Bus changes leave Fifers ‘high and dry’

Kennoway bus changes
Kennoway bus changes

A Levenmouth resident has complained that people in Fife have been left “high and dry” after recent changes to the bus service meant she was unable to get to work on time.

Patricia Adamson, who lives near Kennoway, has had to change her hours at her workplace in Kirkcaldy because the service she used to catch was revised last month.

The 41 service, which covers Cupar, Kennoway, Leven and Kirkcaldy, used to stop at Kennoway Shopping Centre at 9.10a.m., which meant Patricia made it to work for her starting time of 10.00 a.m. with time to spare.

But that bus now does not leave until 9.36 a.m., meaning she has had to change her hours because she’s unable to get to Kirkcaldy until after 10.00 a.m.

“I’m really lucky they have accommodated me because there are a lot of people who wouldn’t get the same,” she said.

Patricia had enquired about the change to both Stagecoach and Fife Council, which tenders a number of services run by the bus company.

“They just blame each other, but in the end, the people of Fife are once again left high and dry,” she added.

A spokesman for Stagecoach East Scotland said: “Service 41 operating between Kirkcaldy and Cupar is a commercial service scheduled around our school journey commitments.

“Due to revised school bus contracts awarded by Fife Council from August 18, the 41 and 41B no longer extend to/from Bell Baxter High School at school times and the new timetable has instead been built around Kirkcaldy school services. This means it is not possible to have journeys operating at the same times as they were previously”.

“An additional journey was added to the 41 to allow passengers transferring from the 41B arriving in Kennoway at 9.34 a.m. to the 41 departing Kennoway at 9.36 a.m. Following a small number of concerns from customers, we’ve taken further action to improve the reliability of this connection.

“Again, due to the changes to our school journey commitments, the service to Cameron Hospital is operating at revised times and now arrives at 1.28 p.m. and departs at 5.05 p.m. Alternative, faster journeys are still possible on our Express City Connect service X27.”

Council technician Gillian Hill said: “Fife Council retendered north Fife Schools andlocal bus services, which came into effect on August 18. The school contacts were won by various different operators in the tendering process. Service 41 (Cupar to Kirkcaldy) is a commercial service operated by Stagecoach during the day.

“Fife Council has no control over Stagecoach’s decision to alter its service.

“Fife Council subsidises service 41A/B (Cupar to Buckhaven) during the day and in the evenings and Sundays. The combined timetable for service 41,41A/B is designed to give passengers an hourly service from Cupar. Passengers who are having difficulty should contact Passenger Transport Services on 01592 583223 or transportation.services@fife.gov.uk.”