Bus link restored to hospital

Drumgrew Bridge
Drumgrew Bridge

Fears that a bus route linking Kirkintilloch with Monklands Hospital would be axed have been eased after a pledge from bus firm D A Coaches.

Kirkintilloch East MP Stuart McDonald, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn, North Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport were all involved in the bid to solve a problem sparked by the closure of Drumgrew Bridge.

With the bridge closed for demolition and replacement until March next year, the stretch of the route between Kirkintilloch and Monklands Hospital, relied on by hospital visitors and commuters, looked set to be scrapped.

This was said to be because the firm has been unable to find cash backing to run a replacement bus service from Kirkintilloch to Cumbernauld.

Last week SNP politicians Stuart McDonald and Jamie Hepburn were optimistic the service could be restored, based on correspondence from SPT.

Now the bus firm says it has made the service available, with one cmployee saying the firm had decided to cover the route – also used by daily commuters – “in order to make sure their passengers are not struggling to get to and from their place of work”.

The website of Coatbridge-based independent firm D A Coaches now carries a new timetable for the O47 to cover the Drumgrew closure between now and March 31 next year.

It covers the O47 between Kirkintilloch and the hospital, and the X47 between the hospital and Cumbernauld.

Some times also cover the Craiglinn interchange,

The bridge replacement at Drumgrew Road is part of a series of similar projects across central Scotland to create extra height over the railway to make space for the overhead line electrification.