THE AXING OF THE 4A BUS SERVICE.

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THE STORY SO FAR – IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.

It is with regret that we have to report that new timetables released by FIRST GREATER GLASGOW state that the 4A Bus service, so important to our community, is to be axed from 23rd October. As this has happened over the Holiday weekend we have not as yet formulated an action plan, but please be assured that we will do everything within our powers and remit to fight this closure.

Below is a copy of an e-mail sent to all our local councillors and local Members of the Scottish Parliament.

Updates will be posted on this website as soon as we have a clear idea of the dialogue that transpires between our elected members / Transport authorities and First Greater Glasgow.

“On Friday 23rd September the Kelvindale Community Council received an e-mail from a concerned resident who had seen an announcement on the”First Greater Glasgow” website that, as from 23rd October 2016, the 4A bus service which serves the Kelvindale area through Cleveden Road is to be axed. 

We had not been informed of this by First Greater Glasgow and, to the best of our knowledge, neither had any of our elected Glasgow City Councillors or Members of the Scottish Parliament.

The route of the 4A bus through Cleveden Road is our only direct route into the city centre. It takes in the Cleveden Secondary School, the commercial and social area of Byres Road, and the University. It is also our only direct route to Hyndland Road, which is a hub for shopping facilities and also the location of two main Doctor Surgeries which serve the Kelvindale Community.

Along with all other areas these days, Kelvindale has an increasing population of elderly and infirm residents. Cleveden Road is the main “Spur” access road into Kelvindale and is itself a “long and progressive hill” not conducive to such an aged population deprived of public transport facilities.

First Greater Glasgow has announced that the 4A is to be “replaced” by a route “Kelvindale to Anniesland” which means that passengers wishing to travel to the city centre will have to change at Anniesland. This would involve alighting and crossing the busy Great Western Road then waiting at the Anniesland Bus stop which itself is a total disgrace.  This Bus stop shares the pavement not only with passing pedestrians but also with entrances to local shops, including 2 local pharmacies. In wet weather it is also impossible to stand at the stop as the pavement is always ¾ flooded.  This is not an option that local residents desire or are willing to accept.

We have included some recipients into this e-mail who may not be directly involved with the Kelvindale area, but the sweeping service changes outlined by First Greater Glasgow may of course have an impact on their own areas.

In an increasing evolving society, change is inevitable. However, this change needs to be structured, informed and taken through adequate and courteous consultation, requirements which First Greater Glasgow have totally ignored.

As a Community Council we are committed to ensuring that the needs of our community are met. Although First Greater Glasgow are implementing these changes within a few weeks, we will continue to oppose them and we hope that individual recipients of this e-mail will also use their own processes to stop them at local, council and Parliamentary level.”

Ken Windsor. Secretary, Kelvindale Community Council.

https://www.firstgroup.com/greater-glasgow/news-and-service-updates/planned-changes/23-october-service-changes

THERE IS NOW ALSO AN ONLINE PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG – 

https://www.change.org/p/first-bus-firstgroup-plc-stop-cuts-to-4-4a-bus-service-in-glasgow

5th October. THERE ARE NOW 2 MORE ARTICLES IN THE GLASGOW EVENING TIMES.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14782276.Bus_firm_under_pressure_to_save_route_from_axe/?ref=ebln

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14778355.Hundreds_demand_west_end_bus_route_be_saved_from_axe/

8th October.  

Cllr. John Letford has arranged a meeting with First Bus and Cllr. Malcolm Balfourn has arranged to meet First Glasgow to discuss the issue on Thursday 13/10 at 10am in the City Chambers.

The general matter of the Bus cuts was raised at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday. It is at 15 minutes into the video.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07ypv9y/scottish-first-ministers-questions-06102016

11th October, 2016

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12th October, 2016.

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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14796285.Glasgow_s_bus_services_branded_inadequate_and__a_mess__by_Labour_councillor_in_favour_of_re_regulation/?ref=ebln

13th October, 2016.  Cross-Party Parliamentary Support for our cause.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14797823.MSPs_unite_to_call_for_city_bus_route_to_be_saved/?ref=ebln

15th October, 2016.

Thank you to Adam Tomkins for this leaflet  and petition delivered through my door in Kelvindale today.

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17th October, 2016.

In the article shown below, published today, First Bus say “We note the petition regarding this section of the route and have been in contact with members of the public and local representatives to hear their views and explain the change.”

We are sad to see such a statement made.  We were the first local group to raise the issue of the hidden cuts within their timetables and the first to alert the Evening Times to this matter which also affects other areas of Glasgow. We have yet to receive any direct communication from First Bus.

We are aware that a personal e-mail was sent to their Chief Executive Tim.O’Toole@firstgroup.com on 2nd October by a resident and despite subsequent e-mails to him his secretary is still informing our resident that “I can assure you, the issues you have raised are currently being investigated and you will  receive a response in due course.”

With the matter having been raised in both the English and Scottish Parliaments, just how much larger does this issue have to get before we, and our resident, are graced with a reply.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14805448.Thousands_sign_petition_to_save_west_end_bus_route/?ref=ebln

18th October, 2016.

The support that we have seen from members of both the English and Scottish parliaments on this matter has been simply astounding. Thank you one and all.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14807557.Renewed_calls_to_save__lifeline__bus_route_from_axe/?action=success#comment_17141722

19th October, 2016.

Today has been a very busy day and we will do our best to summarise what has transpired.

  1. It would appear from correspondence received by Councillor Rhodes that First Bus will not move on the fact that the 4A service has to be axed from 23rd October. Despite all the amazing support from Councilors and members of both Parliaments together with the petition organised by Valerie, their stance on this is that nobody has the power to prevent them from doing this under the current legislation if they feel that the service is not making money.
  2.  However, despite local management insisting that their proposal of the new M4 service to Anniesland is also non-negotiable, we do have a glimmer of hope coming our way. Bob Doris, MSP has had talks with the Managing Director of First Group based in Leeds and he has indicated that he has committed to giving consideration to suggestions of an alternative route which serves Hyndland and Byres Road and on to the Partick Interchange. Although of course this would not keep the status quo, it would be far better than that crazy Anniesland proposal.
  3. Whilst negotiations take place we could have a situation where  continuity of service is not maintained – but please be assured that the Community Council and all the elected members will continue to fight for a service which ensures that the community gets a bus service which suits our needs rather than the “joke” that is the proposed “M4” service.
  4. At another level and on a different tangent – our elected members and Parliamentary representatives realise that this situation has arisen because the current system is “broken” and does not meet the needs of communities “outside of the main fare-paying routes.” It will not happen overnight but lessons have to be learnt and moves are already being made to investigate the  establishment of a legislative system which is better suited to the needs of the community. In other words – a better way to run our buses !   And on that subject, we now have this –

20th October, 2016.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14813189.Union_wades_in_on_bus_axe_campaign/?ref=ebln

21st October, 2016.

As a result of a malfunction with the door security system at Kelvindale Bowling Club last night, our planned monthly meeting of the Community Council, together with the Annual General Meeting had to be postponed. These meetings will now be held in November at a date to be arranged. We apologise to anyone who arrived during the evening only to find the premises in darkness but these were circumstances totally beyond our control.

Several residents had arrived by the start time of 7.30pm, as they had wanted to find out further information about the “Bus situation.” As we also had local Councillors Martin Rhodes and John Letford in attendance, together with MSP Bob Doris, it was decided to adjourn to the home of a nearby resident ( who we thank so much for her hospitality ) to hold an informal discussion about the 4A bus service.

The points that we have emphasised in our post above on 19th October were all stated and reinforced. New information emerged which we summarise below.

Our local Councillors will continue to have dialogue with First Greater Glasgow in an attempt to establish a better replacement route to replace that of the proposed M4 service, which all present condemned as totally useless.

Our MSP Bob Doris will continue to have dialogue with the Head office of First Group with the same aim of establishing a route which better suits our needs.  This allows the community to establish communication with 2 separate divisions of the Bus Company.

John Letford confirmed that he had seen the route of the M4 bus and it would be – Anniesland – Great Western Road – Cleveden Road – Dorchester Avenue – Great Western Road -Anniesland in a circular route.

First Bus stated to Councillor Letford that they had informed SPT about these changes. SPT told him that they had requested First Bus NOT to withdraw the 4A service, a fact which First Bus dispute.

It is now 99% certain that the 4A service will be withdrawn on 23rd October, when the replacement M4 would start. If the pressure on First Bus does result in a better route being established – then First Bus will need to go through the bureaucratic processes involved to lodge a change of route for the M4 service.

The Community Council is now looking into ways of establishing the views of the Community on the best possible route that we can suggest to First Bus, allowing for the fact that any such route will have to involve changing buses at some major local interchange rather than any direct service to the city centre currently provided by the 4A.

We obviously have no control of all the other actions being taken by other individuals and interested parties in lobbying First Bus regarding this issue.  We once again thank them for their efforts and remind you all that the cessation of the 4A service does not indicate that this matter is now closed. Our battles for a sensible and functional bus route for our residents continue.

By jove, now I really do need to get some breakfast !

  • 4th November, 2016.  Within the past 24 hours we have realised that although elected council and Parliamentary officers have all united as “one” in campaigning to get Kelvindale a viable bus service, it is inevitable that the public will always have a “political take” on matters when reading posts and articles in isolation. The rules of Community Councils are quite clear “We have be to openly seen as “non political” and not to support any particular party.  We  are therefore once again so grateful to the EVENING  TIMES who have opened up a platform for you to have your say. This platform only exists until Monday.   If you prefer to contact your local elected members directly then of course please do so. The Evening Times article is here  http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14843447.Have_your_say_on_plans_to_replace_axed_4A_bus_route/?ref=ebln
  • Today, 3rd November, local Glasgow City Councillor Martin Rhodes has forwarded us this e-mail from the Interim Head of Commercial, First Bus. This e-mail has also been received by other elected officers.  It puts forward their acceptance for a more viable alternative to the axed 4A service.  Having listened to the public opinion on this matter over the past few weeks, we feel that Option 1 to link Kelvindale to the Partick Interchange via Hyndland and Byres Road, albeit on an hourly basis, would be the ideal solution.  This would not only give us the West End connection we were seeking – but also a good transportation hub at the Partick Interchange, connecting with the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
  • You will note that, as expected, the “use it or lose it option”has been quoted. We would be seeking to maintain this new service for the benefit of the whole community and will be asking Councillor Rhodes to stress to First Bus that after 6 months have elapsed no decisions are taken without a consultation process involving the Community Council. If we manage to “pull this one off” then it really will be up to you make as much use of the service as you can so as to allow for it’s continued viability. As we have a strict timetable to meet on  this one, we are asking Councillor Rhodes to officially respond to First Bus with a view to activation of OPTION 1 through the necessary bureaucratic processes involved.  The e-mail now follows –
  • “Further to your recent correspondence regarding the above and further to correspondence and meetings regarding the changes to the 4A service in the Kelvindale area.What was clear within this discussion was that there was a feeling that the M4 link onto the rest of the network may not offer the best use of  resource and we undertook to present some alternatives, using that same resource.I‘ve attached two options that our Network Planners have brought together taking into account the range of comments made on behalf of the local bus users. We are happy to register and operate either one of these alternatives and invite your comments and your preference.It is important that we again re-emphasise that the provision of bus services is very heavily reliant on passenger demand. Our recent changes in the Kelvindale area resulted from falling demand, possibly related to the rail alternative. We will review this service again in six months and are happy to provide you with passenger numbers during this period.  A ‘use it or lose it’ message needs to be clearly understood, as there appears to be confusion surrounding the funding of bus services.Another factor for consideration is that we will require support from both SPT and the Traffic Commissioner if we are to amend this service within 90 days of the change (on 23rd October).  We will obviously seek that support, but the decision on start date would not be ours.

Option 1 – Anniesland – Kelvindale – Hyndland Road – Byres Road – Partick Interchange
                This timetable can be provided on an hourly basis during the day but due to increased peak journey times, the timetable at peaks is less consistent.

Option 2 – Anniesland – Kelvindale – Hyndland Road – University Avenue
                This timetable can be provided on an hourly basis during the day but due to increased peak journey times, the timetable at peaks is less consistent.”

8th November, 2016.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14873622.First_Bus_to_pilot_new_route_replacing_scrapped_section_of_4A/

 

26th November, 2016.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/14929981.Replacement_bus_route_launching/?ref=ebln

 

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12 Responses to THE AXING OF THE 4A BUS SERVICE.

  1. WilmaJamieson says:

    This is an appalling retrograde step. In 1926 when Kelvindale was a new, and growing, estate the first meeting of the residents association (Kelvindale and Kelvinside Association) was to petition for a bus service from Great Western Road, up Cleveden Road, to serve the community. The original bus service (no 3) terminated at the top of Cleveden Road at Highfield Drive. It was extended to Dorchester Avenue in the late 1970’s and the original route which ran along Great Western Road was changed to run along Hyndland Road and into town via Charing Cross. KCC and residents along with parents of children attending Cleveden School must fight to retain the service.

  2. Wilma, thank you so much for this – it shows how the community has evolved and taken with it the appropriate ancillary services so necessary for it’s development. You are so right – we must not be looking to step backwards – we will continue to fight this one.

  3. Freda Robertson says:

    I moved to Kelvindale less than a year ago at that time it had two bus services the G2 (hospital etc) and the 4A. In truth much as I love the area i would not have moved here if it had no bus service.
    Why can’t Glasgow City Council take back control of its public services such as the busses – Edinburgh does. It was bad enough when the G2 stopped and access to the new expensive supposed ‘hub’ hospital ended but now to have no bus service is appalling. What can we do to help the community council fight this?

  4. Rosalyn Faulds says:

    There is a petition at change.com. I have it on my fb page but not sure how to access it online. Perhaps Community Council could put link to it here?

  5. Jennifer Bateman says:

    Hi all. I’m writing as a representative of Eaglesham. We also are being hit by the service cut. I have shared your petition on Facebook and signed it as have so many of us ‘Shamer”s. We would really appreciate if you could reciprocate. https://www.change.org/p/first-bus-glasgow-stop-route-change-to-first-bus-service-4a-in-eaglesham/share?after_sign_exp=default&just_signed=true&share=true

  6. donners32 says:

    First Bus are a deplorable company that has abject management running their services.

    If they were serious about removing this service – AT LEAST Re-Route the 6 or 6A along Dorchester and down Cleveden Rd…. but their disregard for the public continues.

    With parking restrictions in the West End fast approaching an improved bus service is Vital

  7. Keith Young says:

    I lived in Kelvindale 50 years ago, when it was served by the no 3 bus, which ran from Kelvindale to Mosspark. The first bus ran at 7.05, the last at 23.50. At peak periods, there were 8 buses per hour. The evening and Sunday frequency was 20 minutes. With deregulation in the 1980s, Glasgow / Strathclyde gave up control of its bus services to private operators. This was a huge mistake, repeated across all Scottish cities, with the exception of Edinburgh. The first loyalty of these companies is to their shareholders, rather than their passengers, so non-profit making services are always liable to be in the firing line.
    In contrast, the bus service in Edinburgh is thriving and successful. Fares are low, the fleet is modern and well-maintained, services are frequent, and passenger numbers are growing every year. Profitable services are able to support services where patronage isn’t particularly high, and the operation returns a profit to the council year on year. The 4A bus through Kelvindale is a perfect example of the kind of service that Lothian Buses are able to support in Edinburgh. A good bus service is particularly important for elderly people and those without access to a car, who may otherwise be cut off, with a consequent impact on their physical and mental well-being.
    In the long run, the only way to secure bus services to all suburban areas is to return control to local councils. In the short term, I would like to support your campaign to retain your bus service. If you could give me details of your council and Parliamentary representatives, (and anyone else you think should be contacted) it would help me and others direct our comments to the appropriate parties.

    • WilmaJamieson says:

      Very well put. I too remember the No 3 bus running at 10 minute intervals during daytime being well used and busy. I also remember using the No 3 service to come home late evening from cinema, theatre and nights out in town. We can’t do that with the existing 4a service and it’s a long, lonely walk up Cleveden Road from Great Western Road.

  8. Angela says:

    Like others I am appalled that yet another bus service is being axed without any discussion.
    I too feel the first bus management have shown that they are unable to run an effective bus service to the people of Glasgow.Despite fare increases, the bus services are being reduced.
    This has an impact on peoples daily lives as they have less transport links to school,work and social and leisure time. In bad weather conditions travelling up and down the hill at Kelvindale can be very difficult as well as isolated.
    First bus should be able to serve the publics transport needs and not just pick and chose the routes most popular routes.

  9. Rosalyn Faulds says:

    It seems First Bus can do whatever it wants despite attempts of elected members. The whole system needs shaken up.

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