Call for revamp of bus routes to end ‘nightmare’ detours

Stagecoach – call for route changes

A Moray councillor is calling for an end to the “nightmare” faced by residents of two villages who rely on public transport.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde Councillor Sean Morton is highlighting the fact that there is currently no regular bus service linking Garmouth and Kingston with nearby Fochabers and Mosstodloch – and he is calling on Stagecoach to take action.

Councillor Morton insists that an extension to an existing service is all that is required to assist people in the village communities who currently face an lengthy and complicated bus journey to simply visit their local doctor’s surgery.

Now he has written to the bus company seeking their agreement to route changes. He said: “I have written to Stagecoach to ask for the number 34 service to be extended.

“Currently it connects Garmouth and Kingston with Lhanbryde and Elgin. I’d like to see it go to Mosstodloch and Fochabers too, linking up all of these villages.

“For people who do not drive it is a nightmare trying to get from Garmouth and Kingston to Fochabers and Mosstodloch – meaning an unnecessarily lengthy and complicated journey.

“Lots of people in these villages have family and friends in Fochabers or Mosstodloch, but more importantly, for many, their GP is there. It’s essential we link these villages up properly.”

It is an issue facing more than one community in Moray and while several are covered by Moray Council’s ‘Dial-A-Bus’ services community leaders claim that it is not always the answer to an ongoing problem – in particular the elderly in rural communities.

A spokesman for the Laich Coast Tourism Group, which seeks to promote tourism along the picturesque coastline from Findhorn to Lossiemouth, said: “Poor public transport links has been a major concern for us and is a constant theme when discussions on how we can improve links are discussed.

“A glaring example of this is that there is currently no direct bus service on the road between Lossiemouth and Hopeman.”