Bus company faces criticism following axe on Kirkcaldy bingo hall stop
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David Torrance, SNP MSP for Kirkcaldy, slammed Stagecoach for its decision to terminate the 39/39A’s stop at Carberry Place, close to Bingo 3000. It was popular with those attending the bingo hall, but the decision has left elderly, and people with mobility issues, with the possibility of crossing a busy dual carriageway to attend the bingo.
Mr Torrance said: “For Stagecoach to terminate the bus stop from the No 39 route at Bingo 3000 is appalling as many elderly people who suffer from mobility issues rely on it to attend the bingo. For them, bingo is much more than a game – it is a place to catch up with good pals and to get out of the house for a few hours. To deny them this is cruel and uncaring.
Edna Walker (80) has been a customer at Bingo 3000 for a year after she moved from Alloa to Kirkcaldy last year to be closer to family.
She said: “I have to get two buses to the bingo, and now if I’ve to walk from Overton Road I’m not worth two jots by the time I get here. The bingo is my only outlet for socialising as all of my family work through the day so I come here to meet all of my friends. If I couldn’t do that, I don’t know what I would do.”
Another service user, Ruth Pow (64) from Kirkcaldy, said that issues have already begun to arise from the new stop.
She explained: “I come to the bingo with my sister who can’t walk very far so it is a struggle for her to walk the distance from the new bus stop. Going across that busy road is quite dangerous as many drivers don’t stop at the pedestrian crossing which can be daunting for some older people who have mobility issues.
“Stagecoach needs to service the stop at the bingo hall as there are a lot of customers here who use the No 39 who are unable to walk the distance from Overton Road.”
Stagecoach said the decision to change the service was made due to access problems for their vehicles at Carberry Place, calling “indiscriminate parking” a “continued safety risk” and the cause of delays to the service.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach East Scotland continued: "The decision was taken to remove the buses from the turning circle, alternatively stopping on Dunnikier Way at Carberry Road stop, which is also closer to the entrance to ASDA. Since these changes have been made, reliability of services 39/39A has improved, benefiting the majority of passengers using this service daily.
“For those who have mobility issues and may struggle with the short walk from the bus stops on Dunnikier Way there is an alternative service that they can use provided by Fife Council. Fife Bus is a demand-responsive service for those who have trouble accessing mainstream public transport;
Mr Torrance has written to Fife Council to address the issues relating to traffic in the area, but called on Stagecoach to “come to its senses”.