Trial bus service announced for north east Fife community

Stagecoach is changing its 77b bus service.
Stagecoach is changing its 77b bus service.

A bus operator is to trial a new service in north east Fife following an appeal from local councillors.

Moffat & Williamson Ltd announced that it is to trial a new service for six months which will run a similar timetable to the current Stagecoach 77b service.

Stagecoach revealed last month that it is to make changes to the 77b, which provides a direct hourly service between Dundee, Newport-on-Tay and Wormit.

The company had said the reason for the proposal to withdraw the 77b from daytime service was due to low passenger numbers and pointed out that contracted evening journeys would remain unaffected.

The changes, which are due to come into affect next month, were met with opposition from the local community.

Residents packed into Blyth Hall last week for a meeting on the issue, with many having to stand.

In response, local councillors Tim Brett and Jonny Tepp contacted Moffat & Williamson, urging it to be a “white knight”.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the company said: “Moffat & Williamson Ltd has been approached by councillors Brett and Tepp regarding the 77b service which is being withdrawn.

“Any decision to withdraw a service is not taken lightly and normally it is because the passenger numbers using it do not make it financially viable.

“We have agreed with the councillors to trial a bus for a minimum of six months and run a timetable along similar lines to the existing one using a school contract bus and fitting runs in between.

“By using the service regularly, you can assist in its continued existence and success.”

The news was welcomed by Cllr Tepp, who had described the 77b service as “a vital lifeline for constituents in parts of our ward”.

He said: “We were devastated that Stagecoach chose to withdraw this vital lifeline service but are delighted that Mofffat & Wiliamson has found a way to run the bus for the next six months at least.”