School bus idea for Kingseat

Councillor Martin Ford
Councillor Martin Ford

An Aberdeenshire commuinity is being asked whether school buses serving the settlement should become services that can be used by other fare-paying passengers.

Aberdeenshire Council sent out a questionnaire to more than three hundred homes in Kingseat.

Currently, the public transport serving the community is limited to a single return bus to Inverurie on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Service 403 and Service 402). A service between Kingseat and Newmachar, giving access to the regular bus service along the A947, ceased last year when funding from the developers ran out. But the ending of daily (except Sundays) buses to Kingseat left residents with no public transport at all nearer than Newmachar on most days.

Contractors operate school buses on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council between Kingseat and Newmachar and Kingseat and Dyce, Monday to Friday during term time. Some similar school-orientated bus services elsewhere in Aberdeenshire do operate as public buses, available to fare-paying passengers. A local resident raised the idea with Councillor Martin Ford who spoke to officers in the council’s transportation service.

Councillor Ford said: “The lack of public transport serving Kingseat is a real problem, but the subsidy cost per passenger of the previous morning and Evening buses to and from Newmachar was unreasonably high. The school buses might provide a way a bus service, albeit very limited, can be provided for all Kingseat residents on school-days, so it is well worth asking what residents think. A decision on this can then be taken once the Council has the responses to its survey.”

The questionnaires should be returned by Monday, June 3.