Bus Forum: The issues raised

Fraserburgh Bus Station.
Fraserburgh Bus Station.

Around 20 members of the public attended the Banff and Buchan Area Bus Forum at the Dalrymple Hall on Monday night.

The meeting, which was chaired by Councillor Brian Topping, allowed bus-users and the others to ask questions of representatives from Stagecoach and Aberdeenshire Council’s Transport Unit.

As well as Cllr Topping, the panel included Steve Walker, Managing Director of Stagecoach, Neil Stewart and Susan Watt from Aberdeenshire Council, and Sandy Gallagher, Operations Manager at Stagecoach.

Councillors and representatives from local groups, including People First, were also in attendance.

Following opening remarks and approval of the last meeting’s minutes, the meeting moved on to discuss a range of travel issues in Fraserbugh, Banff and surrounding areas.

The meeting heard that Stagecoach was hoping to forge stronger links with community councils and had already started to do so at Rosehearty.

Steve Walker said Stagecoach would be looking at every single corridor from April next year, adding that a lot of changes had taken place over the last 18-24 months.

It was also confirmed at the meeting that a travel consultation would be going out in January, with a likely implementation date of April 2014.

The problems faced by people with disabilities and who are visually-impaired featured heavily at the meeting. However, Steve Walker said a business case would have to be made for funding for any additional support in this area.

The availability of Journey Assistance Cards was raised, with the panel confirming that the cards are available from Fraserburgh Bus Station.

The next meeting of the Bus Forum will be held in Macduff next Spring.