THE Midland Bluebird number 51 will no longer stop in Clackmannan amid a raft of changes introduced this week by the bus operator.

McGill’s Bus Group took over the bus network last year and has faced strong criticism for timekeeping, with a number of services across Forth Valley running late.

After a performance review, feedback from both customers and colleagues was taken into account and the operator has announced alterations designed to improve the quality of service.

However, the bus route number 51 has been mostly affected, having previously started in Clackmannan before travelling into Alloa, through Tullibody and finishing in Stirling.

Under new changes, which came into effect on Monday, August 14, the bus will no longer serve Clackmannan, with a post on their website citing “low usage” as the reason.

The number 52 service will undergo some timetable changes in a bid to address timekeeping issues on the route.

Alex Hornby, managing director for McGill’s group, said: “In less than a space of a year, we are well on the way to complete transformation of bus services throughout Stirling, Falkirk and the Forth Valley.

“Following a review of performance and feedback, we’re implementing changes that will make our bus service better for our growing number of customers.

“Our upcoming changes will see a key route in Falkirk doubled, new cross-town links to Forth Valley Hospital and changes to many timetables that will improve our service for bus users.

“We’ve also invested heavily in improving our fleet and we’re very exciting to launch the new CitySwift X36/X37 on our fast motorway link into Glasgow.

“This comes with eye catching branding and features customers should expect, such as USB charging ports and tables, making bus journeys more comfortable and convenient than ever.”

Amongst other changes to the routes include the number 2 service which will extend from Falkirk to Forth Valley Royal Hospital along the current route of the 6, which has been taken off the road.

Falkirk Community Hospital will now be served by route F2 instead.

McGill’s have said they have replaced more than 100 buses and have recruited 60 new drivers in a bid to improve reliability and service of the Midland Bluebird.

The H1 and H2 services will continue to run as normal, leaving mostly on the hour from Clackmannan through Alloa and into Stirling.

Full changes to services and timetables can be found on the McGill’s website.