Worry as Banff bus fails to attract users

Steve Walker, Councillor Argyl, and Councillor Buchan at the launch event.
Steve Walker, Councillor Argyl, and Councillor Buchan at the launch event.

Councillors discussed the low number of people using the new Banff to Fraserburgh bus service at last week’s meeting of the Fraserburgh Community Council.

Fraserburgh and district councillor Charles Buchan had raised the point during his report to the community group, telling members that if the bus is not used then it risks being pulled from service.

Addressing the community councillors, Councillor Buchan said: “If it’s not going to be used, it’ll be taken off,” adding that the numbers for the service were lower than had been expected.

“A lot of the buses’ main routes are subsidised by the council. It is a golden opportunity, because if the bus isn’t used it will be taken off,” said Councillor Brian Topping at the meeting last Tuesday night.

Calling it a “vital link”, Councillor Topping was supported in his opinion by community councillor John Lovegrove.

“If it’s not going to be used sufficiently, it is not a good expenditure,” added Councillor Ian Tait.

Asked if the fact that the bus travelled a route through some of the surrounding villages, instead of directly heading for Banff, was contributing to this, Councillor Buchan reasoned that the journey, in total, takes less than an hour.

“55 minutes, in my opinion, isn’t too bad,” he said.

The Banff to Fraserburgh bus link had been celebrated when it was first launched by representatives from Aberdeenshire Council and Stagecoach Bluebird, the official launch of the route having taken place in January.

The ribbon for service 272, as the route is called, was cut by Councillor Peter Argyll, Infrastructure Services Committee chairman.

The bus service had been welcomed at the time as a way to link both coastal towns who share amenities such as the North East Scotland College and court facilities.