Communities urged not to miss the bus this week

LOCAL COMMUNITIES MUST make their feelings clearly known to bus service provider Stagecoach – or else they could find themselves losing vital local bus services.

That is the view being expressed by Forres-based regional MSP Douglas Ross, who is urging people to take part in a consultation exercise over proposed changes to services.

These include the complete withdrawal of the 36 service linking Forres and Elgin with Kinloss and Findhorn, a move that is already being described as ‘catastrophic’ for local residents – including those serving and their families at Kinloss Barracks.

Mr Ross said: “Given the proposed changes it’s clear what a serious impact they would have across Moray if they proceed.

“I hope that this consultation is one which takes on board all feedback before any decision is made. It is clear from the significant number of people who have contacted me that this is a crucial issue across our communities at present.

“Some of these bus services are a lifeline for many people, with access to medical facilities and chemists to collect prescriptions or links to local shops to name but a few. The prospect of paying significant taxi fares will certainly isolate many members of the public.

“I would encourage people to attend the public session organised by Stagecoach which is being held at the St Giles Shopping Centre in Elgin on Tuesday, March 7 [Tomorrow] between 9am and 5pm to make their voice heard.

“For those unable to attend Stagecoach have issued an email address for feedback –

“I note that they have set a closing date of Friday, March 10 for submissions, which is extremely disappointing as it gives very little time for the public to fully engage in the consultation process and to ensure their views are heard.

“I have also placed a copy of a local petition against these changes in my Parliamentary Office in Forres which people are very welcome to come in an sign this week.”