Rural bus service to be axed

To make sure the amount the council spends on bus services does not exceed the budget allocated, ten services have been either cut or reduced.
To make sure the amount the council spends on bus services does not exceed the budget allocated, ten services have been either cut or reduced.

A number of underperforming council supported bus services are being stopped or reduced as part of changes intended to save more than £200,000 a year.

When Aberdeenshire Council’s Revenue Budget was set for 2018/19, the approved budget allocation for supported local bus services was reduced.

To make sure the amount the council spends on bus services does not exceed the budget allocated, ten services have been either cut or reduced.

The decision has been made taking into account how often the services are used and alternative travel facilities where available.

Eight contracts were identified for withdrawal and two for reduction, as set out below, and the changes will take effect from Monday, May 7.

One of the services to be withdrawn is Service 252 (New Deer-Mintlaw-Fraserburgh), Monday to Friday, peak return journey.

In the case of this service, Central Buchan A2B dial-a- bus will commence operation 30 minutes earlier than at present, allowing passengers currently travelling on service 252 to use the dial-a- bus service to connect at Mintlaw with alternative services to/from Fraserburgh.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Transportation, Ewan Wallace, said: “We keep the performance of the services we support under review and the funding that is being withdrawn is based on this work.

“The journeys and services being withdrawn simply weren’t being used often enough to justify the money being spent on them.

“Other services will see under-used elements reduced, while retaining those parts of the service which continue to be popular and well used.

“These changes have to be introduced in May to ensure local bus services remain within the budget allocated. Where possible, we will advise affected residents of alternative transport solutions that may be available.”