BUS firm Stagecoach Bluebird are to revise their no. 286 route from Peterhead to Stuartfield following complaints from passengers.
Buchan councillor Jim Ingram raised the concerns with Stagecoach managing director, Andrew Jarvis, after he was approached by regular users of the service complaining about the new route.
Cllr Ingram wrote to Mr Jarvis stating that the re-routing of the service had incraesed the number of journeys routed past Tortorston from two to 11 per day in each direction.
He said: “The main points of concern raised are that the road in question is narrow and single track, with limited passing places which, when caught behind slow-moving vehicles and machinery, frequently results in its failure to comply with the scheduled times, having resulted in passengers missing vital appointments.
“It is further claimed that the number of passengers using the service in the detour section is negligible, which raises question as to whether in its current format it constitues a useful service.”
Cllr Ingram said he would welcome confirmation from Stagecoach as to wehter the current timetable was a permanent arrangement or of a more temporary nature, possibly put in place to test demand, the result of which would determine future timetables that could more fully meet overall passenger expectations.
He added: “The complaints weren’t weather-related, they were aimed at the unsuitability of the road due to its narrow nature. Because of the road being so narrow it’s taking time for the buses to get along it and therefore causing delays at the other end.
“There used to be just two runs along this stretch of roach - one early morning and one in the afternoon - and now there are 11. I don’t know whether the bus company is testing demand for this route as a temporary measure or whether it is here to stay and that’s why I wrote to their area manager.”
In a letter to Cllr Ingram, Mr Jarvis says that the company had received a number of historic requests to serve the village and after consideration diverted a number of the 286 departures from November 26.
“As you state, useage of the service from Tortorston has not been great and the service will revert to the previous route from April 15, although there is likely to be three journeys in each direction which will divert via the village,” he said.