Vital Aberdeen bus service could be on roads for another year

William Sell has welcomed the proposals.

Transport bosses have been urged to approve plans to continue a “vital” Aberdeen bus service for another year.

The council subsidised First Aberdeen 15A service runs between Airyhall and Craigiebuckler every hour between 8-11pm, seven days a week.

It was introduced following a community campaign last year in response to First’s decision to withdraw the 15 service, which follows the same route, after 7pm.

Now, councillors are being urged to vote through proposals to continue the service for another 12 months.

The extension, which would begin in April, will cost the authority £38,510 for the next financial year.

Last night, Craigiebuckler and Seafield Community Council welcomed the news that the service could continue.

William Sell, vice-chairman, said: “This is great news and I hope councillors take the officers’ recommendations on board and the service continues.

“The service is vital to those who wish to go into the city centre and socialise during the evening, it also helps the elderly and people who don’t have cars access the centre at night.

“It has made a huge difference to peoples’ ability to get around the city and will have had a positive impact on the night-time economy too.”

The council currently pays First £105 per day Monday to Friday and £115 each day at the weekend.

There are an average of about 16 passengers using the service each day, which officers say was lower than originally estimated.

However, if the service was to be discontinued that would mean residents of the communities, a large number of which are pensioners, would have to walk nearly a mile to catch other buses.

Meanwhile, a similar supported service, which runs from Peterculter to Garthdee could be axed.

The Stagecoach 95 was introduced after First scrapped the number five service in the area.

The service runs three times a day Monday to Friday and and costs the council £220 per journey.

But now officers are recommending scrapping the service, as it is not well used and would cost them more than £56,000 to renew.

If the service is axed, officers have proposed the introduction of a dial-a-bus option made available which residents would have to book in advance as and when they needed it.

Both proposals will be discussed by the council’s communities, housing and infrastructure committee next Tuesday.