PROMISES have been made to improve bus services in the Wee County following a meeting between company bosses and a representative.

Bus operator McGill's has committed to improving services, particularly vehicle provision, following a meeting with MSP Mark Ruskell.

It was the first meeting between the company and the Green representative since McGill's took First East Scotland services over in September last year.

Mr Ruskell has been raising concerns from constituents since and hosted a bus summit last November with operators and communities, but McGill's did not attend.

Recently, the company has been criticised for an increasing number of short-term service cancellations on the 51/52 routes as well as poor vehicle standards.

The MSP said: “It’s taken a long time to get round the table with McGill's, but I’m cautiously optimistic about promised improvements for bus services in Stirling and Clackmannanshire.

“For many of my constituents who have been plagued with repeated service cancellations and antiquated buses, these changes cannot come too soon.

“We’re now expecting new, high quality vehicles to be coming to the region at the end of this week.”

The arterial X10/X10A route will be serviced by newer buses as well, but the Advertiser understands this will not be until the turn of the month with work being undertaken to ready the vehicles.

Mr Ruskell added: “But let me be clear – passengers across Clacks will be the best judge of whether McGill's’ promised improvements materialise into reality.

“I encourage all bus users in the area to get in touch with me to share their experiences – good or bad – of bus services where they live.

“Everyone in Clackmannanshire deserve better buses. I seriously hope that we start to see radical improvements to services, and fast.”

McGill's Group CEO Ralph Roberts said he was pleased to meet with the MSP to discuss challenges and plans moving forward.

He said: “We have committed to improving services, especially our vehicle provision, and we are determined to deliver for passengers.

“We have invited Mr Ruskell to visit our hard-working team at our Bannockburn depot in the near future and look forward to continuing our dialogue with him.”