A desperate community has urged the first minister to join their battle to save an essential bus route.
Residents in Elgin have campaigned alongside their MSP, David Stewart, to help keep the 340 route alive.
A petition is now 466 names strong, but while Deveron Coaches says it wants to continue running the routes it cannot do so without financial support.
Drivers who run the buses face being made redundant unless a way can be found to save the service, which provides connections to the town centre, hospital and GP practices.
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Passengers who use the service have even said they are willing to contribute personal funds to keep the route alive.
Mr Stewart, who has backed their efforts, says he has been “heartened” to learn that residents continue to fight for their bus and have now unanimously agreed to send a letter to Nicola Sturgeon.
They are calling for a small slice of a new £500 million fund she opened last week to encourage people to switch from cars to buses.
The Highlands and Islands MSP, who is Labour’s shadow minister for health, has called on the Scottish Government to plug the funding gap amid concerns it could cost the public purse even more in the long run to withdraw the buses.
He joined users on the bus last month, speaking to elderly passengers about the impact of losing the service would have on the local community.
After riding the service he described it as a “community on wheels”.
He added: “I shudder to think how the loss of this bus affect the day-to-day lives of the many elderly people who were using it
“Some of the passengers who spoke to me were well into their eighties and nineties and a number would face being cut off from the town centre if the 340 route was to be scrapped indefinitely.
“Many of the town’s residents are counting on their First Minister to help save such an essential service.”
Mr Stewart said he would be keeping in close contact with community representatives for updates.