Barrhill to Galloway bus service cancelled

An attempt by a south west bus company owner to continue to operate while he appeals a decision to close his two businesses down has failed.

James King Coaches, based in Kirkcowan and ABC Travel, based in Castle Douglas, had their licences terminated by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland from midnight on July 11.

The company operated routes between Newton Stewart, Girvan and Barrhill.

The move means that the connection between Barrhill Railway Station and Newton Stewart has now been cancelled while the service between Newton Stewart and Girvan has been taken over by Stagecoach.

Dumfries and Galloway Council has warned passengers that there will be disruption to services until new operators can be engaged to cover the routes in Wigtownshire and the Stewartry previously serviced by James King Coaches and ABC Travel.

A council spokesman said: “On 11 June 2014, the companies lodged an appeal on the decision to revoke their Operators licence’s from 23.59 on Friday 11 July 2014.

“This appeal was lodged with the Upper Tribunal of the Court and Tribunals Judiciary.

“As part of this process they also lodged a request on 27 June 2014 to stay (postpone) when their licence was due to be revoked until an appeal was heard.

“SWestrans and Dumfries and Galloway Council were required to continue to honour existing contracts with the companies until a decision on this request to postpone was made.

“This process was not within the control of SWestrans or the council. A decision was issued on 9 July that the stay is not granted. Therefore, replacement contracts are being awarded to other operators to replace the routes affected.

“It should be noted that some routes have amended timetables.

“Changes to bus services will be posted on and on the

“Updated timetables will also be posted at the relevant bus stops (this will happen as quickly as possible).

“Given the lack of time between this decision and when the licenses are due to be revoked, there will be some short-term impact on services to allow the replacement services to become fully operational. SWestrans will seek to update information on services as soon as possible and on an ongoing basis until full service is implemented.

Travellers should consult the SWestrans or Dumfries and Galloway Council websites for the most up-to-date information.”

Mr King said he would speak exclusively to The Galloway Gazette about the situation after a crunch meeting on Thursday.

He continues to appeal the decision.