Bus route complaints raised

A BUCHAN councillor has written to Stagecoach Bluebird after a number of his constituents complained about the re-routing of a local bus service.

Councillor Jim Ingram said he had been approached by regular users of the No. 286 Peterhead-Mintlaw-Stuartfield service raising concerns over the new route.

In a letter to the company, Cllr Ingram says the rerouting of the service has increased the number of journeys routed past Tortorston from two to 11 per day in each direction.

He states: “The main points of concern raised are that the road in question is narrow and single track, with limited passing places, which when caught behind slow moving vehicles and machinery, frequently results in its failure to comply with the scheduled times, having resulted in passengers missing vital appointments.

“It is further claimed that the number of passengers using the service in the detour section is negligible, which raises question, as to whether in its current format it constitutes a useful service.”

Cllr Ingram says he would welcome confirmation as to whether the current timetable is a permanent arrangement, or of a more temporary arrangement, possibly put in place to test demand, the results of which will determine future timetables that can more fully meet overall passenger expectations.

Speaking to the Buchanie on Wednesday, Cllr Ingram said that he had received two serious complaints regarding the re-routing of the service.

“These complaints weren’t weather-related, they were aimed at the unsuitability of the road, due to its narrow nature,” he said.

“Because of the road being so narrow it’s taking time for the buses to get along it and therefore causing delays at the other end.

“There used to be just two runs along this stretch of road - one early morning and one in the afternoon - and now there are 11.

“I don’t know whether they bus company is testing the demand of this route as a temporary measure or whether this route is here to stay and that’s why I have written to their area manager,” he added.

Despite attempts, no comment was forthcoming from Stagecoach.