Don’t leave Auchtertool without a bus service!

Locals protest over bus proposals
Locals protest over bus proposals

Angry residents in Auchtertool have launched a campaign to save the last remaining bus service through their village.

In the latest round of Stagecoach timetable changes, proposals have been put forward to withdraw the X26 service which runs through Auchtertool every hour on its way between Leven and Glasgow.

The X26 is the last bus serving Auchtertool

The X26 is the last bus serving Auchtertool

The cut would mean that the village, which is 4.5 miles from Kirkcaldy, would be left with no public bus services from August.

A petition set up by concerned student Abbi Gallagher has attracted over 1300 signatures in just a few days, while a consultation exercise held at Kirkcaldy bus station on Monday attracted around 50 people all voicing their anger.

A public meeting for all concerned residents has been arranged in the village hall on Tuesday at 6pm by Councillor Susan Leslie who described the plans as “abominable.”

“This proposal would leave Auchtertool residents totally isolated which can’t be allowed to happen,” she said.

Abbi Gallagher (17), who lives in the village, said she would be unable to continue studying at Elmwood College if the bus taking her to Kirkcaldy for her onward connection was stopped. “I think it’s a terrible proposal,” she said.

Margaret Birrell (80) said she would be cut off if the bus was stopped.

“I use it every day and travel all over the country because I love getting out and about,” she said. “I’d be lost without it.”

And Carol Harrison (57), from Burntisland, who works at Camilla Nursing Home, said she relied on the bus for work.

“Not everyone has a car and paying for taxis would cost too much,” she said.

Fife Council has urged those concerned about the plans to take part in Stagecoach’s online consultation, which runs until June 24.

Councillor Pat Callaghan, Fife Council’s executive spokesman for transportation, said: “Some villages may be left with no bus service at all. I strongly encourage bus users to fill in the online survey. It’s important everyone affected has their say before the bus company finalises its new timetables. With current budget restrictions it will not be possible for the Council to find replacements to the commercial services withdrawn.”

Stagecoach said the X26 would be replaced by the X27 via the A92, Chapel and Victoria Hospital, increasing the frequency of services from West Fife to Victoria Hospital.