TRAFFIC COMMISSIONER APPROVES OPERATORS LICENCE FOR
BO’NESS and AREA COMMUNITY BUS 2017
Back in 2017, a small group of Bo’ness community members came together to build a local service for local people.
They applied for & received a Bus Service Operators licence.
The small team of trustees worked tirelessly raising funds and preparing marketing activities to obtain an Operator’s Licence.
The services were set up to address the fact that commercial operators had abandoned the midday services to Edinburgh.
They took up the challenge and introduced the first scheduled Bus Service in Scotland, delivering a regular service between Bo’ness and Edinburgh. On the back of this success, Citylink supplemented our service by diverting the 909 to go via Bo’ness. A measure of success is that we have delivered over 1000 free journeys to holders of concessionary bus passes, helping us to achieve one of our key goals.
The delivery of a service that helps to overcome the isolation felt by many of our older citizens whose links with family and friends had been lost by the cuts imposed by commercial operators.
Over the years we have also carried numerous passengers with young children and young people travelling independently.
We also had considerable success in promoting Bo’ness and Blackness as Tourist destinations and have developed partnerships with Bo’ness and Kinneil Steam Railway, Visit Scotland and Blackness castle, The Falkirk Trust, the Hippodrome, Kinneil House and the John Muir Way. This has led to an increase in passengers coming from Edinburgh to Bo’ness and Blackness, helping to offset some of our costs and move towards sustainability.
THIS WAS YOUR COMMUNITY BUS SERVICE
In 2020 we were severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and overnight our passengers stopped travelling. Since then, more and more people are working from home which meant, in December 2021 we had no option but to stop our services into Edinburgh. We did so knowing that Citylink were running a service and our community members would still be able to get in to the City for work & pleasure.
We did all we could to maintain the small local service between Bo’ness – Blackness – Linlithgow, but with falling passenger numbers, increased costs of fuel, struggles to attract drivers, an ageing bus fleet and the lack of local volunteers to help run the Charity operations, The Trustees have taken the every difficult decision to withdraw from this service.
Our service will cease on 13th August 2022.
This service is the responsibility of Falkirk Council and they have put the contract out to tender.
We are confident that a new service provider will be announced shortly.