MSP Joan McAlpine has written to Stagecoach boss Martin Griffiths blasting the company’s decision to remove its evening service between Dumfries and Thornhill.
The timetable for the 246 service was amended without warning on July 8th – leaving customers wishing to travel after 8pm stranded.
The SNP MSP says that the company’s decision to amend the route without consultation was an ‘appalling’ way to treat its customers – and highlighted that constituents had discovered cuts to a number of other services across the region.
“I have been contacted by constituents in mid and upper Nithsdale who are rightly angry at the introduction, without prior warning, of an amended timetable for the 246 bus on the 8th of July, which entirely removes the late service between Dumfries and Thornhill. I am told that upon further inspection, constituents discovered another 108 cuts to bus routes throughout Dumfries and Galloway.
“Constituents have also been told that, as the 246 route is a commercial one, there is no need to consult on timetable changes. I find this an appalling way to treat customers. The 246 bus serves rural communities and these cuts will only serve to exacerbate rural decline by making it impossible to travel by public transport after 8pm. If indeed there is no obligation to consult this does not preclude a responsible company from doing so, and at the same time engaging with the local communities about how to attract them to utilise services so that they become commercially sustainable.
“I have urged the Chief Executive of Stagecoach to revisit this decision as a matter of urgency.”