New attempt to restore bus link

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A COUNCILLOR is stepping up his efforts to have a bus link restored for Newmachar residents.

The move by East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford cames after the bus service from Oldmeldrum and Newmachar to Aberdeen via Dyce Asda - the 325 operated by Stagecoach Bluebird - was replaced at the end of last month by a new service that runs through Dyce via Victoria Street.

The 325 service via Dyce Asda was used by Newmachar residents for shopping and to get to Dyce Health Centre in Altonrae Gardens.

For many, the 325 service provided the means of getting to their doctor and dentist, and it was the only direct public transport link between Newmachar and the health services.

Councillor Ford wrote to Stagecoach Bluebird on October 23 urging them to reconsider their decision to cease running services via Dyce Asda.

He has received a reply from the company confirming their decision to route all their services on the A947 corridor through Dyce via Victoria Street - a response he has described as “disappointing”.

There was extensive discussion of the bus re-routing at a meeting of Newmachar Community Council on October 24, with concerned residents in attendance.

The community council decided to write to Stagecoach Bluebird seeking a continuation of some services via Dyce Asda.

Council secretary Mike Taylor said: “We have invited a representative from Stagecoach to our next meeting at the end of this month. Hopefully someone will come along and explain the reasons for their decision.”

Meanwhile, Councillor Ford has intensified his efforts to have the bus link restored.

He has written to Bains Coaches which also operates a small number of services between Oldmeldrum, Newmachar and Aberdeen, mostly at times to suit commuters travelling to and from work in the city.

Councillor Ford said: “Both the discussion at Newmachar Community Council and residents who have spoken to me individually emphasised the importance of direct buses to Asda shopping centre in Dyce because of the need to access health services at that location.

“Newmachar is now a substantial village but without its own doctor’s surgery. So it is really important that public transport is available for people to get to health services they depend on.

“I hope Bains Coaches will agree to the request to re-route some of their services via Dyce Asda, and so provide at least some direct buses between there and Newmachar.”

The revised bus timetable introduced by Stagecoach Bluebird on Monday, October 29, has the new 35/35A services to Aberdeen on the A947 through Newmachar all running through Dyce via Victoria Street, instead of every other bus running via Riverview Drive and the truning circle at the rear of the Asda store.