A PLEA to formally lobby for the protection of less popular bus routes across West Dunbartonshire has been issued to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

At the West Dunbartonshire full council meeting last week SNP councillor Iain McLaren presented a motion to thank campaigners for organising a successful campaign to reinstate the 208 service from Brucehill to Silverton.

More than 600 signatures were gathered and submitted to First Bus, who reversed their decision to axe the route.

Both Cllr McLaren and Labour councillor David McBride are asking officers to work closely with SPT and other stakeholders should this situation rise again.

It was agreed that members should ask SPT to formally lobby for new rules to be introduced to protect less viable routes.

Cllr McLaren said: “I would like to thank the people who formed the Reinstate the 208 campaign. It really is down to their tenacity and perseverance that this service was saved.

“I have had various comments made to me about bus routes and it has become clear that a rethink is required.

“I have been told that buses aren’t within easy distance or routes have not adapted to suit new demand. There is no joined up public services linking bus services with Dumbarton Central train station.

“It has also been pointed out that the health service in Dumbarton isn’t served by a bus service at all.”

Cllr McBride then explained to full council why he was seeking a review.

He said: “This particular service is a lifeline service linking Brucehill and Silverton. Many of the residents here do not have access to another bus service because this is the only one available.

“I would like elected members to ask SPT will formally lobby for regulation which will protect these less profitable routes.

“While we welcome the positive outcome of the campaign, you have to worry this won’t raise it’s head again in the future.

“All of us should take a long hard look at the bus services and try and look at services which are less viable being teamed up with more financially viable services.

“I would like this to be raised with SPT because this is a Scotland wide issue.”

Following the discussion, members agreed to approve the motion and addendum.