‘ENORMOUS ANXIETY’ IS being caused to Moray communities over the proposals by bus company Stagecoach for further service changes – including the withdrawal of services to Findhorn and Kinloss.
An open consultation day was held yesterday at which Richard Lochhead MSP attended.
Mr Lochhead said that the proposals to cut lifeline services in Moray was causing enormous anxiety – and that he had already been contacted by scores of constituents whose lives would be adversely affected by the changes.
He said: “I have spoken to constituents from Findhorn and Kinloss who need these services to visit the Health Centre in Forres to give one example. I have also spoken to shift workers who rely on the bus to get home from Elgin in the evening and families in Duffus who use the bus to get around.
“These routes are run on a commercial basis by Stagecoach and according to the company are loss-making – but solutions must be found to keep these services in place and no service should be withdrawn until other companies take over the routes.
“We also face a difficult situation because the Moray Council withdrew bus subsidies a few years ago, and although I have already contacted Stagecoach I will be contacting the Council to seek its support in protecting these vital services.”
While unable to attend the Elgin meeting as he was on Justice Committee business at the Scottish Parliament, Douglas Ross MSP received a full report from the consultation.
He said: “It’s really encouraging to hear so many people attended and made their opposition against these proposals absolutely clear.
“Stagecoach have provided the bare minimum amount of time for individuals and communities to make their voices heard but the response from local people has been unequivocal; these are vital services that must be retained.
“The petition in my Parliamentary office in Forres will remain available for people to lodge their objections to these plans until the end of the week. Again I urge as many people as possible to submit their views and leave Stagecoach in no doubt about the strength of feeling across many parts of Moray about their plans.”