’s Operations Committee, South Lanarkshire Councillor Denis McKenna, said: “SPT has a vital role in protecting and promoting the bus route network in west central Scotland. More public transport journeys are undertaken by bus so I am pleased we’ve been able to maintain these links.

“We have to work with limited funds. At the same time, the commercial bus market is contracting which makes the pressure on our budgets relentless.”

SPT currently subsidises dozens of local bus services across west central Scotland which are vital to communities, but not provided by private operators.

Timetable details for all bus services are available by telephoning Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 and at www.travelinescotland.com.