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A review of local transport schemes paid for by Falkirk Council is recommending that the popular Dial-a-journey service and most of the current bus network is protected for residents.

A report to the Council’s Executive meeting on Tuesday 28 November proposes a number of ways to safeguard the future of subsidised transport services, while also removing some, which have seen a significant decline in use in recent years and are costly to provide.

The report sets out recommendations to ensure a financially sustainable future and aligns with the Council’s priority of bolstering the local economy and facilitating a green transition.

A key recommendation in the report is to retain the Dial-a-Journey service which provides a door-to-door transport service for people with mobility difficulties. Other recommendations include:

  • Amalgamate bus services F2 and F29 from 1 April 2024 to provide a more efficient bus service in the Upper Braes area
  • Services F1 and F25 to be replaced with a more cost effective demand responsive transport solution
  • Withdraw the TaxiCard scheme which has seen a decline of 47% in the number of journeys booked in the last five years
  • Introduce a small charge for Shopmobility use which currently costs the Council £33.61 per hire.

Acknowledging the non-statutory nature of bus services, the report underscores the importance of strategic decision-making to manage the increasing costs while continuing to provide essential transport services.

Malcolm Bennie, Director of Place Services said: “Officers have carefully considered how to protect local transport services as much as possible in the face of significant budget pressures. These recommendations would keep the majority of the Council’s subsidised bus network operating, trial interesting demand response solutions, and retain the valued Dial-a-Bus Service in full.

“Modest charges would be introduced to make the Shopmobility scheme financially sustainable, while the declining Taxicard scheme would be withdrawn. These options would save around £300,000 which would help the Council’s financial position moving forward.

“It is now up to Councillors to consider the proposals and decide on what is the best direction of travel for Falkirk Council and the people of this area.”

Read the Report here