Call for better hospital buses

Cathy Peattie has called on the Scottish Government to ensure that Forth Valley Royal Hospital has comprehensive public transport provision.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Cathy noted that she was “proud of the new Forth Valley royal hospital for which I, my constituents and wider Falkirk campaigned. I am equally proud that Malcolm Chisholm agreed with us and gave the go-ahead to build the hospital. Forth Valley NHS Board carried out a very good consultation process. In my constituency, one of the major issues that came up was public transport. Although the health board listened and associated with the council to put on a bus, that bus does not serve my constituents. The villages in Falkirk East are left behind, and there is no public transport. Can the minister ask Forth Valley NHS Board to review the service to ensure that my constituents who live in villages have a bus service?”

The Minister said that she agreed with Cathy’s comments “about the new hospital and, more important, those who work in it. I also agree that good transport links to and from the hospital are, as with any hospital, important. She is right to raise such issues on behalf of her constituents.”

Noting that Forth Valley NHS Board produced a travel plan as part of the planning application, the Minister said that the board would have to discuss any changes to the plan with the councils involved, and look at cost, but that she would pass on Cathy’s concerns.

Speaking later, Cathy said: “I have of course already raised the issues with the board, but would welcome the Minister’s intervention. We campaigned for a hospital in that location on the understanding that public transport would make it easily accessible for all. Yet some people still have difficult journeys. This needs to be addressed.”

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