Council leaders are considering alternative proposals that could return some form of bus service to an Aberdeenshire village.
Blackdog residents have been campaigning for a bus stop to be reinstated within the settlement ever since the building of the AWPR resulted in their pick-up point being moved more than a mile away.
The two north and southbound bus stops have been placed on the slip road to the AWPR junction, just north of the village, and the old entrance to Blackdog has been closed off with a high fence erected to prevent pedestrian access.
Council officers, local councillors and community groups have had meetings with bus operator Stagecoach this month, but so far no agreement has been reached.
The stumbling block to the re-routing of buses though the village has been the company’s insistence it would not be “commercially viable”.
It has put forward an alternative to Aberdeenshire Council and it is understood that is now being considered – though the nature of that proposal is not clear.
But the lack of progress have dismayed residents who have described their predicament as complete nonsense.
Blackdog resident Alistair Rose last night said it should not be a “matter of money” and is now calling for the council to step in and provide a subsidised bus service.
He said: “It is a necessary service that we need to have brought back.
“It is shocking that we are expected to walk all the way up to the new road, especially elderly people and those with young children and pushchairs.
“The council should provide us with something, even if it is just one every hour during the day.
“We are all being encouraged to use more public transport and think of the environment but to be deprived of that opportunity is complete nonsense.”
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said they were continuing to discuss “potential solutions” with operators.
He added: “Officers recently met with councillors from Mid Formartine ward and Stagecoach Bluebird to discuss the possibility of the operator either re-routing an existing bus service or providing a dedicated service for Blackdog village.
“Our officers have also approached other bus operators in the area and unfortunately they have declined to provide a service for the same commercial reasons.”
Gordon MP Colin Clark has previously lobbied the council on behalf of the residents and has been told by its head of transportation, Ewan Wallace, that some options are being considered.
In his letter to Mr Clark, Mr Wallace said they were working on a footpath to better connect the village with the bus stop situated on A92.
Mr Wallace also confirmed that a dedicated school bus service would begin at the start of the next school year.
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach North Scotland said: “We recently met with councillors from the Blackdog area and the Passenger Transport team at Aberdeenshire Council to discuss the stopping points at Blackdog.
“Prior to the construction of the AWPR our bus services did not operate through the village, stops were on the A90 which remains the case today.
“We have reviewed the suggested route and have concluded it is not a commercially viable route for us to divert our bus services through the village of Blackdog and this diversion would also impact on the overall journey time for the route.
“We have suggested an alternative option that Aberdeenshire Council will review in due course.”