BUS operator McGill’s has been slammed over changes made to services in and out of Johnstone.

Councillor John Hood hit out after the firm rerouted the number 20 and 38 services which serve Johnstone and take passengers into Paisley and Glasgow.

He said Spateston, Johnstone Castle, Cochrane Castle and Kilbarchan have been particularly badly affected by the new arrangements, which came into effect last week.

Previously, the 20 and 38 buses went direct to Johnstone railway station.
Now passengers are faced with a 15-minute walk or getting a second bus.

Councillor Hood said: “The people of Johnstone and Kilbarchan have been left in the lurch with these changes.

“It’s absolutely crazy what McGill’s have done.

“In the past, my constituents could get a bus direct to the Royal Alexandra Hospital but that is no longer possible.

“There is also no longer a direct route to Paisley and Glasgow from Spateston and Kilbarchan.”

Councillor Hood, who represents Johnstone South and Elderslie, said the changes were imposed despite opposition raised during a public consultation.

He added: “I have constituents who work at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow who now need three buses to get to work.”

Councillor Derek Bibby, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch, said the changes have led to much “confusion and anger.”

He added: “One of the main concerns expressed to me is that we can now see up to five buses stationary at the hub stretching down to the junction of William Street, with passengers unaware of where their service will pull in.”

Councillor Jim Sharkey, who represents Paisley Northeast and Ralston, said the timetable changes have also affected his constituents in the Whitehaugh estate, where there are a large number of older residents.

He added: “Local people have made clear time and time again that bus stops need to be where the passenger needs them and not where a bus company wants them.”

However, bus bosses have defended the changes.

Ralph Roberts, CEO at McGill’s Group, said: “Since the new local network of services commenced on May 31, the overall reaction we have received from passengers has been positive and punctuality of the new local services is extremely good.

“We have introduced the presence of an on-street manager to help people adapt to the new network and bus users have found this has made the transition very easy.”