Friday, February 06, 2009

Why Whitburn Needs the X33

When I first moved to Scotland and indeed West Lothian the after a few month living with the then partners family I moved into my own wee flat, it was in the old Croftmalloch ward of Whitburn.

While at the start of my time there I had my own little car but later on I didn't have my own transport. I had to get to work in Edinburgh and if I was on a early shift the only way I could guarantee getting there was to get on the X33 service (or it's equivalent then) to get into town. Even then with the vagrancies of public transport there were occasions that I failed to make it on time. I only had to get to Sighthill on the Western edge of the city heaven knows what others did who had to go the whole way into town.

As I worked shifts there were occasions that both in and out of Edinburgh I had to make alternative arrangements. For me that meant taking the 12 into Livingston and then hopping on a 27/28 onwards to Edinburgh and the reverse getting back out. There were occasions when I was leaving work at 8pm and not getting in before 10 if I was lucky with connections at Livingston's centre. on occasions I was not getting back from that finish before 11.

The X33 as with the X1 to Bathgate is a key service to deliver fresh workers to and from their place of work. Understandably a lot of West Lothian bound buses meander through Livingston to serve its various areas but the ones that by pass Livingston (like the X1 on which I am typing this) are key fast services that greatly benefit the community living beyond that hub.

As Angela Constance Livingston's MSP also points out in this week's West Lothian Courier "some people have to plan their daily journeys around their childcare arrangements and only the availabilty of the X33 allows them to do this".

Therefore I wholeheartedly support the efforts of the local elected representatives Michael Connarty MP, Mary Mulligan MSP and local councillors Jim Swan, George Paul* and Neil Findlay in trying to get this service reinstated unto the timetable as soon as possible. It may yet be withdrawn from Monday but it or an equivalent fast link is vitally important to the community of Whitburn.

UPDATE: Good news on Saturday I was checking the first website for Times of Buses to Glasgow and found that a limited one morning and one evening X33 service is to be reintroduced from Whitburn from Monday, Feb 9.

*Jim and George where my SNP and Labour opponents in that 2003 Croftmalloch contest.

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