BUS operator Stagecoach is set to make changes to its 262 Ellon - Balmedie - Aberdeen route in response to representations from Ellon bus users.
The move was announced at a meeting of bus users on Thursday evening (7 July) in Ellon’s Community Centre, organised by the town’s Community Council and attended by Stagecoach management. Although there will be no return to the previous 50/51 service, managers have agreed to reverse the 262 route as it comes through Ellon, so that buses travel through Ellon on their way from the Park and Ride, rather than on their way to it.
The move will likely make little change to service arrival and departure times at Aberdeen bus station. However, it is hoped that by reversing the route, journey times for some Ellon commuters will be reduced dramatically.
The effect is likely to be felt most in Meiklemill, which the current 262 route serves on its way to the park and ride. By serving Meiklemill on the way out of Ellon rather than on the way in, residents will see their journey times into Aberdeen slashed by almost 40 minutes.
Managers also announced at the meeting that three more low-loading buses would be secured to serve on the 262 route, and that an additional bus would also be sought out in order to try and plug what is felt to be a gap in the late afternoon timetable. They also agreed to look at taking the early bus from the Peterhead depot rather than Aberdeen to start in Ellon, something which would make it easier for people to make it into work in Aberdeen before 8am.
Amongst those present, concerns remained over the lack of service to Castlepark and Knockothie. Some frustration was also voiced over incorrect destination signage on buses and the apparent failure of some drivers to issue through tickets to Aberdeen from some bus stops in Ellon - matters which the managers agreed to investigate further.
Issues regarding the capacity of Aberdeen Bus Station and the ability of buses to park at their stance and get in and out of the terminus were also discussed, something which the managers present said should improve with the addition of a traffic controller at the facility.
The revised timetable for the 262 route is due to take effect from 29 August.