STAGECOACH has been urged to rethink its new timetable for express buses between North Ayrshire, the Garnock Valley and Glasgow – just weeks after revised timetables came into operation.

The company backtracked on its plan to axe the X36 service entirely, instead introducing a new, and much-reduced, timetable on July 17.

There are now only two buses from the Three Towns and Kilwinning direct to Glasgow in the morning, and two from the city in the evening, with off-peak services running only between Glasgow and Dalry.

But the last bus of the day leaves Glasgow at 5.15pm – too early for many who work in the city centre.

West Scotland Labour MSP Katy Clark said: “I am still receiving countless emails and letters from worried constituents. Many are particularly anxious about what the new timetable means for returning home from work.

“Thanks to their hard work and petitioning, At least one service is to be temporarily retained, but this means little if most residents finish work too late to even use it.

“Stagecoach claim the service is still ‘unsustainable’ in the long run, but if they need patronage to justify continuing the service then it surely makes sense to run it at peak times.”

“I believe Stagecoach and SPT to urgently come back and come forward with a sustainable plan for the service and the Scottish Government need to finally provide the funding and resources councils need to set up their own planned bus networks based on residents’ needs, not profit.”

Her statement comes after the revamp of Stagecoach’s service between the Garnock Valley area and Glasgow which resulted in the X34 being scrapped and replaced with the less regular X36 service.

Starting on July 17, the new service has seen cuts down to one bus per hour to and from Glasgow with the first bus from Dalry to Glasgow at 6.22am and the last at 4.33pm.

In response to her statement A spokesperson from Transport Scotland said: “We have allocated £1 million in the Scottish Budget to develop the Community Bus Fund in 2022-23 to support local transport authorities to improve local bus services.

“On April 1 we introduced the Network Support Grant, with up to £93.5m allocated for 2022-23. An additional £25.7m is being provided in temporary recovery to extend the Network Support Grant Plus until October of this year while services and demand adjust following the pandemic.

“While more people are now using the bus than in recent weeks and months, passenger numbers are still below pre-pandemic levels. We would encourage everyone who values their local bus service to use it where they can and can afford to.”

The high cost of living alongside increased supply chain costs and inflation have all been cited by Stagecoach as reasons for the service cuts.

Additionally, the company has attributed difficulties recruiting and retaining drivers across the country as a reason for the cuts to services.