Scottish Labour issues fresh call to reinstate X1 bus service

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has called for a fresh look at the axed X1 bus following the easing of COVID restrictions.

The express service between Hamilton and Glasgow was initially pulled by operator First Glasgow in October 2019.

Monica rallied against plans by First Glasgow to scrap the express bus service in 2019, and a local petition received over 2,500 signatures.

Buckling to pressure, the bus operator reinstated the service at the start of 2020, only for the it to be scrapped altogether at the peak of the pandemic.

A member of the Scottish Parliament’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee, Monica says that the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions should pave the way for the return of the X1, a measure she says would help with the cost of living and climate

Monica said: “As the only direct link from Hamilton to Glasgow, local residents are understandably desperate to have the X1 reinstated.

“I’m knocking on doors across Hamilton with Scottish Labour’s candidates and people ask about the X1 constantly.

“Our communities have been badly failed by First Glasgow, who used the pandemic to withdraw this vital service.

“They blamed this on passenger numbers and the viability of running the service while restrictions such as social distancing were in place.

“These issues are no longer in play – so it’s time to get the X1 back on the road.

“So eager are Hamilton residents to have a direct service to Glasgow, that constituents have been contacting my office with any alternative routes and solutions they can think of.

“I have recently written to First and the Minister for Transport calling for a fresh look at transport links between Hamilton and Glasgow.

“The X1 offered a vital service getting local residents into the city for work and education and Scottish Labour will continue to fight for better local bus services.”

Jim Lee, Scottish Labour candidate for the Hamilton West and Earnock ward in next month’s Local Government elections, said the issue has been raised repeatedly on doorsteps during his campaign.

He said: “The removal of the X1 service has been a massive loss to the area, so it’s no surprise it has been raised many times by residents over the past few weeks.

“People in the area really relied on it to get to work and university, and for socialising and shopping in the city centre.

“Only Scottish Labour is making this a priority.”