A north-east MSP has said rural bus passengers in areas such as Deeside have not been given enough time to respond to vital service changes.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Aberdeenshire West Alexander Burnett has written to Stagecoach Bluebird outlining concerns over the firm’s consultation into proposed changes to its timetables.
Passengers have expressed concerns that none of the consultation events were held in Deeside, despite major changes being proposed for users in the area, including a reduction in the number of services running between Lumphanan and Torphins.
In his letter to the bus firm, Mr Burnett said: “The consultation events are located in Aberdeen city, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Ellon – none of which are located within my constituency.
“None of the consultation events that take place are in Deeside. It is concerning that an area that is due to face even further reductions to bus services does not have a local opportunity to ask questions and put forward comments.”
In his reply to Mr Burnett, Stagecoach’s commercial director Daniel Laird said he “regretted” not being able to hold events in Deeside, admitting that passengers from Lumphanan and Torphins had expressed concerns.
He added: “We scheduled a number of in-person events such as in Aberdeen Bus Station.
“Regrettably, our operating area and the wide range of communities we serve mean that we were not able to hold events in all locations.
“However, we feel that using central locations allow the highest amount of customers to contribute to the process.
“As we conclude the consultation process, we will review all feedback received in conjunction with Aberdeenshire Council before finalising our proposals.”