East Renfrewshire Needs Better Buses
by Jack Dudgeon
Despite months of campaigning against cuts to local bus routes, East Renfrewshire Greens were left disappointed when First Bus announced it would be altering the 4 and 4A services, to the detriment of communities in Eaglesham and Crookfur who were left completely isolated and without access to the service as a result.
Eaglesham’s population is steadily growing, but the route alterations mean that some residents now face over a mile’s walk to their homes from the bus’s terminus, including those living in the new Polnoon housing development.
Combined with poor existing services to the new Glasgow South Hospital, residents will be forced to choose between expensive taxis and longer, more inconvenient journeys.
Furthermore, the 4 and 4A services were some of the few connecting residents to the Eastwood Health and Care centre, so inhabitants of Eaglesham and Crookfur are now completely cut off from easy access to this essential service.
This is on top of an increase in fares by First Bus – a four-week pass recently became 23% more expensive, growing from £39 to £48 since the start of 2016 – so essentially the public are paying more for a lesser service. The Scottish Greens feel this is a prime example of public transport completely failing to live up to public need.
What can be done to remedy this issue?
The Scottish Green Party’s Holyrood 2016 Manifesto features the following commitment:
“Too many people are underserved by local bus routes. We would support the re-regulation of buses to stop companies cherry-picking profitable routes and leaving some communities stranded.”
Green voices on East Renfrewshire Council will put pressure on elected representatives to regulate public transport, and ensure that quality service to the people of East Renfrewshire is at the heart of the debate, ahead of corporate profit.
Vote Green in 2017 for a public transport system that works for everyone!
GREEN COUNCILLORS WILL HELP YOU TO BUILD THRIVING, WELL CONNECTED COMMUNITIES IN EAST RENFREWSHIRE BY…
- Working with the Council and external providers to help improve public transport links in the area. For example, the bus operating in Ward 4 that services the Eastwood Health and Care Centre does not cover areas of Busby and Clarkston, leaving residents reliant on other methods to travel there to access services. Some residents in Barrhead (Ward 1) use also mental health services at the Eastwood Centre, and Greens believe that the lack of direct transport links between these areas represents an unnecessary barrier to treatment.
- Pushing for East Renfrewshire Council to allocate at least 10% of their transport budget to walking and cycling – David and Laura both support We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote‘s three pledges.
- Consulting fully with communities to ensure that future planning decisions take advantage of opportunities to join up our communities. We believe that the council’s Green Travel plan for the Eastwood Health and Care Centre represents a missed opportunity to improve local cycling routes in line with the council’s Active Travel Plan.
- Supporting East Renfrewshire Disability Action‘s campaign for more accessible taxis in East Ren.
- Campaigning for Safer Streets – several areas in East Ren already benefit from 20mph streets, and we would like to consult with the community on the prospect of expanding this to reduce accidents and promote active travel.
- Introducing a broadband action plan within a year of being elected.
- Protecting libraries. Libraries are more than books, they can be community hubs connecting people to the internet, providing space for community meeting and events and adult education for lifelong learning.
- Actively supporting bus services to rural areas and smaller villages in order to help them thrive.
- Exploring the possibility of creating a publicly-owned bus company in the future – Greens in Glasgow and East Dunbartonshire have put forward proposals for publicly owned or electric buses to re-invest the profit from busy council-run routes into less busy but no less vital routes in areas currently suffering from poor services.