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‘No longer sustainable’: Stagecoach forced to axe bus services in major shake-up for the north-east

How will your local bus service be impacted?

Bus services to be axed in major shake-up to Stagecoach operation. Image: Stagecoach North Scotland
Bus services to be axed in major shake-up to Stagecoach operation. Image: Stagecoach North Scotland

Stagecoach has been forced to make major changes to current north-east operations – blaming reduced passenger demand and higher costs.

The bus operator says its current network is “no longer sustainable” and is in the process of reviewing services in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray.

Stagecoach confirmed that Highland services are not affected by the review, except those which service the A96 Inverness to Elgin road.

The operator said it is “working closely” with staff and trade unions to protect as many jobs as well as local bus services as possible.

Stonehaven Stagecoach depot. Image: Google Maps.

Services being withdrawn in Aberdeen include the 21A/22A/22B Cove and Torry to Lochside Academy routes.

Last year, the routes were saved after funding was withdrawn by Aberdeen City Council during the controversial budget cuts – meaning the supported Lochside Academy school buses from Cove and Torry would no longer be provided.

But parents were relieved when Stagecoach Bluebird decided it would continue to run the “valuable” service on a commercial basis.

David Beaton, managing director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: “We are a significant local employer and we understand the importance of bus services for the local community.

“We also know that any change can be unsettling for our people. That’s why we are working closely with both the trade union to protect as many jobs and as much of the local bus services as possible.”

The operator added that “tender losses, reduced passenger demand and higher costs” had made the situation “no longer sustainable”.

Included in the operations review is the potential closure of the Stonehaven and Insch bus depots.

Talks are also ongoing about moving Elgin engineering works to Inverness to cut costs.

The following changes will occur from August 19.


Bus services axed

  • Services 21A, 22A, 22B
  • Service 4
  • Service 8A, 8C
  • Service 41
  • Service 421
  • Service 221

Bus service alterations

  • Service 37 will be replaced by Service 9.
  • Service 32 will remain between Elgin and Burghead.
  • Service 203 will be replaced by Service 201/202 extensions.
  • Service 74 will be covered by Service 69 extension.
  • Service 78 A/C will be covered by Service 76/77.
  • X65 will be covered by Service X62
  • Service M98 will be withdrawn between Keith and Buckie.

Timetable changes

  • Service 59
  • Service 5,6
  • Service 8, 8A, X8
  • Service 7B
  • Service X9
  • Service 9, 10C
  • Service 107
  • Service 201, 202
  • Service 231
  • Service 727
  • Service X60, 61, X63
  • Service 66
  • Service X67, X68, 68
  • Service 69, 69A
  • Service 76, 77
  • Service 81
  • Service 83
  • Service 84A, 84C
  • Service 270
  • Service 290/291, 292
  • Service 10, 10A
  • Service 33A
  • Service 35
  • Service 38
  • Service 301
  • Service 218
  • Service 220/X20
  • M96

New bus services

  • Service 12 between Elgin and Inverness via Forres will replace the current Service 35