Bay Travel steps in to maintain Auchtertool bus service

A campaign by residents, including a public meeting, helped retain a bus service
A campaign by residents, including a public meeting, helped retain a bus service
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Local bus operator Bay Travel this week announced it will step in to provide a bus service to the people of Auchtertool.

The Cowdenbeath-based operator will divert its 18 service – which runs from Kelty, through Cowdenbeath to Kirkcaldy bus station then on to Victoria Hospital – via the village of Auchtertool following an approach by Fife Council.

The service will start on August 15 and run hourly through the village, where local residents recently mounted a strong campaign against Stagecoach’s proposal to withdraw its last remaining bus service.

A public meeting saw the village hall packed with angry residents appealing for a bus service to be maintained to prevent elderly residents and those who don’t drive from being left completely isolated.

However their pleas fell on deaf ears as Stagecoach this week confirmed it is to withdraw the X26 and replace it with an X27 service whose route will take in the more profitable Victoria Hospital instead of Auchtertool where, it claimed only around 14 people a day used the bus.

Locals have welcomed the move saying the new service will offer people an even better one than before.

Iain Robertson, joint managing director of Bay Travel, said: “This will be run as a commercial service from August 15 after the council asked us if we could help.

“We would urge the people of Auchtertool to make use of it as it will have to be worth our while operating such a service. We will divert the bus from the bypass to go through Auchtertool on its way to and from Kirkcaldy.”

Councillor Susan Leslie who helped residents in their campaign said: “This is very welcome news for the people of Auchtertool and we are thankful to Bay Travel for helping to ensure the village continues to have a public transport link.”