FirstGroup asks to cut back on bus routes

FirstGroup has asked the Office of Fair Trading for permission to cut back on bus routes linking Glasgow city centre with destinations to its east.

FirstGroup wants to remove a service to Carmyle and cut short an East Kilbride service at Castlemilk.

The firm also wants to cut the frequency of evening services to Airdrie and a route to Easterhouse.

FirstGroup is required to maintain certain bus routes as a condition for having the ScotRail franchise.

The routes became "controlled" when it took on the rail franchise seven years ago, to ensure that competition between bus and rail services could be maintained.

The OFT said the Aberdeen-based transport company was applying to vary its undertakings in part because of an "appreciable fall" in passenger demand and significant increases in operating costs.

The office is seeking public response to the plans before recommending whether the firm should have the service conditions removed.

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