Bus links to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital are being cut back, the Post can reveal.

First Glasgow is axing the section of its service 16 route between Drumchapel and Blairdardie from August 18.

It is currently the only bus to go to the hospital without having to change at Partick.

And the service was a limited link-up to Clydebank passengers who might travel to Drumchapel and change there.

Campaigners have long argued for direct bus services from both Clydebank and Drumchapel to the QEUH, but failed to get backing from bus firms.

NHS bosses funded the number 16 for three years until more than a year ago when First Glasgow kept it going.

First Glasgow said they didn’t get enough passengers on the route and residents could get to the hospital more directly with a service 3 and then 8, 16 or 77 from Partick.

And regulator Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) said it was a decision for firms, adding that travelling to hospitals generally required changing buses.

Glasgow Anniesland MSP Bill Kidd told the Post: “This is yet again an instance where there appears to have been absolutely no communication with locals regarding their needs.

“I can understand First Glasgow saying they have reviewed the routes performance but I cannot understand how SPT can think is ok for a whole section of my constituency to have no direct route to and from their major emergency centre on the other side of the river.”

Clydebank Waterfront councillor and hospital bus campaigner Danny Lennie said the service being pulled was no surprise.

A six-month trial in 2016 for a direct bus from Clydebank to the hospital failed to convince bus firms to take it up.

Cllr Lennie said: “When you operate on a profit-before-service strategy, then this will happen.

“Getting to the QEUH from Clydebank remains a nightmare and this will not change as long as SPT have the control.

“We did have enough people willing to pay for the service, the trial proved that. But SPT are allowed to ignore their responsibility despite having to supply a service where need is shown.

“Three buses to the hospital is not supplying a service.

“When you talk to people about the lack of service there is anger. There is great difficulty in getting to the hospital for appointments. As a result appointments are missed at great cost to the NHS.”

He added: “Our bus and train services simply are not fit for purpose, they will never be fit for purpose as long as they are solely for profit.

“We are paying first class prices for a second class service, it is time our transport was returned to the people.”

Read more: Charity G15 Buses asking residents to pledge their support for bus service

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said they committed £2.25million for bus services to the new hospital for three years after it opened. They referred residents and patients to travelinescotland.com to plan journeys.

An SPT spokeswoman said they helped the NHS “kick start” the bus services in 2015 in the hope they could be sustainable.

She added: “Passengers can still make the journey to the QEUH by changing buses at Anniesland, Partick Interchange or in the city centre. For most people travelling to the QEUH (or indeed other hospitals) from other areas in and around Glasgow, a change of bus is usually necessary.

“We’re not aware of any plans by bus companies to introduce any new services to the QEUH at present.”

The charity G15 Buses still aims to run a club for those travelling from Drumchapel and Clydebank to the hospital but is still looking for residents to sign up.

Graeme Macfarlan, commercial director for First Glasgow, confirmed the service 16 would no longer serve Drumchapel and Blairdardie from August 18.

He said: “The 16 was extended four years ago to cover this new section of route, to provide links to the new QEUH with financial support from NHS.

“This support ended over a year ago and as passenger numbers remain very low, it is not sustainable to continue the service in its current form.

“The 16 was not a particularly direct link from Drumchapel and passengers from this area can still access the hospital more directly by using service 3 and interchanging at Partick with services 8,16 and 77 which together provide 12 buses per hour to the hospital.”