Cut-price travel costing buses dear

Bus operators serving Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are claiming that the concessionary travel scheme is totally underfunded and cannot be sustained in its present form.

Anne Cowden of Riverside Transport hit out: “Small operators who are in the majority are now struggling for survival.

“Transport Scotland informed us at the end of January 2012 that our interim payment due on March 5 would be reduced by 50 per cent because of a breech to the capped limit 2011/12.

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“Then we were told at the end of February 2012 that the reduction would be 61per cent and I understand that more clawbacks from bus operators will be necessary.”

Dunn’s, which serves people in Cumbernauld, also experienced the equivalent of a 61 per cent cut in their last instalment.

Canavan’s Buses believe that if the concessionary travel scheme is not amended, bus companies will not be able to absorb the loss in revenue, resulting in services being reduced or scrapped.

Operators are now asking how they can run a business and plan for the future when they are left in the dark about future funding.

Their case is being supported by List MSP Mark Griffin who said: “Bus operators in our area are at breaking point.”

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