Use it or lose it warns councillor on bus routes

Fraserburgh Bus Station.
Fraserburgh Bus Station.

Fraserburgh and district councillor Brian Topping has warned that the public must use the available bus routes or risk losing them.

The call came from the long-standing Scottish National Party councillor at the October meeting of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee, last week, when Neil Stuart, the principal officer of the council’s public transport unit, brought a report before elected members.

The report, a review of passenger transport policies from the director of infrastructure at Aberdeenshire Council, informed councillors that a review on the council’s transport strategy had taken place and that policies had been amended.

The main change, Mr Stuart told councillors, was to the mainline services, where the gaps in the service would be evaluated to deliver the best value way of delivering the travel.

As such, a mainline service from Fraserburgh to Banff and been tendered with the hope of it being implemented by the end of January, 2014.

Chair of the area committee, Councillor John Cox, was in favour of the link, calling for councillors to look at its “economic benefit.”

“I would really urge the council to take this seriously,” added Fraserburgh and district councillor Charles Buchan.

Councillor Topping, meanwhile, said: “The main message is, people have got to use a service.

“Maybe if it was there, people would use it,” he added, suggesting that any new route between the two towns be advertised well.

The aim of the new strategy is “to achieve the most effective and efficient service delivery as practicable through adoption of an integrated approach to service delivery and application of the most appropriate procurement methods,” the report says.

A draft of the strategy can be viewed online by visiting Aberdeenshire Council’s website:
www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

Last month, a bus forum meeting was held in Fraserburgh, when the problems faced by people with disabilities, and who are visually-impaired, featured heavily at the meeting.

However, Steve Walker, managing director of Stagecoach, said a business case would have to be made for funding for any additional support in this area.