Revealed: Council need to find £130k for bus service

Council chiefs will have to find an extra £132,000 to deliver new bus services in the Granite City, new private documents have revealed.

This week the council agreed to fund supported bus services to fill gaps in Kingswells, Airyhall and Craigiebuckler as a well as Dubford and Denmore.

Officers have been asked to begin the tender process with the new lines expected to be operational from next Spring.

But a report seen by the Press and Journal says the delivery of the routes would cost £215,00 for the next year – with only £83,000 budgeted.

The private report to councillors on the finance committee says the extra money will be considered at next year’s budget.

Under the plans Kingswells village, where commercial bus services were stopped in April, will now run through the week and weekends, Airyhall and Craigiebuckler will keep their current supported service aand a new hourly Sunday service added for the Dubford route- which was withdrawn in 2012.

Last night council transport spokesman Ross Grant said: “I’m clear that we cannot be in the business of subsidising services that are no longer profitable for the operators.

“We need the new transport Bill to give local authorities the powers both to have a say in the routing of bus services to make sure that our communities remain connected.”

Last night  Kingswells resident Aleen Shinnie, who was behind a campaign to keep buses in the suburb, said: “Something is definitely better than nothing.”

A First Bus spokesman said: “First Aberdeen incurred a considerable financial loss in trying to operate a service to Kingswells.

“We only announced our withdrawal of the service after our sustained efforts to make it financially viable were exhausted.”