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Supported bus services to be withdrawn across Aberdeenshire

By David Porter

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A number of supported bus services in Aberdeenshire will be withdrawn or reduced from the end of May.

Some of the services that will be affected have been suspended since the latest Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were imposed in January and these will not be reinstated.

The remainder will be withdrawn with effect from week commencing Monday, May 31 and there will be a short consultation period prior to implementation of the changes.

A number of poorly-performing council-supported bus services around Aberdeenshire are to be withdrawn or reduced due to the recently agreed budget decisions affecting the transportation service.

Service 747 is one of those affected
Service 747 is one of those affected

The money available for supported services was reduced by £245,000 when Aberdeenshire Council set its budget in mid-March.

In order to meet this budget decision for 2021/22, the council's Transportation service is reducing those supported bus routes and services which provide least value for money.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of Transportation, Ewan Wallace, said: “We have tried to minimise the potential negative impacts for individuals and communities where possible, but would encourage anyone who feels they would be unduly affected to get in touch.

“We realise this may have a detrimental effect on passengers as well as some operators, but the council and communities will continue to have difficult decisions to make on the provision of local services into the future.

“These routes have been chosen primarily because they are not being used as well as would be expected, to justify the money spent by the council to support them.

"We are currently conducting a review of the way the council supports all bus services across Aberdeenshire, to ensure we are using the available money in the most effective way possible.”

The changes are happening quickly as any delay in their implementation will lead to a requirement for even greater service reductions to meet agreed budgets.

Anyone who feels they would be significantly disadvantaged by any of the proposed changes is encouraged to seek assistance where possible from the council’s Transportation team by emailing public.transport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or calling 01467 538138.

The proposals cover -

X17 Echt/Westhill -Aberdeen, the 6.49am ex Echt - Westhill and 6.34pm ex Westhill - Echt (both Monday to Friday) are withdrawn.

The 5.30am ex Westhill to Aberdeen (Saturday) (6.05am from April 24) will be withdrawn.

64 Blackdog -Aberdeen, Monday and Thursday interpeak service is withdrawn.

66 / 66A Stuartfield - Mintlaw - Peterhead 6.25pm and 8.15pm ex Peterhead (Monday to Friday), 7.02pm ex Stuartfield (Monday to Friday), 4.42pm and 7.02pm ex Peterhead (Saturday) are all withdrawn.

69 Fraserburgh -Inverallochy - St Combs 10.25pm ex St Combs - Fraserburgh (Saturday) is withdrawn.

76/77 Fraserburgh Town Service - 6.20pm, 6.50pm and 9.15pm ex Broad Street (Monday to Friday) are withdrawn.

81 Peterhead -Boddam - 5.18am ex Peterhead and 11.23pm ex Boddam (Monday to Friday) are withdrawn.

201Aberdeen - Aboyne - Braemar - Sunday service between Ballater and Braemar will be withdrawn.

240 Oldmeldrum -Inverurie - The three return journeys between Oldmeldrum and Inverurie on Saturdays are withdrawn.

248 New Byth - Fyvie -Inverurie - Thursday interpeak return journey is withdrawn.

270 New Pitsligo -Fraserburgh - Circular Saturday service is withdrawn.

273 Banff -Gardenstown -Fraserburgh - Saturday service is withdrawn

405 Banff - Fordyce -Cullen - Wednesday and Friday interpeak service is reduced to operate on Wednesdays only

452 Fraserburgh -Inverurie - Tuesday interpeak return journey is withdrawn.

473 Gardenstown -Fraserburgh - Tuesday interpeak return journey is withdrawn.

747 Peterhead - Ellon -Airport - Peak and interpeak Monday to Friday service will be withdrawn.

You can see in detail which services/routes will be affected by the changes in full on the council’s website: http://publications.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/dataset/proposed-bus-service-revisions

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