THE future of the C1 and C2 bus services in the Wee County is safe, the local authority confirmed.

Clackmannanshire Council awarded contracts to First Bus and Hunter's to continue the routes for three years, with an optional two-year extension.

The EU-compliant procurement process went ahead as the current arrangements were due to expire at the end of March.

The announcement comes fresh off the back of the renewal of the H1 and H2 buses, which ferry patients and visitors to Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, as well as a range of destinations along the way.

A report on the future of the four publicly supported services originally came to the council chambers in September last year.

In the end the status quo will be maintained, though there were also proposals to potentially combine the four separate council and NHS services into three.

Councillor Les Sharp, leader of the administration, said: “I am delighted that the council has awarded this contract which received the unanimous backing of all councillors and will result in the continuation of this local bus service.”

The renewal of the NHS supported H2 service was welcome news in Dollar, where the bus is the only regular public transport option for passengers.

Part of a legal agreement that was formed in 2007, the health board committed to providing a frequent service between Alloa and the new hospital grounds in Larbert.

This was amended two years later to two services to include Dollar and Alva, but buses go less often.

The C1 serves the town centre of Alloa while the C2 goes from Glenochil through Alloa to Tillicoultry.