Has Law lost its last public transport?

MSP Aileen Campbell has taken up the cudgels for the Law villagers
MSP Aileen Campbell has taken up the cudgels for the Law villagers

More than a generation ago, Law lost its railway station and fears are now high that it has now also been stripped of its main bus service.

Local residents have been left mystified by the recent disappearance of the 240X Lanark-Glasgow service which served the growing village whose 3,200 inhabitants now face having hardly any access to public transport.

Worried residents have approached their MSP Aileen Campbell in a bid to resolve the mystery and she says that she is in contact with the operator Stuarts Coaches to find out what is going on.

She told the Gazette: “These reports regarding the 240X service are deeply concerning.

“I have been contacted by many worried constituents about these changes which would be devastating for the village.

“The 240X bus is the primary mode of public transport from the village and is vital for many residents, young and old, in the area – particularly in light of the recent move of the village medical practice to Wishaw.

“It is also a vital service to enable people to get to work and study and it is disappointing that a settlement the size of Law will be without a regular bus service to Wishaw and Glasgow.

“There is a real social need for this service in Law – not just because this service is a nice thing to have - but about getting to the village’s medical practice and enabling young people to access their studies.

“I am seeking urgent action from SPT (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport) to work towards a sustainable solution and will be ensuring SPT and others know about the deep sense of worry, concern and anger from my constituents.”

Another bus concern the MSP has taken up is the complaints of the users of the 191 Lanark to Biggar service, also run by Stuarts.

The bus is apparently leaving the Lanark Stance just as the train from Glasgow it is meant to connect with draws into the adjoining railway station rather than waiting for passengers travelling on to Biggar or the villages of Hyndford, Thankerton and Symington in between.

This leaves them stranded at Lanark Stance for an hour before the next bus arrives.

A spokesman for the MSP said: “SPT has advised that, by law, local bus services must adhere to the timetable registered with the Traffic Commissioner as closely as possible.

“If a service were to be delayed from the station, for whatever reason, this may have a significant impact on the its overall reliability and that may give rise to action against the operator by the Commissioner.

So, if a train is late in arriving into Lanark station, it is not possible for the bus to wait under the current timetable,” he said.

He added that SPT had explained that it had “no input” or control over ScotRail’s timetabling or its record of punctuality.

However, SPT has said that it will keep a note of these concerns in its records should the opportunity arise in the future to permit increased interchange times within the timetable.”

The Gazette was still awaiting a requested response from Stuarts Coaches at time of going to press this week.