Newmachar bus petition

NEWMACHAR residents have stepped up their opposition to bus service changes.

A petition signed by nearly 240 local people was handed to Stagecoach Bluebird’s operations director William Manius at last week’s community council meeting.

Residents are protesting following a decision by Stagecoach to axe the bus service via Riverside Drive in Dyce which provided them with an important link between Newmachar and ASDA, including access to the health centre.

The council meeting was attended by more than fifty local people who wanted an explanation for the withdrawal of the service.

Local SNP Councillor Fergus Hood, who had been contacted by residents, spoke on their behalf.

Councillor Hood sought assurances that the bus operator would write to all residents who had signed the petition to obtain information about their use of the service. It emerged that the ticket information is not detailed enough to identify the actual usage on the route.

Councillor Hood said: “ This is a vital local service for the people from Newmachar and other communities along the A947. It is clear that the consultation conducted by Stagecoach was less than adequate and the numbers using the service had not been recorded accurately.

“I do hope that Stagecoach will rethink this decision in view of the clearly identified need of local people who wish to travel by bus”.

The meeting was also attended by Aberdeen City SNP Councillor Neil MacGregor who said that Victoria Street in Dyce was well served by another bus operator with a service every fifteen minutes.

The meeting ended with an assurance from Stagecoach that local residents who signed the petition would be contacted to seek information on their use of the service. Community council officials decided to add the feedback form to their website to enable people who had not signed the petition to provide details. Stagecoach agreed to contact the council once the consultation was complete.