Labour MSP seeks replacement bus for Forres residents

THE WITHDRAWAL OF a bus service serving a Forres community has prompted a regional Labour MSP to ask Moray Council to offer a contract to local bus operators.

Regional MSP Rhoda Grant said she had recently been made aware of the withdrawal of service 36 from Forbeshill and the difficulties now faced by elderly residents in particular as a result.

Mrs Grant said: “I understand that the Stagecoach number 36 bus which travels from Elgin to Kinloss, Findhorn and Forres via Forbeshill was to be withdrawn, but after interventions from many, including politicians, the service will remain meantime – although Forbeshill will not be serviced.

“Elderly constituents in Forbeshill have contacted me to say that they are now in the situation where they cannot access public transport into or from the town and can only utilise taxis.

“Clearly this is not an acceptable or ideal situation. However, I would advise residents in the meantime to register with Moray Council ‘s Dial M for Moray service on 0300 123 4565. This way those without any form of transport can at least access this Moray Council bus service and access the town.”

Mrs Grant added that while it has to be accepted that, according to Stagecoach, there was insufficient demand for a service from Forbeshill.

She added: “It seems a case of commuters being made aware that they should ‘use it or lose it’ with regards this bus service. The operator felt that the service was not being used so withdrew it.

“However, I am told that most of the time a large bus was used whereas a smaller one would have been more suitable and likely be more cost effective.”

Mrs Grant said that she has now written to Moray Council and awaits their response with interest.