Public call for No 4 hospital bus rethink

Calls for bus operator Moffat and Williamson to reconsider hospital service changes. Pic: Steven Brown
Calls for bus operator Moffat and Williamson to reconsider hospital service changes. Pic: Steven Brown

Community leaders in north Glenrothes are calling for a local bus company to reinstate a cancelled service taking people to the town’s hospital.

Glenrothes-based Moffat and Williamson Ltd. have introduced a scaled-down service to their No 4 route which came into force on January 5.

With the x-ray service open on weekdays between 1.30 p.m. and 4.45 p.m., and no buses stopping the hospital between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m., the public are being forced to find alternative, often more expensive, ways of attending vital appointments.

Margaret Simpson, secretary of North Glenrothes Community Council, said the move was a blow especially in light of the recent campaign to save the x-ray and Out Of Hours emergency services at the hospital.

She said: “There has been no consultation with the public and that is a big concern.

“We went to great lengths to save the hospital services.

“It’s vital we retain a public transport facility to be able to access them.

“I have written to the bus company asking them to reconsider their decision to cut the service to see if there is a workable alternative that can be agreed.”

On hearing the news of the service cuts, Councillor Fiona Grant has called on Fife Council to organise a meeting between Fife Health Board and local bus providers in a bid to find a viable compromise.

“Apart from the loss of service to over 270 houses, afternoon is the time when the walk-in x-ray service is open,” she told the Gazette.

“My concern is that we end up in a ‘use it or lose it’ situation when folk can’t get there to use it.

“I am hopeful that common sense will prevail and a solution to the mismatch can be found.”

Cut service to remain viable says operator

In a response to North Glenrothes Community Council’s concerns, bus operator Moffat and Williamson Ltd said the amount of reimbursement it receives for each concession had been reduced and, at the same time, changes to Stagecoach services meant the company was now picking up fewer passengers.

In order to maintain a viable route the company withdrew a journey in the afternoon so that the bus could carry out a school run and therefore remain profitable.