Vandals have attacked buses serving the Glenmavis area twice in less than a week, causing “significant damage” to two vehicles.
Yobs damaged the vehicles in a repeat of attacks earlier in the year, by throwing stones and other objects at them whilst in service.
The 247 was hit by the mindless yobs at around 4.20pm last Thursday, November 25 as it travelled near New Monkland cemetery, while another temporary shuttle bus was pelted with objects thrown from the same location around 6.15pm on Monday.
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Although there were no injuries in either incident, both buses had to be withdrawn from service after sustaining extensive damage including shattered windows.
Police have appealed for witnesses to the attacks and service operator Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) has warned that bus services could be suspended if the dangerous conduct continues.
The incidents are part of a recent spate involving buses in Airdrie – with the 211 in Calderbank having been temporarily withdrawn after its windows were smashed three times in little over a month in early autumn, while the 312 in Caldercruix shortened its route to avoid hotspots after buses in the village were targeted three times in 10 days.
SPT say that “mindless vandalism will not be tolerated”; and local politicians say they are “appalled” and insist that the anti-social behaviour must be stopped.
A spokesman for the transport operator told Lanarkshire Live: “SPT takes the safety of all bus passengers and drivers very seriously, and we will take action if we believe that they are at risk.
“Where there is dangerous behaviour, we will suspend services for the safety of all of those travelling as we have done previously.
“It’s always unfortunate when we are forced to do this, as we know it has a major impact on some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
“We are working closely with Police Scotland to identify those responsible for this totally unacceptable behaviour.”
Anum Qaisar-Javed, the Airdrie MP, told us : “Thankfully no-one was seriously injured in either of these attacks, but the outcome could have been so very different; I hope that those responsible reflect on that.
“They have to ask themselves how they would have felt if there had been someone – even a small child – on the other side of that glass.
“I would appeal to anyone with any information to come forward; these incidents have to stop.”
Airdrie North councillor Sophia Coyle noted issues with groups congregating near the cemetery in Glenmavis, and said action must be taken to ensure that the subsidised public transport service continues to serve the area safely.
She said: “I’m appalled at these serious incidents, which must be very traumatic for the drivers and passengers – this sort of behaviour is disgraceful and must be stopped.
“We call on the police to disperse the youths congregating near New Monkland Cemetery, and if anyone knows who they are, please put a stop to this behaviour by calling police.
“This bus is a lifeline for people in the villages and must not be put at risk or pulled from service.”
Police Scotland have issued an appeal for witnesses, saying the buses were damaged after “a variety of items” were thrown at them as they travelled past the cemetery.
Constable Malcolm McDougall of Airdrie police station said: “We would remind people of the recklessness of such actions, and would urge anyone involved to think of the possible consequences.
“Enquiries are ongoing into both incidents.”
Anyone with any information or dashcam footage should contact police on 101. Information can also be left anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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