Strife in the bus lane for Buchan travellers

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Buchan commuters have levelled a number of complaints at the new fleet of Stagecoach buses with access problems their primary concern.

Stagecoach unveiled their new £5.5 million Buchan Xpress coaches last month but since their introduction travellers have complained about the steepness of the steps which leave many struggling to use the service.

Jim Ingram, Councillor for Central Buchan, said: “It’s very steep steps up to the main seating area of the buses.

“It’s becoming a major problem.”

Stephen Calder, Peterhead Community Councillor, said: “Every time I go on it everyone is complaining and the majority of folk are struggling.

“It’s not just disabled folk, it’s elderly folk and people with mobility problems and younger folk with children and shopping bags.”

A Stagecoach North Scotland spokesperson said: “The old “Buchan Link” coaches that have been replaced did not feature any low level seating and every passenger using our service had no option but to use the stairs to get to their seat.

“The new coaches feature two seats on the same low-floor level as the driver and wheelchair space.”

However the majority of the complaints levelled at the new buses seem to stem from the steepness rather than the number of steps.

The company also claims that passenger number are up since the introduction of the new buses but Cllr Ingram argues that this is down to the time of year as people travel for Christmas shopping.