Dialling Down Proposals for Bus Service

By bellmannews / April 26, 2024
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By Aberdeenshire Council’s passenger transport unit

The Passenger Transport Unit operates A2B dial-a-bus in the Kincardine & Mearns area, including Stonehaven Town Service, using three Council minibuses (in-between school transport runs).

We have reviewed patronage and the way that the services operate and have concluded that we can reduce this to two minibuses by amending services and withdrawing the offer to serve some smaller settlements where passenger demand is very low or non-existent. We propose the following changes:

  • Stonehaven Town service is reduced from four days to three. The town service is not well used so the reduced level of service should be sufficient to cater for shopping demands.
  • Weekly Stonehaven to Newtonhill (Tesco) service on Fridays is replaced by a new weekly service on Tuesdays: Stonehaven – Chapleton – Newtonhill – Portlethen (Asda/retail park). This provides Stonehaven residents with the option to shop in either Tesco (Newtonhill) or Asda (Portlethen Retail Park). It provides a new service for Chapelton.
  • Given the above, Stonehaven residents will no longer be given the option to travel to Portlethen on Mondays on the Inverbervie service, meaning a faster journey for Inverbervie residents.
  • Weekly Drumlithie to Montrose service is changed from Tuesdays to Thursdays (combined with the existing Auchenblae to Montrose service). The service will also be advertised to operate via Edzell Woods which is not currently offered.
  • The level of service to Luthermuir is reduced from three days to two.
  • Weekly Inverbervie to Montrose service is changed from Wednesdays to Tuesdays (combined with the existing Catterline – Gourdon – Johnshaven – St Cyrus – Montrose service).
  • Weekly service from Kirkton of Durris and Kirkton of Maryculter to Portlethen on Tuesdays is withdrawn. There are very few customers using this service and they have an alternative option to take an A2B shopper service to Banchory on Wednesdays.
  • Netherley and Cookney will no longer be served. These areas are currently offered a weekly service to Portlethen on Thursdays but we have no registered customers.  The Thursday service was only actively being used by Stonehaven residents travelling to Portlethen who can now travel on Tuesdays.
  • Following road/bridge closures due to Storm Babet, we offered to divert A2B services via Marykirk to Montrose upon request. Only one person has used the service and Service 9 operates via Marykirk to Montrose so Marykirk will no longer be served.

For background info, here are links to the current service provision: Kincardine and Mearns A2B – Aberdeenshire Council and Stonehaven A2B – Aberdeenshire Council.  Whilst open to anyone who needs door-to-door transport, the Kincardine & Mearns A2B services are almost exclusively used by older and/or disabled people.

The changes will allow us reduce carbon emissions on A2B dial-a-bus services and reduce costs. The proposals have been planned to try to best match passenger demands, which unfortunately have not recovered post-Covid, and make more efficient use of the two remaining minibuses. Alternative uses for the third minibus are being considered.

We have written to customers advising them of the proposed A2B dial-a-bus services in their area and we have asked for their views by Friday 10 May. Subject to any further changes made in response to feedback, it is our intention to implement these changes during week commencing 10 June.