A veteran determined to hold on to his independence for as long as possible is demanding a bus stop is reinstated next to Erskine Veterans’ Village.
James Gillies has launched a campaign to have the 757 Paisley to Clydebank service reinstated on the B15 close to the entrance of the village on Nursery Avenue.
The 90-year-old is calling on McGill’s to ensure the bus stop – which was temporarily moved to facilitate the repair and installation of the gas pipe line over the River Clyde – is put back in its rightful place.
The change would, James said, have a great impact on residents who currently have to walk “some distance” to the next stop at Boden Boo nature reserve.
It is a journey the veteran has described as both “quite a distance” and “hazardous”.
The former gunner with the 72nd Royal Artillery told the Paisley Daily Express: “There’s no stop within the village or just outside and we [older people] are the people that use it mainly.
“Ferry Road is quite a busy road and at night there are no lights and there is no pedestrian crossing. Although there is a speed limit, a lot of the drivers belt down that road so it’s quite a hazard as well as being really inconvenient.
“The 757 is the bus we use and we would like to see the bus stop, at the very least, to be reinstated to under the motorway bridge. It would be a sight better than walking to the nature reserve which, in my opinion, is an accident waiting to happen.
“It’s okay on these lighter nights but we do get some nasty weather in the winter.”
He added: “The new bus stop would mean very little extra travel for the bus, it’s just around the roundabout.
“McGill’s have been approached and they have refused point blankly; they simply don’t want to do it.”
For James, an accessible bus service is paramount to his independence and freedom.
Having given up his driving licence several years ago, he uses the 757 and connecting buses to see his beloved Partick Thistle play in Glasgow; to travel into Bishopton and to visit the Royal British Legion in Clydebank.
The lifeline venue’s weekly tea dances are especially popular with Erskine residents.
James added: “I can’t speak for everyone in the village but I would imagine there would be a lot more people here using the bus if the original stop was reinstated, not just the residents but staff too.”
The Express this week has featured stories from people affected by McGill’s service cuts set to come in from Monday.
Gallowhill gran Linda Stenhouse, who is living with multiple sclerosis, says she will become housebound if the No 64 – which stops yards from her front door – is slashed.
Meanwhile, a devoted couple may not be able to spend every day with each other if the No 22 Paisley to Erskine service is axed. Disabled 82-year-old Andy Wilson would face at least two journeys there and back to visit wife Marie at Elderslie care home.
McGill’s insists changes to its timetable and routes are unavoidable amid rising costs and a drop in passenger numbers.
West Scotland MSP Neil Bibby, meanwhile, has launched a petition urging the services cull to be abandoned.
In a letter to Mr Bibby, who took up the fight to reinstate the bus stop on Mr Gillies behalf, a McGill’s Buses chief said: “I can confirm that after speaking with our commercial department, we have no plans to reinstate the stop that is located a under the bridge at Erskine Hospital due to the route our service 757 operates.
“To use this stop it would mean our service 757 would have to double back on itself when operating to and from Clydebank/Paisley, and with the cost of diesel and timings of vehicles, it is not viable for us to complete this.
“The stops that are located on Ferry Road are 0.1miles away from the original stop and there is also an island located in the middle of the road to allow easy crossing for passengers.
“However, if your constituents are unhappy with the road design then I would suggest that you contact Renfrewshire Council to see if they could maybe put a crossing at this section of the road.”
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