MP calls new Buchan Xpress buses “a mistake”

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A North-East MP has spoken out against Stagecoach’s controversial Buchan Xpress buses calling the vehicles “a mistake”.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, Banff and Buchan MP, met with Stagecoach managers regarding the new buses serving the Buchan area after several complaints relating to accessibility issues.

Dr Whiteford said: ““It’s quite clear that Stagecoach have made a mistake in choosing this particular model.

“While it may meet the statutory requirements, I continue to receive complaints from bus users.

“Given the number of older people, disabled passengers and parents of babies or toddlers relying on the buses, it’s important that our public transport is accessible to all parts of the community.”

The MP met with the designers of the bus, Stagecoach representatives, and constituents affected by the problem, Friday May 27.

Last month Stagecoach said that they had no plans to change the Buchan Xpress coaches despite a formal complaint being lodged against them with the transport authority by a Buchan Councillor from Mintlaw, Jim Ingram.

Dr Whiteford stated that her meeting with Stagecoach representatives followed dozens of complaints from constituents regarding accessibility, which ws causing problems for passengers with mobility impairments, less agility, and those travelling with small children.

Dr Whiteford said: ““In terms of the legislation, I will be seeking a debate on bus accessibility at the earliest possible opportunity.

“I will also continue to maintain pressure on the company to come up with a solution to this problem. Our public transport needs to be fit for purpose. ”