Fife buses: Fife Council step in to save routes facing the axe by Stagecoach

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Bus services which were to be cut in a shake up by Stagecoach have been saved by Fife Council.

The local authority has stepped in to ensure that the routes which are uneconomical commercially – but socially essential – continue to run throughout the Kingdom.

The move for the council to subsidise the routes comes after Stagecoach announced changes to their network in late August which as well as some minor changes to timetables including withdrawing a number of services completely.

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Those services under threat were service 14 – Dunnikier Estate to Kirkcaldy Bus Station (Monday to Saturday daytime services withdrawn); service 36 – Glenrothes to Perth via Falkland and Newburgh (no Sunday journeys); service 77 – Gauldry – Wormit – Newport on Tay – Dundee (service withdrawn no service between Dundee and Gauldry, reduced service elsewhere); service 81 – Parkneuk – Glenrothes via Dunfermline (service withdrawn, Monday to Saturday); service 33 – Kirkcaldy – Dunfermline via Cardenden, Cowdenbeath, Halbeath park and ride and Queen Margaret Hospital (early morning, evening and Saturday and Sunday journeys withdrawn or curtailed at Cowdenbeath).

A number of routes have been saved by the council after Stagecoach planned to withdraw services.A number of routes have been saved by the council after Stagecoach planned to withdraw services.
A number of routes have been saved by the council after Stagecoach planned to withdraw services.

Some minor timetabling changes proposed were reversed following discussions with Stagecoach and separate discussions with Moffat & Williamson confirmed they will register a bus service commercially to offset the removal of the Stagecoach 77 service, ensuring a service remains from Gauldry to Dundee.

Now Fife Council has confirmed it will step in to make sure the remaining socially necessary withdrawn services (numbers 14, 33, 36 & 81) continue to operate.

Replacement services are set to start next week, on Monday, November 7.

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David Ross, Fife Council leader, said: “These are services that the council has agreed to subsidise to cover gaps that need to be filled in the commercial system and routes that have historically been supported.

"The removal of these services would have a significant impact on the local communities, particularly those who rely on public transport.

"In turn, the council stepped in and tendered for alternative, replacement services.

"We are committed to creating a fairer Fife and supporting those hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.

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"The services maintained will reassure people in our communities that where there is a social need, the council will take whatever steps it can to support the provision of essential transport, including bus services.

"By stepping in the main impacts of the changes proposed by commercial service have hopefully been avoided.”

Many of the previously proposed changes from Stagecoach had come under fire from politicians.

Plans to scrap the daytime 14 service to Dunnikier Estate in Kirkcaldy had been criticised by local councillors and the town’s SNP MSP David Torrance.

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They described the change as “completely ludicrous” at a time when people were being encouraged to use public transport.

Timetable information with the new bus times will be updated at the bus stops affected from Monday, November 7 as well as being available on the Traveline Scotland website.

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