Pensioner power wins bus stop battle in Cupar

Members of Cupar Elderly Forum have claimed a victory after Stagecoach responded to their camp[aign to have a bus stop reinstated in South Road

Members of Cupar Elderly Forum have claimed a victory after Stagecoach responded to their camp[aign to have a bus stop reinstated in South Road

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A group campaigning for the restoration of a bus stop in Cupar has claimed a victory for ‘people power’ after a two-year battle.

Keith and Dorothy McIntosh of Fife Elderly Forum and Frank Bowness of the local Neighbourhood Watch group were incensed when bus giant Stagecoach changed its timetables.

It meant that the X59 to Edinburgh no longer stopped in South Road but instead only stopped at the town’s railway station.

And that meant that people living in the Sandylands area of Cupar faced a lengthy walk back into town to catch a bus that would be passing their doorstep.

The group got into campaigning mode, writing to Stagecoach founder Brian Souter and the then Scottish Transport Minister Derek McKay.

The contact with Brian Souter reaped dividends when Stagecoach’s commercial director Douglas Robertson agreed to meet the group in Cupar.

At the meeting, Mr Robertson indicated his willingness to re-consider the timetable and shortly after told the group that Stagecoach would be reinstating the stop for the X59 on South Road at the next change of timetable.

True to his word, when the new Stagecoach timetable was announced, starting mid- November, the South Road stop had indeed been reinstated.

Dorothy said:“ We were obviously disappointed when the service was changed a couple of years ago and a number of older people in our community found the new arrangements a barrier to getting out and about.

“So we decided to see if we could persuade Stagecoach to re-consider their position.”

Added Frank: “We would particularly like to thank Douglas Robertson, from Stagecoach, for taking the time to come to Cupar and see for himself the practical difficulties that the withdrawal of the stop in South Road has caused and his willingness to engage with us and just as important listen to our concerns.

“We are absolutely delighted that the stop on South Road has been reinstated and hope this makes things a little easier for people in this part of Cupar.”

Douglas Robertson from Stagecoach said: “It is important that Stagecoach engages with and listens to its customers.

“I listened carefully to Keith, Dorothy and Frank and concluded that they had a case.

“After further consideration I came to the view that by reinstating the stop on South Road we would enhance our service with minimum impact on the timing of the service.

“So it was a ‘win win’ for both Stagecoach and Cupar and I was pleased to help.”