Pulling out the stops to restore bus service

Julie Reilly with the petition
Julie Reilly with the petition

A Newburgh woman has launched a petition against bus service cuts which she says have left the town ‘like an island’.

Julie Reilly already has hundreds of signatures from disgruntled local residents as well as the support of politicians.

She says that, since the hourly 36/35 service to Perth was reduced in August, life in Newburgh has been seriously disrupted, with residents missing appointments and health care staff being unable to get to work because there is no longer a bus to Perth Royal Infirmary.

And she says people have to wait in Perth for over two hours to catch a bus home or are left stranded at bus stops in Newburgh because the timetable information hasn’t been updated.

She told the Fife Herald there was a bus operated by the neighbouring local authority, Perth and Kinross, which ran from Perth to Newburgh – but only for 10 weeks of the year, when the schools were off.

“Despite the size of Newburgh and the surrounding communities, we are extremely ill-served by public transport,” said Ms Reilly.

“The opportunities for travel or work outside these communities for anyone without a car are very limited, especially as most of those job opportunities are in the nearest large towns, Perth, Dundee, Kinross and Glenrothes. This affects the most vulnerable in society, particularly the elderly.”

Derek Beveridge, of Fife Council’s Network Planning and Information service, said: “Upon the award of the local service and school local service contracts for North Fife, Stagecoach confirmed the journeys within the service 35 timetable were no longer commercially viable and that they were withdrawing them.

“As this is a commercial service operated by Stagecoach, Fife Council has no control over the decision to alter their services.”

He added that Fife Council operated a bookable ‘Go-flexi’ bus service to accommodate passengers affected by the change.

Any resident wishing to use this service should call 01382 541159.