Bus services have been withdrawn from an Airdrie village after “reckless” yobs smashed vehicle windows on three separate occasions – including two attacks in just three days last week.

The 211 previously serving Calderbank will now not travel through the area until further notice due to the spate of vandalism, which has caused thousands of pounds of damage and has three of contractor JMB Travel’s vehicles still off the road awaiting the costly repairs.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) condemned the “totally unacceptable mindless vandalism” and say they were left with “no choice” but to suspend the service; meaning passengers living in the village currently have to find their way to alternative route points at Brownsburn or Chapelhall to be able to board a bus.

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A spokesman for JMB told Lanarkshire Live how objects had been hurled at the side windows of its vehicles on three separate evenings as the Airdrie to Motherwell service travelled along Main Street in Calderbank.

Vandals first struck last month, with two more windows then being smashed in the past week alone – and while there were no injuries to drivers or passengers on any of the three occasions, the incidents were described as “quite traumatic” for those involved.

The travel authority made the decision to halt the subsidised service in the Calderbank area immediately after last week’s two near-consecutive incidents.

A spokeswoman said: “SPT takes the safety of all bus passengers and drivers very seriously.

“We are working closely with Police Scotland to identify those responsible for the totally unacceptable mindless vandalism on this route that puts both passengers and drivers at risk.

“Unfortunately we have no choice but to suspend part of this route, which we know is essential for many in the local community – where there is dangerous behaviour, we must take action to protect those using the bus as well as the driver.

“SPT My Bus is available for the most vulnerable passengers in the area to assist them with travel; we are also speaking to local councillors to make them aware of the issues and discuss options for the reinstatement of this critical service.”

Each window costs at least £300 per window to repair; and with current supply chain issues affecting the time taken to obtain construction and similar materials, bus operator JMB is facing a five-week wait for the necessary repairs with the vehicles not being available for use during that time.

A statement on the company’s website reads: “Service 211 will not serve Calderbank until further notice due to continued acts of vandalism.

“Continued attacks on buses [are] resulting in thousands of pounds worth of damage being caused every week.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused; however, we cannot continue to sustain the cost of the damage being caused to buses due to these reckless vandals.”

SPT officials are liaising with police over the vandalism attacks, and are meeting with local councillors to seek their help in resolving the issue.

Airdrie South representative Michael Coyle said the perpetrators “should be ashamed” of their actions, saying: “This wanton vandalism is a disgrace and it’s fortunate there were no injuries.

“I’m not surprised the decision to withdraw the service was taken given what’s happened – SPT had no choice and companies can’t keep paying out for replacement windows so they had to take action – but it leaves Calderbank isolated.

“Residents need to be able to take public transport to get to places like the GP or hospital; it’s a long walk to Brownsburn or Chapelhall to get a bus especially with winter coming in, and this will have a really detrimental effect.”

Inspector Neil MacLeod of Airdrie police station said: “We have recently been made aware of three incidents in the Calderbank area involving objects being thrown at moving buses.

“As a result of this reckless and dangerous conduct, the local bus service has had to be temporarily halted, depriving the community of a vital service.

“Officers are carrying out enquiries into the incidents and will be increasing patrols in the area.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who may have information on the incidents, or those individuals responsible. If you believe you can assist our investigation, please call 101, quoting incident 3396 of September 17.”

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