Muckhart Village from Seamab

First Midland: Bus Service Improvements

First Midland announce service improvements

  • Revised timetable on service 51 that will see two buses an hour extend through to connect Clackmannan with Alloa & Stirling
  • Resumption of Uni link service timetable to coincide with new Stirling University term for students
  • Stirling University night service reinstated with journeys operating between 2330 and 0115 (approx). Buses will now operate to Alexander Court instead of University Bus Hub. In Stirling City Centre, buses will now start and finish at Goosecroft Road
  • First Midland are offering customers some great savings on a wide range of fares for the new service X53 which connects Stirling, Dollar, Tillicoultry and Kinross
  • Customers can plan their journey, buy their ticket, track their bus and check its capacity in real time using the innovative First Bus app
  • Customers can also choose the best time of day to travel when planning their trip using the new Space Checker tool from First Bus

First Midland are delighted to announce a number of service improvements as they start to move back towards a pre-covid offering of services from Sunday, September 13th.

The local bus operator has announced the return of a number of services that were suspended at the beginning of lockdown with popular services such as the Uni Link set to return and the brand new X53 Stirling to Kinross service set to launch, in preparation for the new student term time across the region.

The new X53 service will see links maintained along the Hillfoots between Stirling and Kinross, Monday to Saturday, connecting up popular destinations such as Stirling University, Dollar Academy, Tillicoultry and the Kinross park and ride facility at a two-hourly frequency. At peak times, there will be additional journey opportunities to support travel to Stirling University campus.

The new service offers some great value fares with all day tickets starting from £11.90 for Adults, £10.70 for Students and just £6 for children, which includes unlimited daily access to our entire First Midland network.

First Midland are also now extending the service 51 to serve Clackmannan with two buses an hour to fill the void left by the previous operator. This will see connections restored with Alloa and Stirling for residents of Clackmannan.

The Uni Link service will be restored for its semester timetable and the night buses will also be returning at the same time to support the return of students across the Forth Valley.

The Uni Link night service will resume with journeys operating between 2330 and 0115 (approx). Buses will now operate to Alexander Court instead of University Bus Hub. In Stirling City Centre, buses will now start and finish at Goosecroft Road.

Services 7 & 8 will also be reinstated in full for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, which will be welcome news for residents in Falkirk and the surrounding areas.

Customers can now plan their journey, buy their ticket, track their bus to their local stop and see how much capacity is available on their service in real time all from the First Bus App available on mobile and tablet from the Apple and Android stores.

First Bus are leading the way on innovation in bus travel and now passengers can also choose the best time of day to travel when planning their trip with the new Space Checker tool, which predicts how busy the bus will be in advance using the latest passenger trend data.

Graeme Macfarlan, Commercial Director at First Midland: “We are delighted to be ramping up services as we start to get back to a pre-covid level now. We are looking forward to welcoming back more customers to bus across the Forth Valley and we have made some key service improvements to offer more journey opportunities than before across the region.

“We look forward to serving customers along the new X53 route and with some great value fares on offer we hope that more people will consider using the bus more often as their mode of choice. We are especially keen to see more car users across the region to reconsider bus as an alternative option for travel as we look to do our part in a green recovery from the global pandemic that has affected us all.

“We are advising people to check their journey details in advance on our app or the website, avoid busier periods if they can, which are currently the afternoons and allow extra time for their journey. By using the innovative First Bus app or the Space Checker tool customers can now have the peace of mind of choosing the best time of day to travel that suits them.

“The wellbeing of customers and our team is my number one priority, and I would like to thank customers for their ongoing patience and co-operation in these difficult times. I would also like to pay tribute to all my colleagues at First Midland who have been superb throughout the last 6 months and have helped keep the key workers of the region moving. As the lockdown continues to ease, we all have a crucial role to play in getting the wider population moving again safely.”

Full details of the new service including timetables and fare information is available on the First Midland website:


Robert Burns

Stakeholder Engagement Officer (Scotland)

Mob: 07976 695556


Post: c/o First Glasgow, 100 Cathcart Road, Glasgow, G42 7BH


Important Announcement: New X53 Bus Service – Stirling to Kinross

Further to the announcement made at last night’s MCC Meeting, recent MCC communications and efforts to engage with the Council’s Public Transport Team, our Councillors, our local and regional MSPs and MP, together with all of the representations made by our community, and others across the Clackmannanshire and P&K Council areas, have resulted in a very positive outcome.

MCC is extremely pleased to announce that, following an appeal by the Council’s Public Transport Team to local bus operators to consider taking on the Stagecoach 23 route, on a commercial basis, it was confirmed to MCC, yesterday, that First are planning to start a new bus service – the X53 – on Saturday 12th September which will run, regularly, from Monday to Saturday, between Kinross and Stirling. It has also been confirmed that the new X53 service has, importantly, received approval from the national Traffic Commissioner.

MCC would take this opportunity to thank everyone, across both local Council areas, for all of their support regrading this matter. In particular, MCC would like to thank Lesley Deans, Principal Transportation Planner, at Clackmannanshire Council; Councillor Martin; Keith Brown, MSP; Mark Ruskell, MSP; and local resident Marion Robertson, for all of their time and effort spent securing this most welcome outcome.

The Council will be displaying the new bus service timetables, at bus stops, before the 12th September service start date.

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council


Debt Counselling Service

CAP’s debt counselling service

My name is Sue Swift and I am the Clackmannanshire Community Links Coordinator, for Christians Against Poverty (CAP). I support Fiona Welsh, the Debt Centre Manager, in making connections with referrers in the Clackmannanshire area.

I am emailing to introduce myself and to let you know that we have opened a Forth Valley wide debt counselling centre in partnership with Forth Valley churches. Clients struggling with debt throughout the FK postcode area can now access our support.

CAP’s debt counselling service focuses on providing a service which works well for those who are more vulnerable and who need support to help them gain freedom from their debts. Our service is completely free. We are currently replacing our face to face debt counselling service with telephone based appointments due to COVID – 19. Our service is holistic and we give clients the time they need to work with us over the phone.

All that clients need in order to access our service is a phone and:

  • Access to the internet or
  • That they are able to get to a post box

Once it is safe to do so, and following Government guidelines, we will look to resume our face to face home visiting service for clients.

Any prospective clients should call 0800 328 0006 (our lines are open 9.30am-5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am-3.30pm on Fridays.

CAP’s service is so much more than just Debt counselling, and I would be really happy to talk about how we help clients and how we could work together to help those struggling with debt locally. My contact details are 07575780393, or

I have enclosed some links below to e-copies of our referrers booklet so that you can read more about the service we provide and also our ‘weighed down by debt’ leaflet, which is the leaflet that can be sent to potential clients.

Referral brochure:

Weighed down by debt leaflet (Scotland):

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Wishes

Sue Swift

Update: Stagecoach Bus Service Number 23 Withdrawal Consultation

This is a reminder that the Stagecoach consultation on the number 23 bus service closes tomorrow – Friday 23rd August.

Once again, on behalf of those members of our community who regularly use and rely upon this service, MCC would encourage you please to respond to this consultation via the following link:

Also, MCC has been made aware of the launch, today, of a Save the 23 Bus campaign by the Scottish Greens – see the following link:

Simply by adding your name and email address, a letter will be generated that goes straight to the chief executive of Stagecoach East Scotland, so it’s a great opportunity to let management know how important this rural bus service is.

Mike Wilson

Secretary – MCC


Muckhart Primary School: Request for Gardening Volunteers

Further to our recent meeting, on behalf of our school, MCC is reaching out to our community to request your help.

Following the long period of closure, and with the school re-opening on 11th August, the school gardens are in need of some care and attention. The gardens, other than the greenhouse and vegetable patch, need weeding and strimming and, generally, tidied up, as they are very overgrown.

Mrs McGlinchie will be opening the school for volunteer gardeners to help tidy up the gardens on Tuesday (4th August) and Thursday (6th August) next week. The toilets will also be available and please take along your own tools.

On behalf of the school, the Parent Council and MCC, many thanks, in advance, for those who can assist.

Mike Wilson

Secretary – MCC


Stagecoach Bus Service Number 23 – Service Withdrawal Consultation

Further to discussions at the last MCC Meeting, regarding the number 23 bus service, MCC has been advised of a consultation being run by Stagecoach re its proposal to withdraw this bus service, and others, completely from Monday 28th September.

According to the Stagecoach web-site: “We’re proposing to withdraw this service as it was under-performing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing costs mean that this service operates at a significant loss, resulting in us no longer being able to commercially run the service.”

On behalf of those members of our community, who regularly use and rely upon this service, MCC would encourage you please to take some time to respond to this consultation (close date: 7th August) which is available via the link below:

(Note: should you wish to be added to the MCC mailing list to be kept appraised of this, and other matters, then please contact MCC, via the details below)

Mike Wilson

Secretary – MCC



Muckhart Lend a Hand Shielding Flyer

Please find below a link to the latest Muckhart Lend a Hand flyer which contains information for those residents who may be shielding due to Covid-19. This flyer was distributed earlier by the Council to all residents within the Muckhart area who are currently listed as shielding.

Please forward this link to anyone whom you believe would benefit from the support offered:

Community Shield flyers_muckhart

Free telephone befriending service

Re-engage, the older people’s charity, has launched a new UK-wide telephone befriending service, Call Companions.  You may know someone who could benefit from a regular chat.

This is a free service for any older person who may be socially isolated and lonely and would enjoy a regular friendly chat over the phone. Re-engage currently has volunteer call companions ready to be matched with potential referrals.

Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) has been providing social contact for this age group for over 50 years. It has set up Call Companions in response to the current COVID-19 crisis, as along with other services and organisations, it was forced to suspend its regular social gatherings. It is planning to run both services after the crisis is over.

If you would like to refer anyone to Call Companions, you are welcome to refer online (with their permission, of course) or simply pass on the freephone number: 0800 716543. It has staff who can go through the application form with them over the phone.

The attached a leaflet has more details or, if you have any further questions, you can get in touch on the number below:

CC LEaflet

Jennifer Kaney

Development Officer  Monday – Thursday
Telephone: 01786 235034



Traffic Regulation Order: Various Streets, Clackmannanshire – Experimental 20mph & 40 mph Speed Limits

This post is to make you aware that, this week, Clackmannanshire Council has made two Orders to designate sections of roads, throughout Clackmannanshire, as a 20mph and 40mph speed limit, for a period of up to 18 months, to reduce traffic speed on roads that have experienced increased pedestrian and cycling use since the implementation of the COVID-19 Lockdown and is in the interests of road safety.

Further information is available on the TROs web page:

Food Waste Collection

In case that you are unaware, from this week (commencing Monday 22nd June), the system of tying a liner around your food caddy handle, as a way to receive a new supply of liners, has stopped.

When your supply of liners is running low, you can request a new batch by e-mailing: or by telephoning: 01259 450000

The Council is advising that any plastic or paper bag can be used to contain any food waste until your new liners are delivered.

Please see the following link for more information:


Mike Wilson


Muckhart Community Council