A PETITION has begun to bring buses to a new £2 million doctors’ surgery at Methil Docks.
Stagecoach is refusing to divert services to Cannons Surgery, forcing old and infirm patients to walk over 300 yards to reach the building on Ajax Way.
Dr Janice Duncan said: “We know it’s unfortunate and we are trying to work on it.
”We have raised the matter with the local community council and spoken to the chief executive of the NHS.”
According to Dr Duncan, original planning permission for the new building suggested buses could turn at New Bayview Stadium.
Surgery representatives are enlisting the help of local councillors to reach a solution as quickly as possible and a petition has, so far, attracted over 200 signatures.
In the interim, patients reliant on door-to-door transport are using services such as Dial-A-Ride.
Fiona Harris, who closed down her shop on Methil High Street on Saturday, commented: “One older lady I know had to walk 20 minutes from the bus stop to the doctors and, of course, 20 minutes back again, when it used to take her two minutes.”
It took a petition of 2660 signatures, and pressure from local councillors, to persuade a planning committee to allow the surgery to be built at Methil Docks.
Planning officers had suggested the new centre would be cut off form the area it was meant to serve and stated the nearest bus stop - at 350 metres away - was unsuitable for some patients.
Lead officer Alistair Wilkie said it was taking facilities from the middle of a community and moving them to a place less accessible, whereas access should be maintained for those who needed it most.
However, surgery staff were struggling to provide adequate parking and modern services from Victorian premises on Fisher Street.
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach in Fife said: “We have no plans to add a diversion to our existing services in Methil away from the main roads to directly serve the new surgery.
“At present services 8 and 48/49 stop on South Street up to four times per hour, which is just over 300 yards away from the surgery.”