There has been uncertainty over the future of the Balfron Bus depot following recent changes in service delivery and reduction in school transport contracts for the depot's operator FirstBus. I wrote to the Managing Director of FirstBus Scotland to seek clarity about this.
The response I have received is somewhat reassuring, but no one should be complacent about how the pressures both locally and nationally may impact in the longer term. It states that fewer people are now working at the Balfron Bus depot, although this is not the result of redundancies, rather the staff have been moved or "loaned" elsewhere.
Importantly, it states that:
"We do not see the changes as a threat to the wider depot in Balfron, however, the reduction in concessionary reimbursement for 18/19 has not helped the finances of the bus industry more generally."
Rather than take the initial reply as a sufficient response I have written back to First Bus immediately seeking more details and information as to how the company will ensure the long term future of this important facility. Staff being ‘ loaned’ to other depots suggests that is a temporary measure and I want to know how they will be able to return to Balfron to work.
Thank you to everyone who raised this with me.