New Girvan bus routes inspire debate

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EFFORTS to improve Girvan’s bus service have resulted in confusion for some town residents amid claims communication on the new routes could have been better.

After on-going discussions between Girvan Community Council and Stagecoach, in autumn the bus operator finally confirmed they would be implementing new routes in the town in January 2013.

And new routes introduced last week mean areas of Girvan, such as Troweir Road and The Avenue, have begun being served by Stagecoach buses for the first time.

Girvan Community Council chairman Ken Johnstone said he welcomed the changes: “Anything that brings the buses closer to their customers residences must be a good thing,” he said.

Councillor Alec Clark for Girvan and South Carrick added: ”I think once people start to use the new service they will be delighted with it.

“We have ended up with a far more inclusive bus service. This is the type of work that community councils should be doing.”

But besides new timetables being dropped through Girvan residents’ letterboxes as little as two days before the changes were due to come into effect, some residents say they were not aware of the service alterations at all.

Girvan community councillor and frequent bus user Molly McQuade was integral to bringing about the new routes, but she told the Carrick Gazette she was surprised by the “trial and error” approach.

“I think there will be a lot of confusion for a wee while,” she said. “I am happy with the fact that it has come into being but I just wish there had been a bit more consultation with us before it all set off. People don’t even know where there are stops.

“I am hopeful people will like it when they finish up because the buses will be covering a lot more people, but they certainly didn’t give people much opportunity to study the changes before they were implemented.”

And shoppers on Girvan’s Dalrymple Street agreed. One Dailly couple, who did not wish to be named, told us: “There was not enough information given out as to times of change and routes to be taken,” while one long-time Girvan resident said: “We only just got used to the times and then they changed again. It’s not so convenient for me now.”

Stagecoach’s Operations Director in Ayr, Alison McCluskie, said notices of the route changes were displayed on the buses ten days in advance, while full timetables with route description and maps were published online seven days in advance. A door to door leaflet drop was done in Girvan from January 24.