Concern over cuts to coastal bus services
Coastal communities, including Fraserburgh, could be severely impacted by bus service cuts, warns the area’s SNP Scottish Parliament election candidate.
Councillor Karen Adam, who is standing in the Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency, has criticised the decision by Aberdeenshire Council in its budget set in mid-March to reduce funding for supported services by £245,000.
She is concerned that coastal communities will suffer from losing bus routes and services.
As reported in last week’s Herald, 15 services across Aberdeenshire will be affected, including six which serve Fraserburgh, when the changes are permanently introduced from May 31.
Ewan Wallace, head of transportation, said the council had tried to minimise the potential negative impacts for individuals and communities where possible, adding that the routes being withdrawn or reduced had been chosen primarily because they were not being used as well as would be expected.
But Cllr Adam said: “If you care about people, you have to care about how those who are isolated and vulnerable are being treated at the moment. Yet again, profit is being put before people. For many, these are essential services and I am sure we all know folk who make good use of them.
“Some of the bus services have not been running since they were suspended during the latest Covid-19 lockdown and the rest are due to be stopped from May 31.
"I fear that recent announcements are the tip of an iceberg, and that areas like Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Gardenstown will be hard hit as will routes which are vital for young people, vulnerable people and the elderly, particularly those with no access to their own transport.
"It’s not looking good for people and it’s not good for businesses that need good transport links for workers and customers. How are folk expected to make it to medical appointments, for example?”
Cllr Adam said the Tory-led administration’s reduction in spending on bus routes should be axed and called for “meaningful public consultation to take place”.
For full details of all the affected services/routes visit publications.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/dataset/proposed-bus-service-revisions