Council voice concern at bus route cuts

Stagecoach has been seeking feedback from passengers on the proposed timetable changes
Stagecoach has been seeking feedback from passengers on the proposed timetable changes

South Ayrshire Council has expressed concern at a bus company’s plans to reduce services in the area.

The proposals, if implemented would mean buses no longer stop at Culzean Castle and services would also be reduced between Troon and Irvine and altered in other locations in Ayr, Prestwick and Barassie.

Stagecoach say the Culzean decision is due to low passenger demand between Maybole and Kirkoswald.

Instead the number 60 bus will return to the A77 and progress through Maybole to Kirkoswald.

The company say this will give a large number of residents in Maybole access to a bus service for the first time.

Stagecoach West Scotland is inviting customers, community groups and local authorities across Ayrshire to provide feedback on new bus timetable proposals planned to commence in August.

Councillor Ian Cochrane, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment is encouraging people to let Stagecoach know the ‘devastating’ effect the moves will have in its consultation exercise.

Mr Cochrane said: “In South Ayrshire, buses are a real lifeline, enabling residents to keep their independence for longer. These proposals would affect people trying to get to health appointments and inhibit others from accessing work and further education.

“There would also be an environmental impact as reducing bus services would mean an increase in car journeys when we should be doing all we can to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect South Ayrshire for future generations.

“I intend to sit down with Stagecoach to discuss their proposals and highlight the need to protect these vital services.

“I would encourage people to take part in the consultation and let Stagecoach know just how devastating these plans would be for communities across South Ayrshire.”

The timetable changes are due to a significant change in the pattern of demand for bus services says Stagecoach. The company say this change in demand is caused by a variety of reasons including internet shopping, town centre decline, home working, lower motoring costs and increasing traffic congestion making it harder to run punctual bus services. Customers can view proposed timetables online at stagecoachbus.com and can share their opinions via an online survey form.

Tom Bridge, Managing Director, Stagecoach West Scotland said: “We have seen some big changes in our customers travel patterns in the last two years because of things like internet shopping, working from home and traffic congestion. We have to adapt and that is why we are consulting on these proposals. We want our customers to help us shape a network of services in Ayrshire that best serves the needs of local workers, students, jobseekers, retired people and visitors.”