East Renfrewshire politicians have joined the battle to save a “lifeline” bus service in Barrhead.

The 52 circular route operated by McGill’s, which makes 16 stops, is due to run for the last time on Saturday, January 21, before formally ceasing operation on Monday, January 23.

Last week, we told how passengers were left fuming.

Now local councillors Angela Convery and Chris Lunday have given their support to those opposing the plan, as have East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald and West Scotland MSP Paul O’Kane.

Barrhead News: MP Kirsten Oswald and MSP Paul O'KaneMP Kirsten Oswald and MSP Paul O'Kane (Image: Sourced)

Ms Oswald told the Barrhead News: “The loss of the 52 bus service will have a significant and very unwelcome impact on our community.

“Many local residents rely upon the 52 and the removal of this will have a particularly detrimental impact upon those who can least afford for this to happen.

“Older people, schoolchildren and those who are vulnerable or isolated are the very people who need to be able to rely on this service and they will be the ones who suffer if it goes.”

The SNP politician is now seeking an urgent meeting with McGill’s bosses.

Mr O’Kane said scrapping the route would be “a huge blow to communities across Barrhead who rely on it to get to health appointments, shops and school.”

The Labour politician, who has raised “serious concerns” about bus services across Barrhead and Neilston with McGill’s and Scotland’s Transport Minister, plans to highlight the issue at Holyrood when MSPs return next week.

“It is clear the government must provide for better regulation of our buses so communities can get the connections they need,” added Mr O’Kane.

Councillor Lunday has written to McGill’s to ask for the service to be retained.

He said: “I will continue to press McGill’s on this issue as it would see some of Barrhead completely cut off from accessing any public transport.”

Councillor Convery hit out over the timing of the decision to axe the service.

She said: “Residents were not informed until the beginning of the holiday period, when it is much harder to do anything about it.”

Barrhead News: Members of the Dunterlie Foodshare project are among those calling on McGill’s to perform a U-turnMembers of the Dunterlie Foodshare project are among those calling on McGill’s to perform a U-turn (Image: Newsquest)

Rena McGuire, founder of Dunterlie Foodshare, who has previously campaigned against previous plans to alter the route, told the Barrhead News it was great to have the support of an MP, MSP and local councillors.

McGill’s have confirmed the 52 service is to be axed this month as it is “no longer economically viable.”

A spokesman said: “We understand the importance of the services we operate and we are happy to meet with political representatives to discuss the issues.”

“As a company, we have significant and steeply rising costs to meet in terms of wages, vehicles and fuel.

"Should a service not be used sufficiently by passengers, the costs of running that service cannot be met.

"We would be happy to consider any proposal by local politicians to retain a service if they can identify and obtain funding to enable that to happen.”