A disabled woman has urged Stagecoach to rethink the axing of a vital bus service for the second time as she becomes a “prisoner” in her own home.
Linda Paul, 54, who lives in Millbay Gardens in Dundee, has multiple sclerosis and says the removal of the X54 Stagecoach bus from the route on the Perth Road near her home at the end of last year has left her stuck.
Linda’s condition requires her to attend hospital regularly and, with her husband at work all day, leaves her unable to get the bus for her appointments or even to get shopping during the day.
Her nearest bus stop, on the Perth Road, is a few hundred yards away and, with her condition making it difficult to walk, Linda admits her life is being made much harder.
‘Prisoner in my own home’
“My husband has ended up having to take time off work to drive me to appointments and shopping, but he obviously can’t do that all the time,” she explained.
“This bus meant I could be independent and go to the hospital and to town without asking for help.
“Now, without this bus, I have ended up a virtual prisoner at home. I am unable to get anywhere myself and there is not another stop close enough by for me to be able to walk to.”
The bus was stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Linda had hoped it would be starting up again soon.
She added: “I have been trying to find out from Stagecoach what is planned but no one seems to be able to tell me.”
Back in 2018, Linda fought for the X54 to be brought back onto the route after it had been off for three years up until that point.
She was delighted when Stagecoach agreed, and returned an hourly bus service for people living on Millbay Terrace, Clovis Duveau Drive and Millbay Gardens in the West End.
Back to square one
“It’s a major disappointment that the bus has again been withdrawn from the route,” Linda added.
“We find ourselves in the same position of having to fight to have it reinstated.”
The bus operator has said it is constantly reviewing the services it offers but it is unlikely to reinstate the X54.
A spokesman for Stagecoach East Scotland said: ” On January 25, 2021, we amended our Express services to better reflect the journeys passengers had been making and how we forecast journeys will be made in future.
“Customers wishing to travel to Ninewells on service X54 can change onto service 73, X7, 39 in the city centre to reach their destination.
“The team are continuing to monitor passenger numbers, demand and routes as lockdown eases, however there is no plan to currently change these services.”