Pensioners vent their fury at plans to axe Cupar hospital bus

Val Hynson was among the pensioners keen to express their anger
Val Hynson was among the pensioners keen to express their anger
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Stagecoach bosses were met with a furious response when they visited Cupar as part of a consultation into the axeing of some bus services.

The most contentious proposal is the scrapping of the X42, the only bus that goes directly from Cupar to Ninewells Hospital.

It would be replaced by a new service, the X53, which would terminate in Dundee, leaving passengers having to change.

Stagecoach says that this would be ‘relatively easy’ - but the dozens who turned up at the consultation event strongly disagreed.

They angrily confronted Stagecoach officials and told them exactly what they thought of the plan.

““I’m really annoyed about the proposal for the X42 and I’ve told the commercial director so,” said pensioner Val Hynson.

“If you’re elderly and perhaps not feeling too well it’s not fair that you have to stand around in the cold waiting for a another bus.

“I think the situation is unacceptable. We have to stand up and be counted.”

Jim Swinton (66) told the Fife Herald that he had been travelling daily to the hospital for 10 days to visit his wife, who had been a patient there.

“The service is a very good one,” he said.

“It would be a nightmare having to change buses every day.”

And Dorothy McIntosh, secretary of Cupar Elderly Forum, called on Stagecoach to re-think its proposal amid concerns that an increase in the ageing population means that more people are requiring specialist care.

Meanwhile Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, has written to Fife Council chief executive Steve Grimmond after being contacted by a number of worried constituents.

He said: “This could be particularly problematic for the elderly, less mobile and those with health situations who have to take the bus because, through their illness, are unable to drive.

“In addition, the possible loss of the X54, which provides Freuchie and Letham residents with a direct 25-minute journey to Dundee, is also causing concern as the proposed replacement service would see them having to change at Cupar, resulting in a journey time of one hour.”

Douglas Robertson, commercial director, Stagecoach East Scotland, said: “We have held a number of drop in sessions to invite feedback from customers on our proposed service changes.

“Our recent drop in session in Cupar was well attended, our managers did their best to make sure they spoke to all those who attended and we would like to thank those who gave their views.”

The consultation period finishes this Friday.