McGill’s Scotland East contacted over reliability concerns around Stirling

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Evelyn Tweed MSP tweeted an update yesterday, saying she contacted McGill’s Scotland East “following [the] recent concerns on service reliability across Stirling.”

“I have also asked for an update on their takeover and services in Stirling following the Bus Survey Alyn Smith and I carried out last year.”

After McGill’s Scotland East bought First Bus Scotland East in 2022, Evelyn Tweed MSP and Alyn Smith MP collected feedback from an online survey “designed to inform improvements to local bus services.”

The online survey posed questions such as: how often respondents used the bus, which route, and how they tend to access information. Respondents were also asked to provide a score out of five for the number of bus routes, the state of the bus fleet, bus fare pricing and accessibility.

Reliability, frequency, cheaper fares, more direct routes and availability of seats were among the improvements suggested by the bus users. Some answers also suggested adding new routes and making changes to the timetable to better suit more local residents.

Feedback on the survey

Commenting on the results of the survey, Evelyn Tweed MSP said: “As a constituency with a big rural area, public transport is a lifeline and it’s vital that the bus service meets the needs of the population. Improving public transport infrastructure will reduce our impact on the environment and help with climate change targets.

“I was delighted by the large, engaged and positive response this survey received, and want to express my gratitude to the people that took the time to respond. I look forward to working with McGill’s to improve the service.”

Alyn Smith added: “Bus services across Stirling had reached a new low point in recent years, with the impact of the pandemic straining an already creaking system. Now under new management, this is our opportunity to work collectively across the public and private sector to rebuild a bus service fit for the needs of Stirling.

“I’m grateful to everyone who responded to our survey, and know that McGill’s will take the feedback on during their business transformation. Increasing public transport use is key to tackling climate change, and there’s an important job ahead in restoring this key service.”

Ralph Roberts, CEO of McGill’s group said: “The survey confirms what we understood to be the case prior to our acquisition of the business and is also aligned to our plan for the area. There are significant headwinds in the shape of the economic realities but we are making good progress with our plan and the bus users of the wider Stirling area will be starting to experience the evidence of this progress.”

The results of the survey

1. How often do you use local buses?

stirling McGill's Scotland East
Image Credit: Julia Benko through Canva

2. Do you use a concessionary card?

stirling McGill's Scotland East
Image Credit: Julia Benko through Canva

3. Where do you access bus information, timetables, delays and cancellations?

stirling McGill's Scotland East
Image Credit: Julia Benko through Canva

4. Top 10 most used bus services by respondents

stirling McGill's Scotland East
Image Credit: Julia Benko through Canva

5. Average scores for bus services in Stirling

  • Number of routes: 2.74 out of 5
  • Condition of the bus fleet: 2.96 out of 5
  • Bus fare prices: 2.66 out of 5
  • Accessibility: 2.41 out of 5

6. What would make you use the bus more?

  • Reliability of buses
  • More frequent buses
  • Cheaper fares
  • More direct bus routes
  • Being able to get a seat

7. Are there any bus routes you’d like to see put in place?

  • Cowie to Forth Valley Royal Hospital
  • Drymen to Balloch, Stirling & Glasgow
  • City Centre to Springkerse
  • Stirling to Crianlarich & Killin
  • Later buses across all routes
  • Bannockburn to University
  • Fintry to Lennoxtown & Stirling
  • Stirling to Dunfermline

Featured Image Credit: STV News

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