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A review of local transport schemes paid for by Falkirk Council has approved 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 proposed 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 set 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 was to retain the Dial-a-Journey service which provides a door-to-door transport service for people with mobility difficulties. Other recommendations approved: 

  • 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 underscored the importance of strategic decision-making to manage the increasing costs while continuing to provide essential transport services. 

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “We are under immense financial pressure to find savings across all our services while at the same time maintaining other services that residents rely on. We have looked closely at public transport provision in the area and put forward these alterations that we feel will have less of an impact in communities as a compromise to continue with other services locally.”