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Reliability of north-east bus services questioned after concerns from commuters

By Kyle Ritchie

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MP David Duguid has written to Stagecoach over the “abysmal reliability” of bus services across Banff and Buchan, causing passengers to miss school and hospital appointments.

He has been contacted by concerned commuters who say services in Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Mintlaw and Banff are not turning up on time while others are delayed and overcrowded.

In one case, a mother said her son is on the verge of losing his place at college because he is struggling to get to his classes due to buses not showing up.

It comes after Stagecoach announced it is increasing the cost of tickets on its buses in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray from March 31.

Concerns have been raised about the reliability of Stagecoach buses. Picture: Gary Anthony
Concerns have been raised about the reliability of Stagecoach buses. Picture: Gary Anthony

The move will mean the cost of a single, day return, day rider, flexi 5, 7-day and 4-week mega rider tickets will all increase with single fares rising by around seven per cent.

In a letter to Stagecoach chief executive officer Claire Miles, Mr Duguid said: “Residents across Banff and Buchan have contacted me to express the abysmal reliability of Stagecoach services in the area.

“My constituents rely heavily on these services for their daily commutes, accessing medical appointments and other public services, attending court, and maintaining social connections.

“However, recent months have seen an alarming increase in service cancellations and delays, often with little to no communication or explanation provided to the passengers or communication being made at the last minute.

“This has understandably led to significant frustration and inconvenience, impacting their daily lives and contributing to a sense of isolation for those without alternative means of transport.”

He added: “The importance of reliable public transportation cannot be overstated, especially in our north-east corner, where many depend on your services for daily lives.

“With this in mind, I would be grateful if you could provide an overview of the steps Stagecoach plans to take to address these concerns and improve the overall service quality for my constituents in the affected area.

“Enhancing timely communication with passengers during instances of service disruption would also be a significant step forward in rebuilding trust within the community.

“Residents in Banff and Buchan are facing a double whammy of losing services locally but are also having difficulty travelling to locations where services remain in place – usually Aberdeen.”

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