East Renfrewshire politicians are continuing to engage with key stakeholders as the future of a vital Barrhead bus service hangs in the balance.

McGill’s had planned to pull the number 52, which makes 16 stops in the town, on January 21 – a decision which sparked an angry response from passengers.

After a meeting in January, however, the firm agreed to delay the move until April 1 to allow further consideration to be given to the service’s long-term future.

Those talks with McGill’s CEO Ralph Roberts were organised by East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald and also attended by West Scotland MSP Paul O’Kane, a representative from Barrhead MSP Tom Arthur’s office, local councillors Chris Lunday and Angela Convery and community activist Rena McGuire.

Ms Oswald met with McGill’s bosses again last week and says she is “grateful for their continued engagement.”

During the latest meeting, she stressed the importance of the 52 bus route to Barrhead residents.

“It is important to remember that the number 52 currently has a stay of execution until April 1,” she told the Barrhead News.

“I encourage everyone in Barrhead to use the bus where possible, as any decision about the future of the route will ultimately come down to the number of passengers using the service.

“I will continue to engage with Barrhead residents and McGill’s over the coming weeks.”

Mr O’Kane, meanwhile, vowed to “keep raising his voice alongside dedicated local campaigners” and added that he “won’t let the 52 route go without exploring every possible solution.”

The Labour politician said: “McGill’s were very clear in the last meeting I had with them that they could keep the service running until April but wouldn’t be able to sustain it after that period without further government support.

“I’ve been engaging with the Transport Minister and the Scottish Government on this issue but, frustratingly, they continue to insist they cannot intervene or do anything to save the 52 route.”

Since news of the decision to withdraw the service emerged, the most outspoken local campaigner has been Ms McGuire, founder of Dunterlie Foodshare.

With April just weeks away, she has reminded residents that it is a “case of use it or lose it” for those living in the local community.